Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1984: Out of the frying pan and into the fire

On December 16, 1984, 43-year-old Mary Pena died at San Vicente Hospital in Los Angeles, leaving her husband to raise five children alone. She had been undergone a safe, legal abortion there the previous day.

Mary had thought that she was three months pregnant when she went to San Vicente, but doctors there discovered that she was actually 22 weeks pregnant. Either Edward Allred or Ruben Marmet performed the abortion. Afterward she was bleeding so heavily, a hysterectomy was performed in an effort to save her life. The surgery was not successful, and at 1:50 am on December 16, Mary died while on the operating table.

And here's where we see the cover-your-ass instinct of the back-alley butcher arise in the man who is a bastion of providers of safe and legal vital reproductive heath care services. The Investigator's Report states "Dr. Allred cleared the case with Coroner and body was released to the family picked mortuary ... and services held. When the death certificate was taken to Kern County Health Department they refused to accept it and called the case to Los Angeles Coroner. ... Mortuary in Bakersfield will bring body to this office for autopsy on morning of 12-20-84."

Allred had tried to hide the fact that Mary had died from a botched abortion. And, but for the diligence of a vital records clerk, he would have succeeded. Only after the clerk spoke up was the death certificate questioned, and the true cause of death determined: exsanguination due to cervical laceration due to therapeutic abortion. The cervix showed two lacerations - a small one that had been sutured and a large unsutured one extending through the full ring of the cervix.

Once a cause for the fatal hemorrhage was determined, the death certificate was accepted, and Mary was laid to rest again.

San Vicente, an abortion hospital, had been purchased by National Abortion Federation member Familiy Practice Associates Medical Group shortly before Mary's death. Natalie Meyers and Sara Lint had already died there. And Allred, who by his own admission never did a preventability study after a patient death, apparently didn't do much to improve conditions at San Vicente. Another patient, Joyce Ortenzio, died there in 1988. Over the years Allred and his abortionists killed at least a dozen women that I know of. Yet Allred's chain of abortion mills -- the largest for-profit chain of abortion facilities in the world -- remains in good standing with NAF. And Planned Parenthood continues to refer women there. Warnings that Allred is careless of patients' well-being fall on deaf ears.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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