Saturday, January 03, 2009

1984: Teen collapses, dies after abortion

Sixteen-year-old Loretta Morton was at home when she began having trouble breathing on January 3, 1984. Her mother called for an ambulance. The ambulance crew assessed Loretta, decided she was stable, and left. They were called back ten minutes later because Loretta had lost consciousness. The crew rushed Loretta to a hospital, but attempts to resuscitate her were in vain. Within an hour of having lost consciousness, she was dead.

An autopsy showed that she had died from a pulmonary embolism from an abortion she had undergone in December of 1983.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Brian said...

Whenever a person uses a drug and/or undergoes a surgical procedure, there is always a risk of a resulting complication. Plenty of people have been harmed by drug side effects and things like heart surgery, but I don't see anybody rushing out to condemn the practice of removing one's appendix or prescribing medicine.

Also, could you please provide a link and/or explanation that links the embolism to the abortion?
Is there any evidence that this is associated with the type of procedure or was it the result of an error made by the doctor?
Have there been advancements in the procedures for this type of abortion?
Lastly, at what stage was the pregnancy terminated? Less than 1% of abortions occur in the final trimester, when the chances of something going wrong are highest.

Christina Dunigan said...

Brian, there are numerous articles indicating that embolism is a possible fatal complication of induced abortion, for example "Fatal Pulmonary Embolism During Legal Induced Abortion in the United States from 1972 to 1985," Lawson, Atrash, Franks, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 162:4, April 1990, 987.

And I'm not asking prochoicers to join a call to ban abortions. I'm just asking them to recognize that legalization didn't usher in an era of goodness and light, with no more death or despair.

The way to end the suffering and death associated with abortion isn't to promote it as a good so that it's embraced by more and more women; it's to work to make it unthinkable.

Brian said...

I think that abortion is already at the point where people take it extremely seriously. You don't hear anybody saying, "I just got back from the doctor and I got an abortion. Hooray!"

But perhaps the thing that bothered me was that your whole blog is based on the idea of a "choice graveyard" and the idea that abortions lead to a significant chance of death. Your link shows that around 10 people die from abortions each year. Planned Parenthood alone provides over 300,000 abortions a year ( Around 10 out of over 300,000 from Planned Parenthood alone? That's a remarkably low chance of death.

I just think it's dishonest to portray abortions as lethal when such occurences are incredibly low and many of your examples are from long ago, when the chances of abortion-related complications weren't as low as they are now.

Christina Dunigan said...

Well, Brian, if it happens to you or your loved one, it's 100%, isn't it?

And I'm not trying to convince you that every woman who walks into an abortion mill might as well be navigating a mine field. I'm just asking prochoicers to not take it for granted that being a "provider of vital reproductive health care services" means that the guy is reputable or professional or even licensed.

Before referring or accompanying a woman to a facility, check the background of the place. Not just if they're a National Abortion Federation member, since some of the most egregious cases of quackery I've seen have been at NAF clinics. Do a bit of homework. At least Google the place. Check the medical board to see if the doctor has been disciplined or has lawsuits against him. And if they won't give you the name of the doctor so you can check his background, go elsewhere.

This doesn't seem like a lot to ask. Just to apply caveat emptor and not take assurances of safety at face value.

Anonymous said...

Thats exactly what I get from this site - do your research when it comes to doctors - of any kind actually.