Christin Gilbert, a 19-year-old woman with Down syndrome, was pronounced dead in a Wichita hospital on December 13, 2005, victim of a supposedly life-saving abortion performed at George Tiller's infamous facility.
Christin had been brought from Texas to Tiller's facility for a presumably safe and legal late abortion on January 10, 2005. Christin was legally incompetent, unable to give her consent. She had no legal standing to defend either herself or her unborn child.
Christin had been raised by her family in a small Texas town, according to Operation Rescue West. She was mainstreamed into her local high school, where she served as a bat girl for the softball team. She graduated in 2004.
Like all Tiller late abortion patients, ostensibly so sick that their pregnancies endanger their lives or health, Christin spent the bulk of her time during the abortion process at a motel, in the care of her family -- reminiscent of the way "back-alley butcher" C. C. Keester handled his criminal abortion patients in Wichita three quarters of a century earlier. The supposedly gravely ill patient would be brought back to Tiller's facility each day for procedures to kill the fetus and dilate her cervix, then returned to the motel and the care of her family. Tiller was never held accountable for this practice, of keeping supposedly dangerously sick pregnant women in a motel rather than in a hospital.
On January 12, Tiller's staff diagnosed Christin as being "dehydrated". She was given IV fluids then sent back to the motel. She had numerous episodes of vomiting, and lost consciousness several times. Rather than call an ambulance or take her to the hospital, Christin's family waited until morning and took her to Tiller's clinic. There she went into cardiac arrest. Tiller employee Marguerite Reed called 911. From the ambulance dispatch sheet, obtained by Operation Rescue West:
- CP VERY EVASIVE; PUT ON HOLD
- CP REFUSED TO GIVE ANY INFORMATION, JUST SAYING NEED EMS
- The caller is with the patient. She does not have chest pain. She is completely awake (alert). She has not fainted. She has pain above the belly button (navel).
Remember, these quotes are from the dispatch sheet. It was the caller, Marguerite Reed, who reported that Christin had no chest pain, abdominal pain above the navel, that Christin was alert and had not fainted. The investigation revealed that Christin was in fact in cardiac arrest when the call was made. LeRoy Carhart was performing CPR on a clinically dead patient, and the EMS services are being misled, told that she's alert.
Giving false information about a patient's condition to 911 can jeopardize the patient's life, because it can lead to inadequate help being sent. In a life-threatening situation, the patient needs the care of a paramedic. If the caller leads 911 staff to believe that the call is a routine transfer, only EMTs may be sent, meaning that there will be nobody on the ambulance crew qualified to perform intubations, administer lifesaving drugs, or use a defibrillator.
Ambulance staff found Tiller's contract abortionist, LeRoy Carhart, working on Christin in so inappropriate a manner that they didn't realize he was her doctor; they thought he was a bystander with no medical training. The medics resuscitated Christin, then transported her to the hospital. She was pumped full of antibiotics to try to treat the underlying sepsis that evidently had caused the cardiac arrest, but to no avail. She died that day of systemic organ failure.
The Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, launched an investigation into the circumstances in Texas leading to the fatal trip to Wichita, and subpoenaed Tiller as a "material witness." No Texas criminal charges were pending against Tiller. Wesley Medical Center was also subpoenaed. Christin's medical records were being requested for a Grand Jury investigation into possible felony sexual assault.
On February 2, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius sent a memo to Larry Buening, Executive Director of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts (BOHA) asking the board to investigate Christin's death. Tiller was, both independently and through his ProKanDo PAC, a major contributor to Sebelius' campaigns. The members of the medical board are political appointees who owe their positions to Sebelius. Not surprisingly, in spite of the lack of any evidence that Christin had health problems justifying the abortion, in spite of the fact that she was returned to the motel in the care of her parents when she was already suffering complications during an abortion ostensibly performed because the pregnancy was endangering her life or health, despite the fact that Carhart's attempts at resuscitation were appallingly inept, despite Tiller's staff lying to 911 dispatch, the board decided that no wrong had been done to this young woman.
I must reiterate: Tiller allegedly justified performing an abortion on Christin on the grounds that it was necessary to preserve her health or life. I find this claim to be highly dubious. Had the pregnancy posed a threat to Christin's life or health, it could have been terminated within an hour by performing an emergency c-section in any properly-equipped obstetric ward. How it was supposed to preserve Christin's life or health to instead drive her past any number of hospitals into another state, and to perform a three-day procedure with the patient spending the bulk of her time in a motel room under the supervision of only her parents is a mystery.
Operation Rescue West has confirmed that Tiller had, at the time of Christin's death, an arrangement with erstwhile abortionist Kristin Neuhaus, who is no longer permitted to perpetrate abortion in Kansas due to gross irregularities in her practice. Tiller provided a space in his facility for Neuhaus to meet with the patients, who would pay her with a separate check. Neuhaus then rubber-stamped their "need" for an abortion. Learn more here about how these abortions are justified.
Tiller was a member of the National Abortion Federation, which promises safe abortions performed in clinics that meet high standards of professionalism.
Christin's was not the only tragic death caused by doctors who recommended (or excused) abortion as a life-saving or health-preserving option for the mother:
- Allegra Roseberry was pushed into an abortion in order to obtain experimental cancer treatment.
- Anjelica Duarte sought an abortion on the advice of her physician, and ended up dying under the care of a quack.
- Barbara Hoppert died after an abortion recommended due to a congenital heart problem.
- Erika Peterson died in 1961 when her doctors obtained her husband‘s permission to perform a "therapeutic" abortion.
- "Molly" Roe died in 1975 when her doctors made the dubious decision to perform a saline abortion to improve her chances of surviving a lupus crisis.
These mothers met their deaths through abortion. When will their lives start to matter to the abortion lobby?
For more about Christin's life and death, see Justice for Christin.
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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