Abortion Victims Treated Like Zombies
Abortion advocates hold the specter of "back alley abortions" over people's heads, a threat of what women would face if "anti choice extremists" had their way. We are to trust the abortion lobby and pro-choice activists to look after the well-being of abortion-vulnerable women. "Trust us", they say. "We have women's best interests at heart."
It wasn't the self-appointed champions of women's lives and health who brought Kermit Gosnell down. They had spent decades carefully averting their eyes and ignoring what Gosnell was up to. It took an unrelated drug raid to bring in authorities who had not embraced the abortion cause. Only when law enforcement dragged the pro choice overseers, kicking and screaming, into Gosnell's filthy house of horrors, and -- most importantly -- when the media started paying attention, did these extremists drop their mantras of "Access Uber Alles" and "Abortion Macht Frei". Only when forced by outside agents did they finally relent, and shut Kermit Gosnell down.
Nobody as bad as Kermit Gosnell could have plied his trade unfettered for so long back before Roe. As Planned Parenthood's Mary Calderone pointed out in 1960, "Call them what you will, abortionists or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; and many of them are in good standing in their communities. They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is."
In 1959, Planned Parenthood's Alan Guttmacher said, "They have to be good to stay in business, since otherwise they would be extremely vulnerable to police action."
What would happen to the quality of care if the vulnerability was no longer there? In 1959, we would have had to guess what would happen if the threat of police action suddenly vanished. Today, we do not have to guess. We have tried the experiment. And we were seeing the results from the beginning.
One of the first criminal abortionists to flee the oppression of police supervision was Jesse Ketchum of Michigan. Although Ketchum's criminal abortion practice wasn't the best in the world, he evidently maintained some standards and protocols for screening patients. No patient deaths have been attributed to Ketchum's criminal practice.
When New York legalized abortion on demand in 1970, Ketchum set up shop in a Buffalo motel suite. For Ketchum, New York must have seemed like the Promised Land. Abortionists were flaunting safety standards with impunity. Practices such as injecting patients with saline then sending them home to abort raised eyebrows, to be sure, but they didn't get anybody thrown in jail. Ketchum, who had managed to keep his nose clean as a criminal abortionist, foud a way to call attention to himself as a legitimate abortionist.
Ketchum had decided to do hysterotomy abortions in his office. It didn't take long for this practice to turn deadly. In the second half of 1971, Ketchum caught the eyes of the authorities by allowing two hysterotomy patients -- Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner -- to bleed to death.
Ketchum was verily astounded when he was charged with homicide in Margaret Smith's death. Abortion, after all, was legal. How could one be prosecuted for doing something legal? When Roe v. Wade was handed down and assorted criminal abortionists started getting their old convictions thrown out, Ketchum tried Roe for leverage. He was to my knowledge unique in that he got nowhere. And to my knowledge, Ketchum is the only New York abortionist to be prosecuted for reckless endangerment resulting in the death of an abortion patient until David Benjamin was tried for the death of Guadalupe Negron in 1993. The rest just blithely went about their business, letting the women live or die, without fear of more than a slap on the wrist from the medical board or a lawsuit by the woman's survivors.
The New York State Assembly took away the realistic threat of punishment for seedy abortionists in 1970. The Supreme Court took it away from the rest of the country in 1973. And Kermit Gosnell is the logical end result of the blind trust prochoice extremists ask the rest of us to have in their care.
Left to oversee abortion on their own, pro choice extremists set the abortion standards bar so low that a snake would hit its head slithering under it. Even a snake like Kermit Gosnell.