Thursday, June 14, 2012

Did Legalization Save Women?

Did legalizing abortion stop women from dying at the hands of quack abortionists? Read about these women, who died on this date, and decide.

In June of 1916, Rosie Kawera of Chicago asked a friend to go with her to visit Mrs. Wilhelmina Benn, a licensed midwife. Rosie was twenty-nine years old, mother of an eleven-month-old baby, and two months pregnant. She borrowed $10 from her brother and went to Mrs. Benn's. While her friend waited in the kitchen, Kawera went into the bedroom, where Mrs. Benn inserted what Kawera called "a little pipe." Mrs. Benn told Kawera to keep it in overnight and to phone whenever she got "sick." Rosie died on June 14.

On June 7, 1930, 27-year-old Grace Iorio underwent an illegal abortion in the Chicago home of midwife Stepina Pazkiewicz. On June 14, Grace died at her home. 

Eighteen-year-old newlywed Barbaralee Davis called a local women's group for a safe and legal abortion referral. They sent her to a member of the newly founded National Abortion Federation, Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois. After the abortion, performed June 14, 1977 by Hope Medical Director Hector Zavalos, Barbaralee's sister helped her, pale and bleeding, to the car. Barbaralee slept in the back seat the whole way home, approximately a two-hour trip. Her sister helped her to bed. When Barbaralee's sister checked on her several hours later, she was unresponsive. She was rushed to the Pickneyville hospital, where an emergency hysterectomy was attempted to save her life. Barbaralee died during the surgery, leaving one child motherless. The autopsy found the face and spinal column of Barbaralee's baby embedded in a hole in her uterus. Barbaralee had bled to death.
Rosario Bermeo, age 30, died following a safe and legal abortionperformed by Dr. Joseph B. Shapse at Prospect Hospital in New York June 14, 1983. Shapse contended he had no responsibility for actions of the certified nurse anesthetist, and no responsibility to monitor and evaluate Rosario's condition during and immediately after the abortion. Therefore, he said, he was not to blame for her death from respiratory and cardiac arrest.

Angela Hall, a 27-year-old mother of five, called to arrange a safe, legal abortion at Thomas Tucker's office in Alabama. One of Tucker's employees, Joy Davis, screened Angela and felt that she had risk factors that made abortion in an office setting unsafe. Joy got on the phone with Tucker and indicated that she felt that Angela should be referred to a hospital. Tucker told Davis that "we need the money" and ordered her to prep Angela, who was in the second trimester of pregnancy. Angela underwent the abortion on June 11, 1991, and started having difficulty breathing. Her blood pressure fell, setting off an alarm on a piece of monitoring equipment. Tucker told Davis to turn the alarm off because other patients could hear it. Angela was sent to a recovery room where she bled so heavily that Davis became alarmed and called an ambulance. Tucker swore at Davis when he learned of this, and he had her cancel the ambulance because they'd already sent a patient to the hospital that day. Angela continued to hemorrhage, and Davis continued to plead with Tucker to take action. Finally Tucker cursed at Davis, telling her to call the ambulance, and he left the building, leaving the untrained woman to cope alone with the critically injured patient. Angela was taken to the hospital, where she suffered respiratory failure, clotting, and sepsis. She died just before midnight June 14. It is interesting to note that in the publicity surrounding the lawsuit filed by Angela's family, Ron Fitzsimmons of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, among other prochoice groups, balked at efforts to close Tucker down, on the grounds that he was Alabama's only abortionist, and that even he was better than no abortionist at all.

Oriane Shevin, age 34, died of infection following off-label use of RU-486 for a safe and abortion in California in 2005. Oriane got the drugs at the Eve Surgical Center. She took the mifeprestone on June 9 and vaginally inserted the misoprostol on June 10. Both Christopher Dotson, M.D. and Josepha Seletz, M.D. are associated with the facility. Oriane was an attorney with two young children, ages 3 and 4. She had sickened three days after taking the drugs, suffering from severe pain and havy bleeding, and was rushed by ambulance to Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, where she died on June 14 from severe metabolic acidosis and sepsis. Dotson has a spotted history. At the time of Oriane‘s abortion, Dotson had not yet completed eight years medical board probation for gross negligence and incompetence in causing the death of a patient. He had also worked at San Vicente Hospital, a notorious abortion mill that was bought out by Family Planning Associates Medical Group. San Vicente was where Sara Lint, Natalie Meyers, Joyce Ortenzio,Laniece Dorsey, and Mary Pena underwent their fatal abortions. Despite his appalling record, Dotson, through his Eve Surgical Center, is a member of the National Abortion Federation. 

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