Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Two Deaths: Illeval vs. Safe and Legal

On October 24, 1917, 24-year-old homemaker Stella Ahern died at her Chicago home from an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

Note, please, that with overall public health issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. In fact, due to improvements in addressing these problems, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

Fast forward to June 2 of 1979, when National Abortion Federation member Atlanta Women's Pavillion rose to new levels of incompetence when staff there managed to fatally injure two teenage abortion patients in less than an hour.It all began when 19-year-old Angela Scott stopped breathing in the recovery room. A nurse-anesthetist was administering anesthesia to 14-year-old Delores J. Smith while Dr. Jacob Adams was performing her abortion. The nurse-anesthetist ran to assist in efforts to revive Angela, leaving Delores unattended with her anesthesia drip still running. After staff had resuscitated Angela and loaded her into an ambulance, they returned their attention to Delores, who had gone into cardio-respiratory arrest. Adams had accompanied Angela to the Grady Memorial Hospital, and staff refused to release Deloris to an ambulance until the physician had returned to discharge her. This resulted in a 30-minute delay, during which the ambulance crew was unable to attend to Deloris or begin transporting her.Angela lingered for a week in a coma before dying on June 11. Deloris never regained consciousness and eventually was admitted to a nursing home, where she died of adult respiratory distress syndrome on October 24, 1979, some time after her fifteenth birthday.

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