Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Other February Deaths, All Historic

On this, the last day of February, let's take a moment to remember the women who died in February on dates I've been unable to narrow down.

Jessie Wicks, aka Mary Lee, "found herself in a peculiar situation" in February of 1854. She was advised to go to Mrs. M. J. Bord of Troy for an abortion. Mrs. Bord's profession is not given. Jessie went to Mrs. Bord's home, "and was put under a course of treatment which, after the most intense suffering, terminated in her decease. The circumstances of the case are of so revolting a nature, that to patricularizse in a newspaper, would be the height of impropriety."

Cordelia Calkins, who worked as a "ballet girl" in Brooklyn theaters, took up with Charles Young, the son of her boarding-house landlady. In mid-February of 1860, Cordelia told Charles that she was pregnant and asked him to help arrange an abortion. Charles got his brother William to buy a bottle of oil of tansy. The tansy, however, only succeeded in making Cordelia very sick. As her condition deteriorated over the ensuing days, somebody summoned a nearby doctor, H. W. Fowler, to care for her. Dr. Fowler administered witch-hazel and ginger tea to finish off the abortion, thinking that this would save Cordelia's life. "The decoction, however, while it added to her sufferings, did not answer the purpose for which it had been administered, and after lingering in great agony till Sunday afternoon, death came to her release." Don't blame the legal status of abortion for Cordelia's decision to go herbal -- some women continue to embrace herbal abortion. (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!)

Some time in February, 1916, Mrs. Ruth Camp died from complications of an illegal abortion performed in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bennett Graff was found guilty of murder in Ruth's death, and sentenced to 11 - 13 years in prison. Graff protested "stoutly" and appealed the conviction. Graff was also charged in the death of another woman from an illegal abortion, but I've been unable to get any details of that case.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

From 1914 and an Unknown Perp to 2002 at Planned Parenthood, a Half-Dozen Abortion Deaths

On February 28, 1914, 23-year-old homemaker Martha Kwasek died in Chicago from septicemia caused by an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

On February 28, 1918, 27-year-old Mrs. Catherine Lurandowski died at Chicago's County Hospital from an abortion perpetrated by Katerine Eichenberg on November 20 of 1917. Eichenberg, whose profession is given only as "abortion provider", was also noted as "known to police" and operating sometimes under the alias of Ekowski. Schaffer was later held responsible for the 1920 abortion death of 35-year-old Christina Anderson.

On Monday, January 6, 1930, young man brought a 17-year-old girl from Wellinton, Kansas, to Wichita to seek an abortion at the hands of Dr. C.C. Keester. They knew his name and looked him up in the phone book to find him. I'll call the man Mike, the girl Eudora. The couple told Keester that the girl was pregnant and wanted "an operation to get rid of the condition." Keester put her in some sort of reclining exam chair and examined her, then used instruments on her as Mike stood at her head and observed. Keester then helped Eudora from the chair and sent the couple to a hotel half a block away, where Keester kept his patients -- much the same way George Tiller would later use the Wichita LaQuinta as a sort of abortion clinic annex. Eudora took ill and after consultation with another doctor was admitted to a hospital, where she died on February 28.

Abortionist Angel Acevado Montalvo of the US Virgin Islands was charged with manslaughter in two cases of maternal deaths from safe and legal abortion. Diane Adams died February 28, 1992.

Andrea Marie Corey was 31 years old when she was referred by nearby Planned Parenthood to Southern Tier Women's Services in New York for a safe and legal abortion. Andrea was sent home after her abortion, but she had retained tissue that caused clostridium perfringens septicemia ("gas gangrene"). She died at Rutland Regional Medical Center on February 28, 1993.

Diana Lopez (pictured with her children), age 25, was 19 weeks pregnant when she went to a Planned Parenthood for a safe and legal abortion on February 28, 2002. Before the day was over, Diana had bled to death. She left two sons, 4-year-old Frankie and 2-year-old Fabian, motherless. The taxpayers of California paid for the fatal abortion, courtesy of Medi-Cal.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Three Equally Dead

On February 27, 1920, 28-year-old Sophie Krawczyk died in her Chicago home from an abortion perpetrated by Mary Simka, whose profession is listed only as "abortion provider." Simka was indicted for Sophie's death, but the case never went to trial.

On February 27, 1926, 36-year-old Anna Welger died in her home from complications of an abortion performed that day. Theresa Struhala was indicted for felony murder in Anna's death. Struhala's profession is not listed. John Welger, whose relationship to Anna was not disclosed, was booked as an accomplice, but was later released.

"Roseanne" was in the second trimester of pregnancy when she chose safe and legal abortion, permissable under New York's liberalized abortion law, in 1971. She was 37 years old, had had four children. She was infused with saline for the abortion. Two days later, she began vomiting and having siezures. She aspirated some of the vomit and developed pneumonia. The pneumonia took its toll. Roseanne died on February 27 from the pneumonia and anoxic brain damage.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

One Midwife, Two Doctors, Many Deaths

On February 6, 1924, Ida Cantor performed an abortion on Wanda Szidzewicz. Wanda developed septicemia after the abortion, and went to a hospital on February 11. She was treated there until her death on February 26. Testimony at Ida's trial indicated that Ida's profession was midwife. The jury found that Ida used improperly sterilized or non-sterile instruments in the abortion. A key part of the prosecution's case was a deathbed statement by the injured woman. After her conviction, Ida appealed, but her conviction was upheld. Wanda's widower, Waclaw , also successfully sued Ida.

The spring of 1932 brought a sudden string of criminal abortion deaths to Oklahoma City, attributed to two physicians in the University of Oklahoma area -- J.W. Eisiminger and Richard E. Thacker. Marie Epperson, just 19 years old, was an earlier victim, who had died February 26
, 1929. Her brother had told authorities about the abortion. Other abortion deaths attributed to Eisiminger and/or Thacker include . Isobel F. Ferguson, Ruth Hall, Virginia Lee Wyckoff, Lennis May Roach, Nancy Joe Lee, and Robbie Lou Thompson. This spree of death underscores the need to quickly identify and lock away abortionists before they kill again.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Two Professional and One Self-Induced

Jennie P. Clark's body was found stuffed into a trunk in Lynn, Massachusetts on February 27, 1879. The trunk, lodged in shallow, icy water, had a human hand protruding from it. It was weighted down with several bricks and two empty champagne bottles. Dr. Caroline C. Goodrich, a Boston woman, was arrested as the abortionist. Goodrich had performed the abortion at her practice, then lodged Jennie with maternity nurse Ella Forsyth, who was charged as an accessory after the fact because she learned about the abortion after Jennie took ill, and cooperated with the efforts of Dr. Daniel F. Kimball to hide Jennie's body after she died on February 25. The father of Jennie's baby, a married man, had asked that she be given a decent burial but took no further steps to see to it that his lover was given any dignity in death.

Dr. Lillian Hobbs (pictured) was convicted of murder in the February 25, 1916 abortion death of 21-year-old Alda Christopherson. The testimony of John K. McDonald, who was granted immunity in exchange, was crucial in the case. He was the father of Alda's aborted baby. As was typical, the conviction hinged on whether the jury believed McDonald, who asserted that Hobbs had performed the abortion, or Hobbs, who insisted that Alda had done the damage herself. The 1917 abortion deaths of Ruth Lemaire and Ellen Matson while Hobbs was awaiting trial likely sealed the jury's decision. Since Hobbs, Dr. Lucy Hagenow, and other criminal abortionists were so incorrigible, it is important that before Roe falls we tighten up the laws that allowed these quacks to continue to practice even after they had injured or killed a patient. Given the degree to which abortion supporters tend to deliberately turn a blind eye to butchers like Kermit Gosnell, the task will be difficult and will probably involve drafting laws that hold people legally responsible when they know about, but fail to report, abortionists who later kill their patients.

On February 25, 1918, 34-year-old homemaker Mary Mayer died at Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. The coroner found that she had died of septicemia following a self-induced abortion, which made her death unusual because most illegal abortions were, like Jennie's and Alda's, performed by doctors.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Four Criminal Deaths

Twenty-six-year-old doctor Lester C. Long married Helen Turner, daughter of Circuit Judge C. M. Turner of Cambridge, Illinois, in December of 1915. By February of 1916, the young couple's associates and neighbors began gossiping about a premature baby bump. Socially snubbed, the couple elected to get rid of the impending baby. Long made three surgical abortion attempts on his wife, and Helen grew successively more ill. Lester called in two other doctors, who refused to render aid until both husband and wife agreed to sign a document admitting to the abortion attempts. The aid of the other physicians came too late (not surprising, given sanitation and the state of medicine at the time), and Helen died at home on February 23, 1916

On February 23, 1917, 28-year-old Miss Bertha Dombrowski, who worked as a maid, died at Chicago's Garfield Park Hospital from an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

On February 23, 1928, 26-year-old waitress Martha S. Watson died in Chicago from an illegal abortion. The person or persons responsible were never identified or prosecuted.

On February 14, 1944, Amelia Cardito, 34-year-old mother of 4, underwent an illegal abortion at the office of Dr. Anthony Renda. Amelia died nine days later in a New York hospital. Renda, author of three books on obstetrics, may have been a smart doctor, but he was a stupid crook. He implicated himself when he called police to complain that Amelia's widower was shaking him down for funeral expenses. Renda was sentenced to 7 years in Sing-Sing for Amelia's death.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KS Medical Board Decides Rubber Stamping Late Abortions is Bad After All

‘Professionally incompetent’: Abortionist stripped of license over late-term abortion referralsLife Site News reports that erstwhile abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus deserved to have her license revoked for routinely rubber-stamping late-term abortion patients for the notorious George Tiller. Life Site News notes that "according to Administrative Judge Edward J. Gaschler, who wrote the Board’s initial order..., there was no evidence that Neuhaus ever saw many of the patients she referred for post-viability abortions."

Neuhaus reported used a computer program called "Psychmanager Lite" to generate a diagnosis without any sort of real evaluation being done on the patient.

Interestingly, even though the set-up for the rubber-stamping was one that Tiller himself set up and facilitated, even providing Neuhaus with space at his facility, the Board had declared Tiller guilty of no wrongdoing. Tiller, through his ProKanDo PAC, had generated massive amounts of campaign money for then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who appointed the medical board members to their positions. Once Tiller moved on to the afterlife and Sebelius moved on to Washington, suddenly this arrangement is worthy of revocation of a medical license.

Bribery, like advertising, obvious doesn't cost; it pays. If Neuhaus had just taken over Tiller's PAC and given the money to the current governor, maybe she'd still have her license.

Operation Rescue has some very interesting coverage of the hearing:

Psych Manager Lite? Day 1 of the Neuhaus Disciplinary Hearing Reveals Shoddy Record-Keeping, Diagnostics - First, Neuhaus's lawyer tried to get the Board's expert disqualified because she doesn't live in Kansas and thus wouldn't understand how Kansas law applied. The judge noted that standards of psychiatric care don't depend on geography. Next, the lawyer tried to get 10 of the 11 counts dismissed on the grounds that the law broken refers to "women," and that since those patients were all underage the word "women" couldn't apply to them. The judge agreed with the board that the law clearly was referring to any female of childbearing age.

To get information straight from the horse's mouth, Operation Rescue posted the Medical Board findings. Here is a sample of what the Board had to say about the assessment Neuhaus performed on her patients:

Patient 1: Age 16, 26+ weeks pregnant.
[Neuhaus] did not provide a review of the patient's psychiatric, medical, or developmental history, prior psychiatric treatment or symptoms, family history, family relationships, physical or sexual abuse, substance abuse, or any other possible cause of distress. [Neuhaus] did not document the patient's physical appearance, mood, or anything personal to Patient #1. There is no evidence of any type of mental status evaluation.
Patient #2: Age 10, victim of incest rape at age 9. From Patient #2's record, it's unclear if Neuhaus ever even met with her. The Board's expert noted that given Patient #2's age and history of incest and rape, she should have been evaluated by a specialist qualified to work with her, including input from other caregivers.

Patient #3: Age 15, 26 weeks pregnatn. The mental illness statement in this patient's file was completed by Tiller's staff. There was no appropriate review of Patient #3's history, as found with Patient #1.

Patient #4: Age 15, 28 weeks pregnant. Neuhaus diagnosed her with Acute Distress Disorder, Moderate, but made no record of whatever traumatic event "that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury" caused Patient #4's condition. The same shortcomings noted with the other patients were also seen here.

Patient #8: Age 13, 25 weeks pregnant. There was nothing in Patient #8's file indicating that she was dianosed with Suicide Ideation and Acute Stress Disorder, though this is what Neuhaus testified that she'd diagnosed. The same shortcomings in Neuhaus's evaluation (or rather, lack of evaluation) in other patients was noted with Patient #8 as well.

Patient #10: Age 18, 25 weeks pregnant. Neuhaus diagnosed her with Acute Stress Disorder, Severe, and listed the traumatic event "that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury" as "unintended pregnancy." Patient #10 had a history of psychiatric treatment but her history was never reviewed and there was no consultation with her treating physician. The same shortcomings in Neuhaus's evaluation (or rather, lack of evaluation) in other patients was noted with Patient #8 as well.

Furthermore:
In some cases, the patients were, according to [Neuhaus], suicidal. Yet, on not one single case did [Neuhaus] make any recommendations that the patient be seen by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or any other type of mental health behavior. The Licensee simply referred each patient for a pregnancy termination. If the Licensee sincerely believed that the patients were seriously mentally ill, it would seem likely that a treating physician would recommend treatment for these rather serious mental illnesses. Yet, [Neuhaus] ignored these alleged mental illnesses.


(Image courtesy of Life Site News)

Woman Attributes Heart Attack Symptoms to Recent Abortion, Dies

Shirley Hollis, a 30-year-old mother of two, had an abortion performed by Bruce Lucero on February 22, 1991.

Shortly after she went home, she was short of breath, had pain in her arms, and was vomiting. Her boyfriend called the clinic and was told to bring her to the emergency room. Shirley wanted to wait, thinking the symptoms were related to the abortion and would go away on their own.

Shortly afterward, Shirley had a heart attack, and her boyfriend called 911 and started CPR.
The ambulance took Shirley to the hospital, where she died.

The autopsy found that Shirley had severe coronary artery disease, which had never been diagnosed. Shirley's mother faulted Lucero with Shirley's death because he failed to detect her heart problem when he examined her at the abortion facility.

Although the abortion did not directly cause Shirley's death, I list her as an abortion death because her belief that the abortion was causing her symptoms led her to make the fatal delay seeking appropriate medical care. But this is also that rare case where I can find no fault with the abortion facility.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1929: Virginia Clark

On February 21, 1929, 26-year-old Virginia Clark died of complications of a botched, illegal abortion. G. W. Wilbanks and W. A. N. Jones were charged with murder in her death. Wilbanks was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and the following information comes from the Westlaw commentary on his appeal.

Virginia was treated prior to her death by a Dr. McArthur, who testified as to her dying declaration. He said that Virginia told him that when she learned that she was pregnant, she told the man responsible that "something would have to done about it." He made arrangements for an abortion to be performed by a doctor. The paramour brought the doctor to Virginia, and he used medicine and instruments on her. The procedure was so painful that Virginia asked him to stop, so the doctor administered chloroform. According to Dr. McArthur, Virginia told him that this abortion "was what had butchered her up and was killing her."

Virginia didn't tell her mother, Mrs. Goodwyne, about the abortion. Mrs. Goodwyne testified, "She (Virginia Clark) said that she went to the theatre [in Atlanta] or something, and it seemed like there was something broke, and she said she thought she wouldn't be able to get back to the hotel, but she did."

Wilbanks tried to get his conviction overturned on the grounds of the difference between what Virginia told her mother, and what she told Dr. McArthur as she lay dying.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Five From the Dark Ages and One From Our Days of Enlightenment

An inquest was held in the February 20, 1856 death of Catharine DeBreuxal. A witness testified that Catharine suffered "a violent hemorrhage" at Dr. Cobel's house, where she had remained for a few days. The coroner's jury called for the arrest of Cobel, as well as of Francis Legoupil, as an accessory.

Ida Prochnow, a 35-year-old German-born homemaker, died in St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Chicago on February 20, 1906, from an abortion performed earlier that day. Midwife Madaline Motgna was arrested in the death.

The Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database indicates that on February 20, 1916, 19-year-old Bertha Carlson died at South Park Hospital in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. Bertha was described as a white woman of English-Anglo descent. It is unclear where the abortion took place. The "Circumstances" indicate "Immediate -- death occurred at the crime scene", but the narrative said that the abortion was "performed by unknown person at place unknown." Either way, it is believed that she died the day of the abortion, since the date of offense and date of death are the same.

Meanwhile in Denver, Ada Williams, who had decided to have an abortion performed by Dr. Noble O. Hamilton before traveling to Nebraska for the impending birth of a sibling, died of sepsis on February 20 in spite of the efforts of Hamilton, two other doctors, and the local hospital.

On February 20, 1927, 23-year-old Angenita Hargarten died in her home from an abortion performed there that day. Midwives Anna Trezek and Frances Raz were held by the coroner, Trezek as the principal and Raz as her accomplice.

We can now move forward to more enlightened times: Missouri, 1988. Dr. Scott Barrett ran Central Health Center for Women, an abortion facility, in the basement of a used car dealership. Barrett had a method of knocking his patients out for their abortions by overdosing them with local injections of Lidocaine. Sometimes they'd stop breathing, but he always managed to resuscitate them. That is, until the unfortunate Stacy Ruckman, age 23, came to him on February 20. He at least called an ambulance, and the medics were able to restore a pulse, but by then Stacy's brain damage was irreversible and she was removed from life support shortly before midnight. An expert in anesthesiology estimated that Barrett had pushed over ten times a therapeutic dose of Lidocaine into Stacy.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Two deaths in 1916

On February 19, 1916, homemaker Mary Peckman, age 24, died in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. She refused to name her killer. This is something I've always had a hard time understanding. If somebody's quackery is costing you your life, why would you spend your last hours on earth protecting them at the cost of the safety of other women in situations like yours?

Some time in February, 1916, Mrs. Ruth Camp died from complications of an illegal abortion performed in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bennett Graff was found guilty of murder in Ruth's death, and sentenced to 11 - 13 years in prison. Graff protested "stoutly" and appealed the conviction. Graff was also charged in the death of another woman from an illegal abortion, but I've been unable to get any details of that case.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Two 19th Century Deaths

In mid-February of 1860, 18-year-old Cordelia Calkins was living with her 16-year-old sister in a Brooklyn boarding house. They worked intermittently as "ballet girls" in theaters. When Cordelia got pregnant by her landlady's son, Charles Young, and he procured a bottle of oil of tansy for her to do an herbal abortion. Cordelia succeeded only in making herself very ill. A nearby doctor did what he could for her, but she died on February 18, insisting to the end that the fatal abortion was entirely her own doing. Don't blame the legal status of abortion for Cordelia's decision to go herbal -- some women continue to embrace herbal abortion. (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!)

At about 2:00 p.m. on February 18, 1883, Kittie O'Toole died at the office of Dr. C. H. Orton in Milwaukee. Ortin had performed the fatal abortion on her. I have no further information on Kittie's death.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Carnage Carries On

Before her death on February 17, 1917, 20-year-old stenographer Edna May Lamb reported that Dr. Charles Klinetop had packed her cervix with gauze in order to cause an abortion. Klinetop was held by the Coroner and indicted on March 15 by a Grand Jury, but the case never went to trial. A likely factor in the decision not to prosecute was the lack of a dying declaration.

On February 17, 1929, 25-year-old Violet Diancalana died in the home of Katherine Bajda, of complications of a criminal abortion performed on her there that day. Mrs. Bajda, identified as a homemaker, was held by the coroner and indicted for felony murder by a grand jury.

Elsewhere in Chicago on that very same day, 23-year-old Gladys Schaffer died after from a criminal abortion was performed. She died on the spot, in the home of midwife Emma Schulz, where the abortion had been performed. Though evidently Schulz had indeed performed an abortion on Gladys, the coroner determined that Gladys had actually died from an ectopic pregnancy, thus indicating that Shulz had not caused the death. Nevertheless, on April 15, she was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury. Schulz had managed to remain free to ply her abortion trade despite having been arrested the previous year for the death of 23-year-old Lucille Smith.

On February 17, 1949, the battered body of Roberta Shirley Danks, a 28-year-old war widow from Chicago, was found crumpled on a rural road near Chesterton, Indiana. She had bruises over her body and a deep gash on her head, but an autopsy revealed that these injuries had been sustained after her death, evidently to try to make Roberta appear to be the victim of a hit-and-run driver. She had actually died of peritonitis from a criminal abortion performed several days earlier by a physician in the basement of the Chicago home of 40-year-old housewife Olive Janes.

Lisa Bardsley was 26 years old and at least 20 weeks pregnant when she had a safe and legal abortion done by Dr. John Biskind (pictured) at A to Z Women's Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona on February 16, 1995. On the way home to northern Arizona, she took ill, so she and the friend who had accompanied her stopped at a motel and called for medical help. Lisa was taken to a hospital in Cottonwood, where she died of blood loss from a uterine laceration on February 17. Biskind went on to get into further trouble for delivering a live, nearly term infant during an abortion performed on a teenager, and for the abortion death of Lou Ann Herron., for which he was convicted of manslaughter. The clinic where Lisa was fatally injured was owned by abortionist Moshe Hachamovitch, who was implicated in the abortion deaths of Christina Goesswein, Tanya Williamson, Luz Rodriguez, and Jammie Garcia.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The World of the "Abortion Doula"

This gruesome little article goes straight into the realm of inadvertent honesty in its subtitle, saying, "Pro-Choice Activists Eschew Policy Debates for Flesh and Blood Activism."

The flesh and blood, of course, belongs to the children that these "doulas" are assisting into the specimen container in ragged shreds, but this fact seems to be lost on the author.

The most disturbing aspect of the whole thing is the degree to which these activists have embraced abortion not so much for as in spite of the women that they purport to help.

I find the whole thing hard to stomach, starting with the photo of the two smiling young "doulas" who find it just as satisfying to help a demoralized woman kill a baby as to help a joyous woman deliver a baby. Also creepy is the fact that the "doula" class reportedly includes some pediatricians. It's like finding out that a dogfighting ring is run by a bunch of volunteers from the Humane Society.

The world of the "abortion doula" is one where abortion is embraced and women are trivialized.
“We often ask patients their star-sign,” Ms. Mitchell told The Observer in an interview after the class let out. .... “When a patient is nervous or anxious, telling them a little about their sign can take their mind off the abortion—everyone loves to hear about themselves.”
The focus on small talk, on keeping the woman's mind off of what's happening, speaks of a profound disrespect. The woman isn't getting a splinter removed. She's doing something that is ending a life and changing forever who she is. But it's so much easier to just tell her her horoscope. (If I were clever enough, I'd note something pithy about the "horrorscope" through which the woman will view this day for the rest of her life.)

"Doula" Rebecca Stanton recalled parents who brought their 13-year-old honor-student daughter to New York for a 21-week abortion.
“The girl was very quiet,” Ms. Stanton recalled. “I am not even sure if she knew she was having sex. She was overweight, and her family didn’t find out she was pregnant until she was 21 weeks along.”
I'm not noticing any concern about whether or not the girl was the one choosing this abortion, or whether her parents had chosen it so they didn't have to be embarrassed that the subject of their bumper sticker had gotten knocked up. There is no concern on the "doula's" part about why the girl was so quiet or why she had kept her pregnancy a secret. Was it to prevent being dragged off for an abortion? The "doula" neither knows nor cares.

Equally absent is any concern about how a 13-year-old girl ended up pregnant. Was the baby's father a peer? A teacher or coach or other adult that needed to be arrested? Or -- God forbid -- the father who was so eager to sweep his grandchild away? Again, the "doula" neither knows nor cares.
During the doula training, one instructor explained how to help clients who don’t speak English. She sucked in her breath, and moved her arms encouragingly. “I try to mime how to breathe, like an owl: ‘who, who.’ At first they think you are crazy, but they realize you are trying to help.
I'm not reading any concern about whether or not these women have gotten counseling and informed consent in a language they understand. If they need to have a total stranger as a hand-holder, odds are they don't have anybody who has been translating for them except perhaps a clinic worker, who has a vested financial interest in the situation. Just like the quiet 13-year-old honor student, their actual hopes and dreams and beliefs aren't relevant. The abortion itself, not the woman, is the focus.

It gets worse:
Ms. Mitchell estimated that doulas see about 15–20 later term abortions a week, and about 75 first trimesters. .... She handed out flash cards with real-life situations. The first read: “A woman tells you, ‘I just killed my baby.’ How do you respond?” The students broke into groups to discuss the question. Many came up with a similar answer: Explain that the procedure is legal because the fetus is not a baby, it just has the potential to be one.
In other words, totally stomp down the woman's own feelings, beliefs, and thoughts and replace them with your own. Is anybody seeing a pattern here?
In an interview with The Observer, [Mitchell] joked that she sometimes wants to automatically reject the abortion doula applications of pro-choice activists, because it’s so hard to go from pro-choice rhetoric to supporting real people who don’t necessarily find their abortions empowering.
And rather than try to understand where those women are coming from -- and daring to question whether or not this non-empowering abortion really is what the women wants or needs -- the "abortion doula" movement seeks to train its members in how to ignore the issue, just as it needs for them to ignore what's coming up next.
Those pictures pro-life activists flash are real,” Ms. Mahoney said. “That is what a fetus looks like when its head is crushed. When you see the procedure, you must decide, as a pro-choice person, whether you are in or out.”
So Mahoney is admitting that being close to abortion -- to women who cry that they've killed their babies, to women who feel trapped and not empowered, to the crushed remains of what you've just insisted isn't a baby but sure looks like one -- isn't very conducive to being cheerfully pro-choice. (She's not the only one to observe this.)

The very next sentence raises the creepy quotient:
She’s thought about it a lot. “I have never been more in,” she said.
Seeing how un-empowered the women are, listening to them cry about their dead children, and seeing the mangled bodies makes Mahoney even more devoted to the cause. Which raises the question, "Why?" It's a question she doesn't really answer. What is it about abortion that so engages her?

The "abortion doulas" -- who, let me reiterate, immerse themselves in abortion to the point where they deliberately teach themselves to tune out not only the destruction of the baby, but the qualms and despair and anguish of the mother -- then turn the discussion to strategies for "access" if abortions become criminalized or harder to arrange outside New York. One plan is to use insurance fraud.
At many public hospitals in New York, abortion is on a sliding-fee scale like any other surgery. With proof of residence and a low income, a patient can be treated for around $150, payable over time. “Find a friend in New York City, get an address and mail yourself something, go to New York the next week and get your abortion fee scaled,” one pro-choice advocate suggested.
Good luck to the taxpayers of New York trying to collect the $150 "payable over time" from somebody who has provided a false address and lives out-of-state.

These "abortion doulas" have entered a state of thrall, where abortion is the master, they are the servants, and the women they're ostensibly there to help are merely the means by which the master is served.

And even if you consider yourself pro-choice, that ought to be a pretty disturbing thing.

Four Deaths From the Bad Old Days

Today's anniversaries are all pre-legalization deaths, including two unusual deaths: one by a perpetrator whose profession I've been unable to determine, and one self-induced. Most illegal abortions were performed by doctors, with midwifes and nurses and other trained medical professionals taking up almost all of the remainder. Only a few were performed by laypersons, and most of them still had some training and backup from a physician. Though self-induced abortions were rare, they were the most dangerous, and thus would account for a higher proportion of deaths.

On February 16, 1890, Mrs. Mary Keegan died from complications of an illegal abortion performed that day. Mary died at the location where the abortion was performed. Mrs. Annie Schneider was arrested and held by the Coroner's Jury. Mrs. Schneider is described as employed in an unidentified profession.

On February 16, 1918, 34-year-old Helen Noah, a homemaker, died in at Presbyterian Hospital in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The autopsy concluded that she had performed a self-induced abortion using a catheter. She died of septicemia.

On February 16, 1925, 28-year-old homemaker Agnes Crowe died in Chicago's West Side Hospital from a criminal abortion performed that day. The coroner indicated that a female midwife was responsible for Agnes' death, but did not name the guilty party.

On February 16, 1929, Mrs. Ruth Weir, of East Orange, New Jersey, died at Orange Memorial Hospital of sepsis contracted through a criminal abortion. Dr. Maurice Sturm was arrested when Ruth implicated him in a deathbed statement. Sturm admitted to performing the abortion, but insisted that it had not been illegal because it was necessary to save Ruth's life. The District Attorney claimed that Sturm failed to keep proper records, including concealing names and appointments of patients. Sturm, who was later acquitted of the manslaughter charge in Ruth's death, alleged during his trial that a judge had demanded bribe money from him to dismiss the case, but that $1000 he had given the judge was a gift and not part of the bribe money.

external image Illegals.png

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Putting "Kitchen Table Abortions" into Context

As I've said before, tales of kitchen-table abortions in the "bad old days" need to be placed in the context of their times, when kitchen-table surgery wasn't at all unusual and any surgery was much riskier than it is today:
  • House Calls and Home Care: "One account of kitchen table surgery performed by Drs. Eustace and Mary Sloop around 1917 seems incredible by today’s standards. A 13-year-old girl in the mountains of Avery County urgently needed kidney surgery that winter. Impassable frozen creeks delayed the doctors for days, but they finally reached the girl’s home by horseback. They placed the girl on a sterile sheet on the kitchen table and had her mother administer ether. Curious neighbors and relatives pressed in close to watch and kept trying to touch the surgical instruments. A chicken strutted in, flew up in the air and landed on the girl’s stomach. The doctors feared the worst, but amazingly, the girl lived. Six weeks later, she walked down the mountain to visit her doctors."
  • The Dust Bowl Years: "Another dust-caused ailment of the period was ruptured appendixes. Country doctors who encountered a rash of them, were unable to perform even kitchen-table surgery while the dust blew, but without sophisticated help developed their own, drastic, simple procedures for coping. Rather than operating to remove the infected organs, they simply inserted drains so that the pus could run out. Their survival rates were phenomenally high in the pre-antibiotic era when a ruptured appendix ordinarily was a death warrant. Medical journals published later, when the doctors had time to write up their findings, describe the new procedures developed out of desperation."
  • Modern Surgery Founded On The Kitchen Table: The Amazing Dr. William Halsted: "One night in 1882, a critically ill 70-year-old woman was at the verge of death at her daughter’s home, suffering from fever, crippling pain, nausea, and an inflamed abdominal mass. At 2:00AM, a courageous surgeon put her on the kitchen table and performed the first known operation to remove gallstones. The patient recovered uneventfully. The patient was the surgeon’s own mother." I recommend reading the entire piece to get a picture of medical practice of the time, and thus a perspective on abortion stories from that era.
  • A smartass editor at Wikipedia decided that the article on operating tables needed to be punched up a bit, and embellished it with wisdom from a 1939 home medical book. "An improvised suitable operating table can be composed of two kitchen tables that are placed from end to end. However, such an improvised operating table should be cleaned thoroughly by scrubbing it with soap and water, then dried with a clean towel. A blanket that is folded double is placed on top of the improvised operating table. A waterproof sheet is placed over the folded blanket. Then, a laundered ordinary sheet is placed over the waterproof sheet." (The Modern Home Physician, A New Encyclopedia of Medical Knowledge)

I'd welcome other examples.To email this post to a friend, use the icon below.

Doctors, Husbands, Friends, and Death

On February 15, 1917, 28-year-old Marie Benzing died at Chicago Union Hospital from an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. Helen Dugdale. Dugdale was arrested on February 18 and indicted by a Grand jury on March 15, but the case never went to trial.

Margaret Marts tried to pressure her family doctor into performing an abortion on her when she discovered she was pregnant in January of 1920, insisting that she'd rather die than have another baby. Instead of addressing her distressed mental state, the doctor tried to convince her that she wasn't pregnant. Margaret found another doctor, E. Anderson, who was willing to do the abortion, and had some friends come to her home to assist. When she became deathly ill with sepsis afterward, she realized that she hadn't really meant it when she'd said she'd rather die than give birth, and lamented that she had trusted Anderson's assurances that an abortion would be safe and easy. But by then the damage was done. Margaret died on February 15.

University students Nina Harding (pictured) and Logan Pierce, children of wealthy families, had been engaged for about a year when they suddenly eloped and moved into a Chicago rooming house on February 20, 1925. Four days later, late in the evening of Valentine's Day, Logan took a gravely ill Nina to the Chicago Lying-In Hospital and promptly disappeared, leaving her to die the following night, alone but for the strangers who had fought in vain to save her life. Warrants were quickly issued for the arrest of the flighty husband, and for notorious Chicago abortionist Dr. Lucy Hagenow. Other Chicago abortion deaths linked to Hagenow include Marie Hecht, May Putnam, Lola Madison, Annie Horvatich, Lottie Lowy, Jean Cohen, Bridget Masterson, Elizabeth Welter, and Mary Moorehead.

Doris Grant, age 32, was admitted by W. W. Williams to Doctor's Hospital in Los Angeles for a safe and legal abortion February 11, 1971. Doris bled heavily afterward, and doctors discovered that she'd actually had an ectopic pregnancy. Despite aggressive efforts, including a hysterectomy, Doris bled to death on February 15.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Safe and Legal in Illinois: Deaths in 1998, 2001, and 2009

I'd contacted the Pro Life Action League about the deaths Meghan Twohey wrote about in the Chicago Tribune. John Jansen really came through for me with one of the Meghan Twohey deaths, plus two other Illinois deaths I'd been unaware of.

First is the 2009 death Twohey wrote about, of a teenager who died at Woman's Aid Clinic. Antonesha Ross went in for an abortion on May 8. Dr. Josephine Kamper performed the abortion, while CRNA Lawrence Hill administered anesthesia. During the abortion, Antonesha's blood oxygen saturation fell to between 80% and 90%, and she began to cough up blood through her mouth and nose. An employee gave her a bag to breathe into. Needless to say, this wasn't any help, and Antonesha went into cardio-respiratory arrest. She was not provided with proper resuscitation, and she died, leaving behind 1 1/2-year-old Antonio and 6-month-old Antwane.

On January 22, 2001, 19-year-old Melissa Heim went to Access Health Center in Downers Grove, Illinois.She was given "twilight anesthesia" with a drug cocktail including Versed, Fentanyl, and Brevital for an abortion, which started at about 11:45 a.m. and was finished at about noon. After the abortion, she was moved to the recovery area, where she went into cardio-respiratory arrest about half an hour later. An ambulance was summoned, and Melissa was resuscitated by the paramedics, but due to the brain injury she had suffered, she died on January 26.

Seventeen-year-old Janice Gumm went to Dimensions Medical Center for an abortion on December 5, 1998, to be performed under anesthesia. Her abortionist was Dr. Jesse Chandler, and the anesthesiologist was Dr. Murray Rosenberg of Hospital Anesthesia Group. The suit by Janice's survivors held that Dimensions failed to perform an adequate physical examination prior to the abortion, particularly in that they did not properly assess her increased risks due to the fact that she had asthma. As a result, Janice suffered an anesthesia-related complication that resulted in her death that day.

I'm still looking for information about the following deaths:
  • Maurice Stevenson's wife, who died in 2002 from an infection after an abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood
  • A teenage girl who went into cardio-respiratory arrest and died immediately after an abortion performed in 2009 in a suburban northern Illinois clinic
  • A patient who died in 2008 after an abortion at Planned Parenthood
John Jansen believes that the teenager who died in 2009 is Antonesha, that there were six, not seven, deaths that Meghan Twohey uncovered. I'm still trying to get in touch with her to find out.

Rich and poor, black and white, the end was the same

Today's abortion victims couldn't have been more different. One was white, the daughter of privilege, a globe-trotting society girl who had eloped after a whirlwind romance. The other was Black, studying hard at a community college. One died from a "brutal and inept" abortion at the hands of a perpetrator who was never identified. The other went for her abortion to a facility held in the highest regard by those who champion abortion -- safe, easily accessible abortion -- as an absolute and non-negotiable right.

What both these young women had in common was the belief that a secret abortion was a good idea.

One would expect that the rich woman would enjoy the services of a high-end practitioner, and that the financially-strapped student would be scraping the bottom of the barrel. But that's not how life played out. It was the wealthy heiress, Florence Nimick Schnoor, who was the victim of a criminal quack. Her less privileged sister, Edrica Goode, went to a reputable facility.

We will never know why Florence, who could have afforded the best quality medical care in the world, went to an unnamed butcher in New York City. But we can guess why Edrica stepped confidently into a Planned Parenthood. All she would have had to do was buy into popular belief, and to trust that the Beautiful People, people like Scarlet Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow, would never lend their names to a den of quackery where a woman need fear for her life.

Aside from their belief that abortion was a solution to life's problems, Florence and Edrica share one more thing: Neither one will ever be featured on the National Organization for Women's web site lamenting needless abortion deaths. Their deaths just don't fit the narrative.

Monday, February 13, 2012

One Down, Four to Go

On the 10th, I blogged that the Fatality Fairy had failed me regarding five abortion deaths in Illinois. Well, thanks to AbortionDocs.org, I have one of those five deaths detailed.

On December 10, 1998, Nakia "Kia" Jorden, who would have graduated from Hyde Park High School in 2000, died of anesthesia complications during an abortion at the Albany Medical Surgical Center at 5086 North Elston Avenue in Chicago.

She left as her survivors her parents, Pamela and Bennard Jorden, and sisters, twins Jalisha and Shalisha. They filed suit against Albany, Family Planning Associates Medical Group, abortionist Steve Lichtenberg, and nurse anesthetist Lawrence Hill.

Promised Marriage, Delivered to Death, and A Midwife's Fatal Handiwork

Jemima Beneway's finance, John Olmstead, told Jemima's parents that he wanted to take her to his parents' home in Connecticut for the wedding. They agreed, and at half-past nine on February 4, 1858, Jemima's happy friends and parents fondly saw the couple off at the train station, heading for New York City. But the couple never proceeded to Connecticut for the wedding. Instead, Olmstead took Jemima to a "house of ill fame" in New York, where she died on February 13 from an abortion performed by Dr. Milton W. Gray.

Anna P. Fazio, age 20, underwent an illegal abortion performed about February 2, 1929, at the Chicago home of midwife Marie Zwienczak. Anna died on February 13. Zwienczak was arrested March 1, as recommended by the coroner. Stephanie Paczkiewicz was booked on February 23 as an accessory, but was not mentioned in the verdict. Zwienczak was indicted for homicide by a grand jury. She was tried, and was sentenced on June 20 to 14 years at Joliet Penitentiary.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Two Illegal and Two "Therapeutic" Abortions, All Fatal

On February 11, 1907, housemaid Nellie Walsh, a 28-year-old Irish immigrant, was brought to National Emergency Hospital in Chicago in grave condition from complications of a criminal abortion. A curettage was performed to try to save her life, but her condition continued to deteriorate. The next day, February 12, the doctor told Nellie that there was nothing more that could be done for her, and that she was dying. Head nurse Cora Bachino asked Nellie if she'd like a priest to administer last rites. Nellie answered yes, and a priest was brought to her. After last rites, Nellie made her dying declaration, naming Dr. Adolph Buettner as her abortionist. Less than an hour later, she died.

Dr. A.B.C. Davis maintained an office, operating rooms, and rooms with beds for patients in Oklahoma City. Mary Sudik, age 20, and her husband, Ernest Sudik, lived some miles southeast of Oklahoma City, on a truck farm. Early in February, 1923, Mary found out that she was pregnant, and that she and her husband asked around for an abortionist and were referred to Davis. Mary developed an infection that ended her life on February 12.

Bonnie Fix, a 38-year-old mother of four, was admitted to Fresno Community Hospital on February 7, 1974 for an
abdominal hysterectomy abortion, done for unspecified medical reasons. Several days later, Bonnie started to suffer bowel and lung problems. She went into cardiac arrest and died on February 12.

Elise Kalat was 22 years old, a clerk in a photography studio, when she underwent a "therapeutic" abortion sometime around February 10, 1987. Two days after this safe, legal abortion, her bronchial tubes went into spasms and caused her to go into respiratory arrest. She died at Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 12, 1987.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"While you're here," and three other fatal abortion cases

During early 1861, Caroline Malinken, age 35, approached Dr. John H. Joecken, who was caring for her ailing husband in their Brooklyn home, about an abortion. "The doctor replied that it was the easiest thing imaginable, and that in eight days all would be over." Joecken set to work on Caroline, "and by the use of drugs as well as instruments succeeded in making her very sick." Over the course of several days her condition deteriorated. She died late Monday night, February 11.

On February 11, 1916, 42-year-old Eva Krakonowicz died in her Chicago home from an abortion perpetrated that day by midwife Agnes Dzugas. Dzugas was held by the coroner and indicted by a Grand Jury on February 1, but the case never went to trial.

Dawn Ravenell's parents didn't even know their 13-year-old daughter was pregnant until they got a phone call from St. Luke's hospital telling them that she was 'fighting for her life." A school counselor had arranged the secret abortion, which Dawn's 15-year-old boyfriend paid for with a credit card borrowed from a relative. When Dawn began to vomit and choke during the procedure, Dr. Alan Kline put a breathing tube in and shunted her off to the recovery room, where she was left unattended for over an hour. She died on February 11, 1985, without ever regaining consciousness.

DaNette Pergusson, a 19-year-old medical assistant, submitted to a safe, legal abortion on February 11, 1992, at the hands of Robert Tarnis of Phoenix, Arizona. During the abortion, DaNette stopped breathing, and paramedics were summoned. The Maricopa County deputy medical examiner determined that DaNette died from a pulmonary embolism.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Fatality Fairy has Failed me Again

Supporters of legal abortion sometimes snark at me based on the assumption that the post-Roe deaths on the Cemetery of Choice somehow include every single woman who has lost her life to a safe, legal abortion. I've often wondered how it is that they conclude that I magically know about all of them. Does the Fatality Fairy leave a summary under my pillow?

Well, if that's how it happens, the Fatality Fairy has fallen asleep on the job, because thanks to the diligent young 'uns at Life Report, I have a whole batch of safe-n-legal abortion deaths I'd previously not known about. Evidently neither had the state of Illinois. And if they weren't reported at the state level, I'd lay even money the CDC didn't have a clue either.



Here's the Chicago Tribune article Josh talks about:

"State abortion record full of gaps," by Megan Twohey, June 16, 2011

I'll not go into details about the overall FUBAR status of the reporting, with multiple abortion facilities lurking in the depths. I'll just look at the deaths that Ms. Twohey uncovered and we'll see which ones I missed:
  • Maurice Stevenson's wife, who died in 2002 from an infection after an abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood
  • A teenage girl who went into cardio-respiratory arrest and died immediately after an abortion performed in 2009 in a suburban northern Illinois clinic
  • A patient who died in 2008 after an abortion at Planned Parenthood
  • Family Planning Associates deaths in 1998, 1999, and 2000
  • A 2009 death at Women's Aid Clinic of Lincolnwood
So that's one death in Illinois in each year: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2008, plus two in 2009.

Let's hit the Cemetery of Choice and see what I have:

In 1998, I have Tamika Dowdy and Venus Ortiz in New York, Lou Ann Herron in Arizona, Kendra McLeod in North Carolina, and Virginia Wolfe in Texas. I have nobody in Illinois. So I have no idea who it is that they killed at Albany Medical Surgical Center that year in Chicago.

In 1999, I have Shelby Moran in Illinois, but she died in a nursing home from lingering complications of an abortion at a hospital years earlier. She's not the one mentioned in the story. I have "Yvonne" in Louisiana. And I have Maria Leho at Albany in Chicago. So that's one.

In 2000, I have L'Echelle Head in Ohio, Kimberly Neil in California, Semika Shaw in Pennsylvania, Nicey Washington in New York, and yes, Maria Rodriguez at Albany in Chicago. that's two.

In 2002, I have Diana Lopez in California, "Adelle" in Virginia, Brenda Vise in Tennessee, and Stacy Zallie in New Jersey. So I had nothing on Maurice Stevenson's wife.

In 2008, I have nobody, so I don't have any idea who Planned Parenthood killed.

And in 2009, I have Ying Chen in California and Karnamaya Mongar in Pennsylvania. I have no idea who the two dead Illinois women were.

So out of seven deaths that one reporter found in a docket search, I had information about two of them, or 29%.

Like I said, the Fatality Fairy has really dropped the ball on this one. Time for me to do some research.

1957: You can't explain away a bloody woman in the front seat of your car

On February 10, 1957, veterinarian Ira Ledbetter performed an abortion on 38-year-old Alice Kimberly. Ledbetter used a veterinary instrument called a milk tube on Alice, causing lacerations and an embolism. A milk tube is a cannula with a bulb syringe attached, which sounds very much like the early abortion device popularized by Harvey Karman. Alice quickly died of her injuries, leaving Ledbetter with a dead woman in his car and no very convincing story to explain how she got there.

My recent research uncovered more about Alice's fatal choice. Click on her name to learn more.

Alice's abortion was unusual in that it was not preformed by a physician, as was by far the most typical scenario. Still, it was performed by somebody with medical training, which was unusual but still more common than amateur or self-induced abortions.

external image Illegals.png

The Abortion Rate Among Planned Parenthood's Clients: 7X the National Average



A recap of what Jennie so eloquently puts forth:

The number of abortions in America has remained stable for over a decade, but since 1996, Planned Parenthood's abortion numbers have gone up every year since 1996. Their 2009 Annual Report and 2011 Fact Sheets are the source of the numbers Jennie uses.

Planned Parenthood does over 27% of all abortions in the United States.

In 2009, they provided 10 million services to 3 million clients. Just over 332,000 of those services were abortions, which is where they get their 3% number. (300,000 abortions out of 10 million services)

But 332,000 abortions for 3,000,000 clients means that 11% of their clients were getting abortions. (You don't have to take Jennie's word for it. This Planned Parenthood fact sheet notes that the percentage of Planned Parenthood clients who receive abortion services is 11%.)

And that's a percent of their clients, I'd add, which includes men.

Now I'm going to let Jennie go her way and I'll go mine.

The Centers for Disease Control, which tracks abortion statistics among other things, notes that the abortion rate in the United States is 16 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age, or 1.6%.

Let's just assume that Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific is typical, and that 95% of their clients are female female, for 2.85 million women per year. The abortion rate among Planned Parenthood's clients is 11.6%, or 116 per 1,000.

That means that the abortion rate among Planned Parenthood clients is over seven times higher than the abortion rate nationwide.

That makes it kind of hard for them to claim that their ten million services prevented any abortions.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Another Chicago Midwife's Fatal Work

On February 9, 1911, homemaker Elizabeth Martin died in Chicago from complications of an abortion. Mrs. Schutner, identified as a midwife (which means she might have been an obstetrician) was held by the Coroner's Jury and indicted, but the case never went to trial.

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. For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

external image Illegals.png

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Which one was typical?

On February 8, 1919, Ruth Fragale, a 20-year-old clerk, died at her home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.The coroner found that she had died of peritonitis from a self-induced abortion.

University of Oklahoma co-ed Nancy Ward, age 19, died February 8, 1968, from complications of an abortion arranged with the help of her boyfriend's father. The abortionist, Richard Mucie, was an ear, nose, and throat specialist in Kansas City, Missouri. After Roe v Wade was handed down, Mucie was able to use it to get Nancy's abortion retroactively declared legal and win his freedom.

Which abortion was more typical of pre-legalization abortions: self-induced, like Ruth's, or performed by a licensed doctor, like Nancy's?

Nancy's was more typical.
external image Illegals.png
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

Monday, February 06, 2012

Two Criminal, Two Safe and Legal, all Fatal

On February 6, 1919, 22-year-old homemaker Edna Griffith died at Chicago's Passavant Hospital from complications of an abortion perpetrated by a person who was never identified.

On January 28, 1952, 35-year-old Betty Hellman was admitted to the Tinker Air Force Base hospital in critical condition, suffering from pain and low blood pressure. Her red blood count was very low, and her white count very high, indicating infection. She admitted to having undergone an abortion on January 25. Before her death on February 6, she identified 43-year-old Mrs. Jane McDaniel White, as her abortionist.

Seventeen-year-old Laniece Dorsey underwent a safe and legal abortion at a Family Planning Associates Medical Group facility in Orange County, California, on February 6, 1986. FPA is a member of the National Abortion Federation, which asserts that members must meet and adhere to high standards. Laniece lapsed into a coma, was transferred to a nearby hospital, and died later that day. The Orange County Sheriff's Department medical examiner blamed the death on cardiorespiratory arrest due to the anesthesia. Laniece wasn't the first or last young woman to die from abortion at a facility owned by FPA head honcho Edward Campbell Allred. Others include
Denise Holmes, Patricia Chacon, Mary Pena, Josefina Garcia, Joyce Ortenzio,Tami Suematsu, Susan Levy, Deanna Bell, Christina Mora, Kimberly Neil, and Chanelle Bryant.

Life Dynamics reports that 26-year-old Kathy Davis died at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital of heart failure and hypertension following a legal abortion on February 6, 1987.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Three Dastardly Criminal Deaths and One "All Surgery Has Risks"

Mercedes Berriozabal's death is mysterious indeed. According to the Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database, by the time of her death at age 15, she was known to police as a bootlegger. The Cook County Death Index lists her as a schoolgirl. Her father, Felipi Berriozabal Jr., was living in Chicago as the Mexican Consul with his wife and family. I presume that the Homicide Database is mistaken. Mercedes had sought an abortion someplace in Chicago on February 1, 1906, but the attempt caused her physical problems without killing the baby. In an attempt to save her life, Dr. Ubayarrel Holmes performed a legal abortion on her in Wesley Hospital. This attempt proved to be in vain, and Mercedes died of blood poisoning on February 5.

On February 5, 1918, Carmile Ghant, a Black woman, died at 3746 State Street in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated by two doctors, Ges. Miller and Robert J. Miller. There is some odd mention of the defendants being "Outside labor force (incl. criminals" and the business owner of a bar or saloon." It is therefore unclear if one or both of these doctors also owned a bar, or if the bar owner was somehow an accomplice in Carmile's death. Either way, the men were indicted on March 1, but the case never went to trial.

On January 29, 1929, Glasgow native Louise Allman, age 25, underwent an abortion at the home of Amelia K. Jaruez, a midwife. On February 5, Louise died, leaving behind a husband, Stanley. Jaruez was held by the coroner on February 23, and indicted for homicide by a grand jury, but she was acquitted on July 2.

It is today's safe, legal abortion death that is the most gruesome of them all. Carolina Gutierrez, who had come to the US as a refugee from Nicaragua at age 13, went against her husband's wishes and had a friend take her to Maber Medical Center in Miami for an abortion on December 19, 1995. Over the next several days, Carolina suffered complications but was unable to get anybody at the clinic to take her calls. On December 21st, she could hardly breathe, so her family called 911. She arrived at the emergency room already in septic shock. The desperate attempts to save her life included a hysterectomy, a respirator, and amputation of her gangrenous fingers and feet. Her 21st birthday came and went. Relatives cared for her children, a five-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy, while Carolina's husband spent as much time as he could by her side. "I can't sleep. I try to take my mind off it, but it’s impossible," he told the Miami Herald. All efforts to save her were in vain, and she died February 5, 1996.