Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Five Deaths Raise Question: Who Did Legalization Help?

On January 16, 1901, Jennie Mallard died at Alexian Brothers Hospital in Chicago from an abortion performed that day. Mrs. Margaret Simmons was arrested and held in the death. Mrs. Simmons' profession is listed as nurse or midwife. On the 1900 Census, she is listed as a physician.

Jennie Martin, a 28-year-old homemaker, died January 16, 1906 in her Chicago home from sepsis caused by a criminal abortion. . Dr. William F. Briney, an abortionist who ran very thinly veiled ads announcing his trade, was held by the coroner's jury. Jennie's abortion is typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a doctor.

On December 23, 1941, Dr. Samuel Roth was sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the illegal abortion death of a woman I identify as Jane Roe of 1937. Roth, whose license was suspended at the time, performed the abortion in his office on January 16, 1937.

During the era when while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality from abortion. Most researches attribute this to improved health and sanitation as well as to the development of blood transfusion techniques and the introduction of antibiotics. Learn more here.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

 Let's move ahead to the legal era and see how much improvement there was in the actual abortion practice.

Former abortion entrepreneur Carol Everett, in Blood Money, tells of how the abortionist in one of her clinics sent a woman home to bleed to death over a pitcher of margaritas. Carol calls the woman "Sheryl Mason." and details how abortionist Harvey Johnson left the hemorrhaging woman in the care of a layman. After "Sheryl" went home, her boyfriend called Johnson, who instructed him to give "Sheryl" a hot bath and only when this led to unconsciousness decided to meet the couple at the hospital where in spite of emergency care, "Sheryl" bled to death. Then, Carol said, Johnson carefully edited the patient chart before providing it to the medical examiner's office. The autopsy found that "Sheryl" had died of hemorrhaging from a cervical tear. At this news, Carol said, "I went numb:" Through a little detective work, researchers at Life Dynamics were able to identify the dead woman as 34-year-old Shary Graham, who was pronounced dead January 16, 1982, at an emergency room in Dallas. Of course, no public record document is going to verify the story of the pitcher of margaritas. But when we consider what excuses other abortionists had for leaving patients with no medical supervision, the pitcher of margaritas is credible. John Biskind left Lou Ann Herron without medical supervision so that he could keep an appointment with a tailor; she bled to death.  No reason was given for Abram Zelikman's decision to leave the hemorrhaging Eurice Agbagaa in the care of a receptionist; she bled to death. Tommy Tucker seems to have left Angela Hall with no doctor to care for her because he'd had a fight with the nurse about whether or not to call an ambulance; she bled to death.

Thirty-eight-year-old Pamela Wainwright and her husband had two children living at home, one of whom had Down Syndrome. Pamela was admitted to Shallowford Community Hospital in Dunwoody, Georgia on January 15, 1987, for an abortion and tubal ligation. Pamela was 11 weeks pregnant. She was taken to the operating room for her surgery the next day. The abortion and tubal ligation were to be performed by Dr. Wendell Phillips. Phillips placed a needle into Pamela's abdomen to pump in carbon dioxide. He did not ensure proper placement of the needle. Instead of pumping carbon dioxide into her abdomen, he pumped it into her bloodstream. Pamela died almost immediately from cardiac arrest, due to vapor lock in her heart.

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