Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Roe vs. Wade Events: Abortion Still Kills Women

With the upcoming anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, life advocates are planning marches, vigils, and rallies across the country. I first saw these tombstone signs in a picture of an Operation Rescue rally in Wichita back in the 1980s. They're a powerful reminder that women are still sometimes paying the ultimate price for the belief that they and their unborn children are mortal enemies.

The signs are easy to make, and now the foam board, that used to cost more than $3 a sheet at office supply stores, is available for $1 a sheet at Dollar Tree. I made a set of 40 for March for Life in DC.

Start by printing out the names, ages, dates of death, and so forth. I find that twice the width of a landscape-oriented letter-sized page is about the width of the sign. I also believe you get a nicer result if you vary the fonts among the signs. You can go to the Cemetery of Choice to choose women by age or date of death. If you want to choose women by location, you can do a search for a city or state. Or you can just drop me a note in the comments and I can email you a set that you can tweak with the fonts you want.

When it's time to cut the signs, you'll need something large and rounded to guide you in cutting the tops. As you can see, I used a Christmas tree stand. A trash can lid, saucer sled, or tray will do as well. Use a razor knife. I would just score the foamboard sometimes. Other times I'd stack the foam board, use a bit more force, and just slice them through. Both ways work just fine -- just be careful that you don't damage your floor.

If you don't cut through the whole way on the first stroke, use the razor knife to cut through the rest of the way to get a nice rounded top. Scissors don't work well; they tend to mash the board and not give you a nice clean cut.

Cut the words for the front from the page where you've printed them. I've found that the double width of a landscape-oriented letter-sized sheet is just the right width. I can't see any real advantage in using legal sized paper, because it's not wide enough for the sign if you use a single sheet, and it's two wide if you go twice the width. Ledger sized paper would probably work well.

Spray adhesive works best. It allows you to reposition the words if you need to. It's inexpensive and available in the craft department of Wal-Mart, though if you prefer you can also get it at craft stores. Just be careful when you spray -- it tends to land on other things around the signs you're working on. Put old newspapers down if you don't want a thin sticky layer of glue on the floor.

With the spray adhesive, you have plenty of time to place the words on the sign. You can move them if you need to. I find that the razor knife works well for lifting the edges for repositioning. Just be warned -- your hands will get pretty gunky with a mix of glue and printer ink.

Print out each woman's story and put it on the back. You can also add copies of relevant documents that I link to, such as medical board disciplinary documents or news clippings. I put pictures on the front when I can get them, with additional pictures on the back when a woman's story has more than one photograph with it.

I also suggest that if there's room, you print out information about abortion deaths over time -- and the fact that legalization had no impact whatsoever -- and put it on the back as well.

The tombstone signs are a real attention getter and are a great educational opportunity for prolifers and prochoicers alike.

Consider printing out different pages so that you're varying the content a bit:

The unmistakable, undeniable, clear impact of legalized abortion on maternal mortality

Did Legalization Make Abortion Less Deadly for Mothers? 

Hiding the Bodies in Plain Sight

The Truth of Pre-Roe Abortion Mortality

Let's prove that dastardly pro-abortion chants about women's lives are a lie.

Monday, January 06, 2014

1905 & 1924: The Fatal Work of Midwife-Abortionists

On January 6, 1905, a young woman was found dead in a ditch near Dunning, Illinois. The body was taken to an undertaking establishment, where it remained until nearly a month later, when the dead woman was identified by her siblings as 28-year-old Ida Vierow. It was determined that she had died on the day her body had been discovered, from an abortion performed in Chicago. Two midwives, Amella Maichrowicz and Anna Becker, were arrested, along with Maichrowicz's husband, Joseph. The Maichrowiczs, who ran an unlicensed hospital in Melrose Park, were arrested near the end of February.

On January 6, 1924, 26-year-old Helen Koss died at Norwegian American Hospital of complications from an abortion perpetrated in Chicago on December 23, 1923. Midwife Mrs. Emma Morch was arrested, and indicted for homicide by a grand jury.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Four Criminal Deaths -- One Courtesy of Lucy Hagenow

Very little information is available about three of the women whose deaths we commemorate today.

Alphia Robinson, age 18, had been living with a man named Amos Kimberly for about two years in Iowa Township, Iowa. On January 5, 1876, she went up to her room "in a cheerful manner, and in apparent good health," but a few moments later her mother went up and found her dead. The coroner declared that she had died from an abortion attempted by Dr. J. F. Houser of West Branch, Iowa.

On January 5, 1912, 19-year-old Lottie Roeder, who was still in school, died at St. Elizabeth's hospital from infection caused by an abortion perpetrated earlier that day by a nurse/midwife referred to as "Mrs. Theodore Larson." Most criminal abortions not perpetrated by doctors were committed by nurses, midwives, or others with medical training like Larson. She was held by the Coroner's Jury on January 12 and indicted, but the case never went to trial.

On January 5, 1930, bookkeeper Sonia Ragins, age 26, died from an illegal abortion performed at an unknown location by an unknown person. On January 6 the coroner recommended identification and arrest of the guilty party.

Far more information is available about the January 5, 1925 death of 22-year-old factory worker Bridget Masterson, who died in her Chicago home from a botched abortion. Police
Abortionist Lucy Hagenow
were able to question Bridget prior to her death, but she refused to implicate anybody. John O'Malley, a boarder and the father of Bridget's baby, committed suicide by gas after learning of Bridget's death. He left a note implicating "a lady doctor at 310 W. North Ave." This was the address of Dr. Lucy Hagenow. Hagenow was arrested, but it is unclear when, since the date of her arrest is noted as being the day prior to Bridget's death. Hagenow was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury on January 5, 1926.

Hagenow (pictured), who had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Annie Dorris, Abbia Richards, and Emma Dep in San Francisco, would go on to be linked to over a dozen Chicago abortion deaths, including Minnie Deering, Sophia Kuhn , Emily Anderson, Hannah Carlson, Marie Hecht, May Putnam, Lola Madison, Annie Horvatich, Lottie Lowy, Nina H. Pierce, Jean CohenElizabeth Welter and Mary Moorehead. Why Hagenow was able to ply her deadly trade brazenly remains a mystery to me.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Four Fatal Criminal Abortions

All of the women whose deaths we commemorate today died of criminal abortions. The last woman, however, stands out from the others; she alone was unaware that the person perpetrating her abortion had no legal standing to do so.

Bertie Minnie Hammaremiller, age 19, had lived with her mother on Langdon Street in Chicago. She already had one child to 19-year-old Fred C. Dethloff. On January 4, 1887 Bertie died from a botched abortion. Dethloff, who admitted that this was the third time he'd helped Bertie to abort two other pregnancies with medications in the three years they'd been together, was put on trial for his life.

On January 4, 1921, 21-year-old Jennie Chubb died in her Chicago home from complications of an abortion performed that day. The coroner identified Veronica Rypcznski as the person responsible for Jennie's death. Veronica's profession is not mentioned in the source, nor is there any mention of prosecution.

On January 4, 1924, Elizabeth Strobel died in Chicago's Columbus Hospital from complications of an illegal abortion performed that day. Mrs. Anna Wenzig, whose profession is not given, was arrested January 15 for Elizabeth's death.

On January 4, 1983, Albert Payne got a phone call from a family friend with some shocking news: His 33-year-old wife, Shirley, mother of their three children ages 3 to 12, was dead. "No way my wife is pregnant," Albert had responded. He called the day care center. Shirley had never showed up to pick up the children.  Shirley had undergone what she expected to be a safe and legal abortion at Woman's Care Center in Miami. She suffered a perforated uterus. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they reportedly found Shirley lying on a couch, bleeding heavily. Shirley arrived at the hospital in critical condition due to delay of transfer. An emergency hysterectomy was performed to try to save Shirley's life, but she bled to death in surgery. Ruth Montero, Myrta Baptiste, and Maura Morales also died from abortions at the clinic, owned by Hipolito Barreiro. Trained in Argentina and West Africa, but not licensed in U.S. Barreiro evidently perpetrated Shirley's fatal abortion himself without documenting this fact on her clinic records.