On October 7, 1963, 21-year-old Ann Keenan died at Wyandotte General Hospital near Detroit. Her cause of death is identified on her death certificate as as "Subarachnoid hemorrhage (a brain bleed) following septic (massively infected) criminal recent abortion with septic thromboembolism pneumonia (an clot getting into her lungs and causing septic pneumonia) and hepatitis with focal necrosis (spots of dead tissue) of liver."
Ann Keenan was the sister of candidate Mitt Romney's brother-in-law, Loren Keenan.
the 2012 Presidential election, Obama supporters dug into the past, and
the story of Ann's tragic death went viral. The meme was that Romney's
current pro-life would "let [her] die again." His change of stand to one
of opposition to abortion was painted as opportunistic and based
entirely on polling, not personal conviction. Romney's opponents,
clearly, can not grasp that a mature adult can come to very different
conclusions than he might have as a 16-year-old boy.
The coverage was
pretty thorough, including quotes from Ann's friends and relatives. Much
was also made of the fact that her parents had requested that memorial
funds be given to Planned Parenthood. Little was made of the fact that
abortion deaths were becoming more and more rare, thanks to things like
blood transfusions and antibiotics.
perpetrated the fatal abortion doesn't seem to pique the interest of
those who want to hang her death around her
What I find particularly fascinating is that amid the obsession over Ann Keenan (obsession likely to arise again should Romney aim again for the White House) there is a blithe obliviousness of "safe and legal" abortion deaths. In fact, one politician -- Margo Davidson, a Democrat and Pennsylvania State Representative -- lost her support from Planned Parenthood after going public about how her cousin, Semika Shaw, died a wretched death after an abortion by notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. This is going beyond merely ignoring safe-n-legal abortion deaths and into the realm of punishing the survivors.
Is it really women's deaths that bother abortion-rights activists so much, or is it something else?