Monday, June 06, 2016

A Midwife and Two Doctors, All Equally Lethal

A Chicago Midwife in 1907

On June 6, 1907, homemaker Julia Williamson, age 29, died at her Chicago home from complications of an abortion performed there that day. A midwife named Emily Redemski was held by the coroner's jury, but acquitted by a judge for reasons not given in the source document.

A Baton Rouge Physician in 1984

A chronic asthma patient, 27-year-old Sheila Hebert, mother of a 10-year-old son, went to Delta Women's Clinic in Baton Rouge for a safe and legal abortionon June 5 or 6, 1984. Shortly after being moved to the recovery area, Sheila complained of chest pains and difficulty breathing. Something had triggered a severe asthmatic reaction. She lost consciousness, and staff injected her with adrenaline while awaiting EMS services. The medics arrived within three minutes of getting the call, but found Sheila blue, cold, and essentially lifeless. She was taken to a hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, but efforts to revive her were unsuccessful. The coroner attributed the death to "cardiorespiratory arrest due to acute ashtmatic bronchitis" after "surgical termination of pregnancy. A suit was filed anonymously against Richardson Glidden and Delta Women's Clinic regarding Sheila's death. The suit charged Glidden and Delta staff with failure to monitor Sheila in recovery, failing to react properly when her condition was discovered, failing to call 911 promptly, and failing to have adequate emergency equipment available.

A New York Physician in 2000

Nicey Washington was 26 years old when she underwent a safe and legal abortion at Ambulatory Surgery Center in Brooklyn, New York, on June 6, 2000. She had graduated from college the previous Sunday. Her heart stopped after the abortion. She was rushed to Lutheran Hospital at about 11 a.m. Attempts to revive her failed, and she was declared dead at around noon. She left behind a fiance and a 4-year-old daughter. As of the time of the last article I could find on Nicey's death, the Medical Examiner's office hadn't determined the exact cause of death, but suspected a botched abortion.

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