A Mystery Abortion, Chicago, 1929
On June 21, 1929,
25-year-old maid Fannie Shead, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, died in
Chicago from a criminal abortion performed that day by an unknown
perpetrator. Interestingly, the coroner only recommended an arrest for
"unintentional manslaughter," not the usual homicide by abortion. I
wonder if this might be due to the fact that unlike the other victims of
Chicago abortionists whose cases I've documented, Fannie Shead was
Black. Oddly, the database lists a date a defendant was arrested -- August 10 -- but does not list a suspect.
Safe and Legal in New Jersey, 1985
Seventeen-year-old Deborah Lozinski had languished for two months in a coma, hospitalized after a safe and legal abortion at Medical Care Center in Woodbridge, New Jersey. On June 21, 1985, Deborah's parents filed suit against Dr. Scheininger, Dr. Binod Sinha, and other staff for failing to properly screen and examine Deborah prior to her abortion. Sinha was the anesthesiologist.
A review of
Deborah's care found that a nurse-anesthetist failed to properly prepare
Deborah by removing her make-up, nail polish, and jewelry so that
changes in skin color could be noted. No monitoring devices were in
place to track Deborah's vital signs. As Deborah began
to come out of anesthesia, the nurse detected signs that there might be a
leak in or around Deborah's oxygen mask. While the nurse was looking
for the leak, the doctor finished the abortion and left the procedure
room. Sinha had not been present in the room at all, so this left
Deborah without a physician on hand while she was still under
The nurse then
left the head of the table, where she should have been monitoring
Deborah's condition, to take her legs out of the stirrups and reposition
her. It was when the nurse returned her attention to Deborah's care
that she saw that Deborah was not breathing and had no detectable pulse.
It was at that point that the nurse summoned Sinha. Sinha hooked up a
heart monitor and ordered CPR to be initiated. They were able to get
Deborah's heart beating again, but her pupils would not respond to
light. Emergency services were summoned.
A nurse from the
John F. Kennedy Medical Center Mobile Intensive Care Unit arrived at the
clinic, she was struck by the fact that Deborah's heavy makeup had not
been removed before administering anesthesia, making it difficult to
assess whether she was getting enough oxygen. As a result,
Deborah suffered the brain damage that had caused her coma. During her
hospitalization, she suffered repeated infections and developed
midnight on June 22, a hospital staffer checked on Deborah and found her
dead; she evidently had died shortly before midnight.