Thursday, June 30, 2016

Two Safe, Legal Abortion Deaths

Both of today's deaths are due to purportedly safe legal abortions.

Seventeen-year-old Jennifer Suddeth underwent a safe and legal abortion performed by Dr. Franklin Henry "Frank" Robinson Sr. on June 30, 1982.

On the drive home to Cerritos, Jennifer bled heavily, alarming her boyfriend, John Fredzess. Fredzess called the clinic repeatedly over the four hours after their return home, but staff would not put the call through to Robinson. One nurse admonished Fredzess to "be realistic" about how severely Jennifer was bleeding. By that time, Jennifer had bled through two pairs of sweat pants, two blankets, and a towel. At last the hysterical husband was able to contact Robinson, who insisted that the bleeding was normal and instructed Fredzess to stop calling.

When Jennifer went into convulsions, Fredzess called an ambulance. Paramedics arrived at the home to find Jennifer already dead. Police interviewed the weeping and hysterical Fredzess, then pressed charges against Robinson for involuntary manslaughter in Jennifer's death. Although Robinson beat the rap, the state of California nevertheless counted Jennifer's death as due to illegal abortion.

Robinson has since retired and moved to Tennessee.

Kendra McLeod, single mother of two, underwent an abortion at a clinic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on June 12, 1998. She bled heavily afterward. The day after her abortion, she sought help at an emergency room. She had fainted three times by the time she got into the emergency room at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Doctors at the hospital transfused Kendra with nine units of blood and performed surgery to try to save her life, to no avail. She died on June 30, at the age of 22. According to North Carolina death records, she went into respiratory arrest after damage caused to her pelvic organs during a legal abortion.

Her mother, Vickie Huffman, lost a lawsuit against the hospital's emergency department. Sue sued on behalf of Kendra's children. Documents do not note if the family sued the abortion provider. The state death index notes that Kendra was a high school graduate working at a grocery store.

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