Thursday, December 08, 2022

Lime 5: Failed Abortion -- Baby Survives

There are so many people alive today who survived prenatal attempts on their lives that they have formed the Abortion Survivors Network for mutual support, advocacy, and awareness.

Now let's look at the cases in Lime 5.

Dr. Xavier Hall Ramirez (John Roe 602) initiated a saline abortion only to have the woman deliver a 4 1/2 pound infant. Nurses began providing care to the baby and called Ramirez, who ordered them to discontinue oxygen. Another doctor countermanded the order, and the baby survived to be adopted. Ramirez was indicted for solicitation to commit murder. Other doctors testified in his defense, including Dr. Irvin M. Cushner of the University of California at Los Angeles. This doctor, who went on to become a top health policy official under President Jimmy Carter, asserted that it was perfectly reasonable for Ramirez to expect a dead or moribund baby. ("The Dreaded Complication," Philadelphia Inquirer, August 2, 1981)

"Linda" went to John Roe 724 for an abortion on April 27, 1973. However, he only managed to remove part of the placenta. Neither at the time of the abortion, nor at a follow up visit, did Roe realize that he'd failed to kill Linda's unborn baby. She later gave birth to "Chad," who was born with cerebral palsy and had wounds on his head, body, arms, and legs. (Lake County Illinois Circuit Court Case No. 78L 445)

The next case is of Joshua Vandervelden, whose case is easy to Google. His mother, Linda Noie, was between six and eight weeks pregnant when she went to Fox Valley Reproductive Health Care on January 12, 1979. Dr. Benjamin Victoria (John Roe 740) performed the abortion. Linda was discharged under the impression that the abortion had been successful. It had not. On September 18, Linda was in labor but there were signs of fetal distress so the baby that had survived the abortion attempt was delivered via C-section. He was named Joshua. He was placed on a respirator and hospitalized for two weeks prior to discharge. His mother went public with her story and became a prolife activist. (Milwaukee Journal, November 1, 1993)

John Roe 481 performed an abortion on "Kimala" in March of 1979. On November 7 she gave birth to an infant daughter born disfigured and with cerebral palsy. (Cook County Illinois Circuit Court Case No. 81L 26210)

"Denise" was 22 years old when radiologist Erma Roe 353 diagnosed her as 9 weeks pregnant. Roe performed two suction procedures on Denise on July 10, 1982. Roe noted only "scant tissue," but still sent Denise home. On July 22, Denise returned to report bleeding, pain, and passing clots. Roe reviewed the pathology report, which showed no products of conception. She performed a pelvic exam and told Denise that she wasn't pregnant. Instead she diagnosed a urinary tract infection and sent her patient home with antibiotics. On September 28, Denise went to the hospital. She was in active labor in a breech position, with a fetal foot protruding through her cervix. She gave birth to a 13 1/2 ounce baby boy who died an hour later. Denise underwent an emergency D&C, lost a liter of blood, and was hospitalized for three days. She suffered depression, recurring nightmares, and two subsequent miscarriages. (Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements, and Experts, August 1993, November 1993; Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, 6th Division, Case No. 1-91-783; Cook County Illinois Circuit Court Case No. 84L 13308; Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 15 and 16, 1990; Peoria Star-Journal, August 9, 1990)

"Lynette" underwent an abortion performed by John Roe 49 at a Michigan Planned Parenthood on July 16, 1985. Nobody performed an ultrasound to determine gestational age prior to the abortion. After Roe ruptured the amniotic sac, he realized that Lynette was much more advanced in her pregnancy than he thought. He sent Lynette to a hospital. Five days later she gave birth to a little boy weighing only 2 pounds, 3 1/2 ounces. The child suffered developmental delay, intracranial bleeding, hydrocephalus, and disfigurement. (Washtenaw County Michigan Circuit Court Case No. 85-30344 NM)

"April" had an abortion performed by John Roe 462 on February 2, 1987. There were no fetal parts found in the tissue, but staff didn't inform April. On May 7, April learned she was 22 1/2 weeks pregnant. She'd been so emotionally traumatized by the abortion procedure, and she considered a late abortion far too risky, so she decided to have her baby. Her little girl was delivered by C-section on June 29, 1987, but due to the loss of amniotic fluid caused by the abortion, the baby had chorioamnionitis, hypoplastic lungs, and hyline membrane disease. The baby died the next day. (Hamilton County Ohio Court of Common Pleas Case No. A-8905595)

"Lena" had an abortion performed February 28, 1989 by John Roe 57, at what she had been told was two weeks into her pregnancy, which is odd since at that time pregnancy tests could not detect a pregnancy that early -- when the embryo had only just implanted. When Lena returned for her follow-up visit, staff told her that the abortion had been successful. On April 12, Lena went to the hospital due to severe abdominal pain. Doctors told her that she was five months pregnant. She gave birth to a baby boy on July 10. Sadly, the child died two days later due to respiratory problems caused by the abortion attempt. (Ector County Texas District Court Case No. C-88-212)

"Cheryl" had an abortion performed by John Roe 263 at an abortion clinic in Maryland. Staff concluded that the abortion had been complete so they didn't send the tissue to a pathology lab. On March 15, Cheryl realized she was still pregnant. She gave birth to a baby girl on August 23. (Maryland Health Claims Arbitration Board Claim No. HCA-90-242)

John Roe 263 performed an abortion on "Christine" on December 20, 1991. He eyeballed the tissue himself and concluded that he'd gotten a single entire fetus and sent Christine home. When she came for a follow-up visit on January 2, 1992, Roe did not notice that Christine was still pregnant, possibly with a twin that Roe had missed. It wasn't until Christine went to a different doctor for a kidney check-up on April 6 that she learned that she was still pregnant. She decided to keep her baby. Doctors detected fetal distress on May 1, so infant Brandon was delivered by C-section on May 1 at approximately 29 weeks of gestation. Brandon suffered brain damage and was expected to require around-the-clock hospital care for the rest of his life. (Maryland Health Claims Arbitration Board Claim No. HCA-93-154)

Ana Rosa and her mother
The last baby in this section is Ana Rosa Rodriguez. Her mother, Rosa Rodriguez, had gone to National Abortion Federation member Abu "The Butcher of Avenue A" Hayat (John Roe 3) on October 25, 1992. She believed herself to be less than 17 weeks pregnant. Hayat told Rosa that she was actually still in the first trimester of pregnancy -- which had to have been a lie, since he charged her $1,500 for the abortion, far more than even a high-end cost of a first-trimester abortion. He also chose an abortion technique only appropriate after 12 weeks. Rosa paid $1,000 up-front and left her passport, green card, and jewelry for collateral on the remaining $500. After the abortion, Hayat sent Rosa home with instructions to call his facility and nobody else if she experienced any problems. That night she experienced severe pain and called Hayat's facility. An employee told her that this was normal. However, she could eventually no longer bear that pain. She went by ambulance to a hospital where she delivered her 32-week baby girl, minus the right arm that has been ripped off at the shoulder during the abortion attempt. Hayat is the doctor who performed the fatal abortion on 17-year-old Sophie McCoy.

Watch Lime 5: Failed Abortions on YouTube.

December 8, 1948: Scanty Information in Manhattan

According to New York death records, 43-year-old Anna Soriono, a Pennsylvania native, died December 8, 1948 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

Anna's uterus and sigmoid colon were perforated during a criminal abortion. This caused the acute suppurative peritonitis that killed her.

December 8, 1956: The Forgotten Victim of the "Angel of Ashland"

 Abortion-rights activists refer to Dr. Robert Spencer as "The Angel of Ashland" because of his willingness to perpetrate abortions. To his credit, he only has one dead patient to my knowledge, which puts him far ahead of many of his contemporaries. 

On Saturday, December 8, 1956, 26-year-old Mary Davies of New York City arrived in the Ashland, Pennsylvania office of abortionist 61-year-old Dr. Robert Douglas Spencer. As a physician, Spencer was typical of criminal abortionists. What was unusual about him was that rather than sneak the woman in through the back alley, Spencer plied his abortion trade openly.

Mary was a talented and ambitious young woman. In January of 1951, as a junior at Rockford College in her native Illinois, Mary was one of two students to attend a conference on the role of women in society. She was working at a medical center and attending Columbia University when she learned of her pregnancy.

The Fatal Abortion

According to Spencer, Mary was alone, and reported that she'd been bleeding for about two weeks. He didn't examine her, but gave her medication for pain and Ergotrate to stop the bleeding. He told her to return the following day for her abortion. 

Mary returned at about 10 AM on the 9th. He administered 13 ccs. of Evipal in a 10% solution to induce anesthesia. "I injected that solution into the vein of the left arm and in ten seconds she was asleep." Spencer said that the next thing he noticed was that Mary wasn't breathing. Mary did not respond to medications intended to revive her, so Spencer attempted to resuscitate her with oxygen. He called his assistant, Mildred Zettlemoyer, into the room to assist him.

Mary still was not responding, so Spencer had Zettlemoyer call the laboratory assistant, Steve Sekunda, and tell him to come to the office. Spencer put a breathing tube into Mary's throat, but had to work blind because the light on his scope wasn't working. He resumed artificial respiration. By the time Sekunda arrived, at around 11:30, Spencer had concluded that Mary was dead. However, resuscitation efforts evidently continued because Mary wasn't declared dead until 3:30 that afternoon.

Preparing for Trial

Dr. Spencer
William J. Keuch, chief detective of Schuylkill (pronounced "school kill") County detective, said that when he'd asked Spencer what a young woman from New York City was doing in Spencer's office in Ashland, Spencer answered, "I'm well known in the east. I specialize in women's diseases." Women, Spencer told Keuch, came to him from all over.

Spencer wasn't arrested until after 12 weeks of investigation, which included sending Mary's organs to Dr. Milton Helman, a member of the New York Medical Board, for toxicology review..

When the case was finally ready to go to court in May of 1958, the entire trial was derailed when, during jury selection, one woman asked to be excused because, she said, "I served on a jury in which Dr. Spencer was involved before." This statement was considered prejudicial to Spencer, thus tainting the other jurors.


The defense seemed to be based mostly on raising reasonable doubt that Mary had actually been pregnant at the time of the abortion. Different experts testified about how they'd drawn their conclusions. The argument evidently worked. Proceeding with an abortion procedure if the patient wasn't actually pregnant, evidently, regardless of Spencer's intention to abort a viable fetus, would not be considered a crime even if the patient died

Spencer's Response

Spencer's widow, Eleanor, told author Patricia Miller that her husband had been quite stricken by Mary Davies' death. He continued to perform abortions, however, along with his regular medical practice, up until the trial.

Spencer briefly stopped doing abortions after the trial, "for a month or so," his widow said. But he resumed his business and eventually got entangled with a fellow named Harry Mace who set up a business for himself rounding up abortion patients and bringing them to Spencer. Spencer's widow lamented that Mace flooded Spencer with patients, pressuring him to rush through abortions. Spencer's health began to fail. He was arrested again, due to the attention from Mace's activities, but died in 1969 before the case went to trial.

Newly added sources:

December 8, 1994: Blood-Spattered OR Team Can't Fix "Screw-Up"

Headshot of a bearded, balding, bespectacled man of Indian ethnicity.
Suresh Gandotra
The California Medical Board knew something about Dr. Suresh Gandotra that 23-year-old Magdalena Rodriguez didn't know. Had they acted on their knowledge, she wouldn't have died.

On December 8, 1994, 23-year-old Magdalena travelled from her home in Tijuana to Suresh Gandotra's clinic, El Norte Clinica Medica, in San Ysidro, California. Magdalena had an appointment for a safe, legal second-trimester abortion. She didn't know about what he'd done to another woman three years earlier. 

That young woman, age 22, had also travelled to San Ysidro from Tijuana. She had been 18 weeks pregnant. Gandotra made an unsuccessful attempt to complete an abortion and sent her home, hoping "the fetus would drop." She returned the next day with an infection because Gandotra had torn a hole in her uterus and pulled out a portion of her bowel. When he realized how seriously injured his patient was, he sent her to UC San Diego Medical Center rather than the nearest properly equipped hospital. The patient arrived in shock, having lost 40% of her blood. The doctor who performed emergency surgery to save this patient's life said, "The damage was so extensive it was difficult to identify the anatomy." Gandotra's comment on the case was, "I guess I screwed up."

The medical board screwed up as well. The case sat forgotten somewhere in their offices. As for Gandotra, he had a similar comment about his care of Magdalena: "I knew I screwed up."

Madgalena's abortion started at 10:00 in the morning. Struggling to remove all the fetal parts, Gandotra realized that something had gone terribly wrong. He later told the medical board that he had delayed calling an ambulance because he had no admitting privileges and Magdalena had asked to be released so she could walk home -- to Tijuana. Clearly Magdalena was already in shock and unable to grasp the situation she was in.

It wasn't until 3:24  p.m. that Gandotra called the University of California San Diego hospital and asked for directions to send Magdalena there by car. The staff at the hospital insisted that Magdalena should be transported by ambulance. They began to assemble an expert team for the expected catastrophic injuries.

In the mean time, Gandotra left Magdalena unattended while he did abortions on other patients. When he finally called an ambulance, he did not inform them of the hospital that was awaiting her arrival with a team ready to treat her.

When the ambulance crew arrived at 4:33 p.m., they found Magdalena lying on the floor in a pool of blood, pulseless and in ventricular fibrillation. Gandotra didn't tell the medics about the hospital that was awaiting this critically injured patient, so they took Magdalena to Scripps Chula Vista Hospital rather than to the hospital that had prepared a specialized team for her. She arrived at around 5:15 that evening.

Gandotra also didn't provide a medical history or any information about her condition or what he'd done to her. The hospital staff were totally unprepared for what they found when they examined her. Magdalena had no vitals on arrival at hospital. She was unresponsive with fixed, dilated pupils.

When the surgeon at the hospital opened Magdalena's peritoneum, it was so distended that the operating room was spattered with the escaping blood. Magdalena's uterus was ruptured, with a fetal limb protruding into her abdomen. Her cervix, uterus, bladder, and colon were lacerated. The mangled and partially dismembered fetus was of approximately 30 weeks gestation. In spite of the surgical team's heroic efforts, Magdalena was pronounced dead from massive blood loss at 10:17 p.m.

Upon autopsy her death was attributed to "complications of the acute pelvic injuries which consisted of lacerations of the lower uterus, vagina, bladder and colon." As the autopsy describes the unborn child, "the body of the baby was not complete when autopsied. Both arms had been cut off; the heart, lungs, liver, and other organs had been cut out, the front of the chest and abdomen were missing, the right femur was fractured, the head was intact except for an area on the scalp which had been taken off from the back of the head."

Gandotra's attorney said, "We don't believe this was below the standard of care nor do we believe it was malpractice." In contrast, a  nurse at the hospital that tried to save Magdalena's life said, "I've never seen anything like this before and I don't want to again."

After Magdalena's death, investigators went to the clinic and found that Gandotra had no means of providing transfusions, only had first-trimester consent forms even though he did second-trimester abortions, did not take after-hours calls, did not keep adequate records, and did not speak Spanish although 95% of his patients were Spanish-speaking.

Gandotra performed about 100 abortions per week at his clinic. He had previously served five months of a fifteen-month sentence for committing Medicaid fraud and allowing non-licensed people to perform medical procedures at his facility.  Eventually a homicide warrant was signed out against him for Magdalena's death and he fled to his native India. As far as I can determine he remains there, a wanted man on Interpol's list, and going about his business.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

The Dreaded Complication Part 2

The Impact on Staff

Using D&E (dismemberment abortions) to avoid the problem of live births comes with its own problems.

Dr. Warren Hern of Boulder Abortion Clinic and his head nurse, Billie Corrigan, presented a paper to the 1978 Planned Parenthood convention called "What About Us? Staff Reactions to D&E." Eight of their 15 staff members reported problems, two of them worrying about Hern's emotional well-being, two reported horrifying fetus dreams, one of whom said the dreams involved hiding fetal parts so others people wouldn't see them. 

The Inquirer noted, Dr. Julius Butler, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, is concerned about studies suggesting that D&E is the safest method and should be used more widely. 'Remember,' he said, there is a human being at the other end of the table taking that kid apart. We've had guys drinking too much, taking drugs, even a suicide or two. There have been no studies I know of of the problem, but the unwritten kind of statistics we wee are alarming.'"

They also quoted Dr. William Benbow Thompson of the University of California at Irvine: "arms, legs, chests come out in the forceps. It's not a sight for everybody."

Dr. Mildred Hanson pooh-poohed the idea that dismembering later term fetuses is psychologically harmful to the people involved. She told the Inquirer that D&E "is a little bit unpleasant for the physician." 

"'There is a lot in medicine that is unpleasant' but necessary -- like amputating a leg -- she argues, and doctors shouldn't let their own squeamishness deprive patients of a procedure that's cheaper and less traumatic."

I'll note here that Hanson never seems to consider the option of just helping the woman overcome her fears and have her baby instead of bickering over which method of killing the child causes the most and least trauma and to whom.

Trying to Get Numbers

A study performed by George Stroh and Dr. Alan Hinman looked at 150,000 abortions performed in upstate New York from July 1970, when abortion-on-demand was legalized on an outpatient basis through 24 weeks, and through December of 1972. They found 38 reported live births. That's a little fewer than 1 live birth for every 4,000 abortions. 

In the mid 1970s a hospital in Hartford, Connecticut found signs of life in about 10 percent of their prostaglandin abortions.

The authors note, "Evidence gathered during research for this story suggests, without proving definitively, that much of the traffic in late abortions now flows to the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, where lose practice more easily escapes notice." They quoted the Daily Breeze, which indicated, "The word has spread that facilities in Greater Los Angeles will do late abortions. How late only the woman and the doctor who performs them know."

This makes it impossible to even estimate how many post-viability abortions those doctors were doing, much less how many babies survived.

The authors seemed a bit queasy about post-viability abortions, stating, "An internal investigation at Jewish Memorial Hospital in Manhattan showed that six fetuses aborted there in the summer of 1979 weighed more than 1 1/3 pounds. The babies were not alive, but were large enough to be potentially viable. A state health inspector found in June 1979 that the unit had successfully aborted a fetus that was well over a foot long and appeared to be of 32 weeks gestation. Hospital officials confirmed in an interview that later in 1979 a fetus weighing more than four pounds had been aborted."


Iona Siegel, administrator of the Women's Health Center at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, told the reporters that she found it "disconcerting" when post-viability abortions were performed She said that she often heard that patients turned away by Kingsbrook because they were past 24 weeks of pregnancy managed to arrange abortions elsewhere. Siegel said, "that makes me angry. Number one, it's against the law. Number two, it's dangerous to the health of the mother." The Inquirer did not note if she found it disturbing that viable unborn babies were being painfully put to death.

The authors quoted Dr. Ervin Nichols, who was director of practice activities for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "We're not really very pro-abortion. As a matter of fact, anything beyond 20 weeks, we're kind of upset about it."

The article continues, "If abortions after 20 weeks are a dubious practice, how does that square with abortions up to 24 weeks being offered openly in Los Angeles and New York and advertised in newspapers and the Yellow Pages there and elsewhere? 'That's not medicine,' Nichols replied. 'That's hucksterism.'"

The ACOG has since changed its tune, by the way. They now just blithely endorse abortion comprehensively and in fact advocate "to integrate abortion as a component of mainstream medical care, and to oppose and overturn efforts to restrict access to abortion." "Access," as we've seen, includes a right to a dead baby if the child has the temerity to emerge alive.

Southern California Baby, Undetermined Date

Linda, a nurse in Southern California, said that as she was "Hurrying out of a patient's room one day to dispose of the aborted 'tissue,' as nurses are taught to think of it, she felt movement. Startled, she looked down, straight into the staring eyes of a live baby."

"'It looked right at me,' she recalled. 'This baby had real big eyes. It looked at me like it was saying, 'Do something -- do something.' Those haunting eyes. Oh God, I still remember them.'"

Linda rushed the baby to the nursing station. The child's heart was beating at 80 - 100 beats per minute. It was taking 3 - 4- breaths per minute. It weighed 1 1/2 pounds.

Linda called the doctor because, she said, the baby "was pink. It had a heartbeat. The doctor told me the baby was not viable and to send it to the lab. I said, 'But it's breathing,' and he said, 'It's non-viable. It won't be breathing long -- send it to the lab.'"

Unwilling to just send a live baby to the pathology lab, Linda looked to her nursing supervisor for help. "She said to follow the doctor's orders and send it to the lab."

Linda put the baby in a makeshift crib with a hot water bottle for warmth and a tube blowing oxygen past the child's head. 

The baby died two and a half hours later.

"I stood by and watched that baby die without doing a thing. I have guilt feelings to this day. I feel the baby might have lived if it had been properly cared for.

Babies in Ohio

Jane was a head floor nurse in an Ohio hospital when she spoke to the Inquirer reporters. In 1978 nurses there successfully petitioned the hospital to stop doing late abortions.

Jane spoke of a 16-year-old patient in 1975 who phoned her mother and cried out, "Ma, it's out -- but Ma, it's alive."

In 1974, Jane said, she was summoned by a patient's roommate. "When I got there the baby's head was sticking out and its little tongue was wiggling. Everybody felt they couldn't do anything until they called the doctor. It was a little thing -- it only lasted about 15 minutes. But it was alive, and we did nothing. And that was wrong."

Even the babies that were successfully killed in the womb disturbed Jane. "Because of my position I had to pick them up off the bed and put them in a bottle of formalin. Sometimes you had to have a very large container. Our gynecologists seemed to have a very poor ability to estimate gestational age. Time and time again they would say with a straight face, 'This woman is 20 weeks pregnant' when she was actually 26 weeks."

Baby Girl, Indio, California, May 3, 1980

Norma Rojo, an obstetrical nurse at Indio Community Hospital in Indio, California described an event that took place the night of May 3, 1980.

A 15-year-old girl had been in a traffic accident that had killed four people. Fearful that the baby might have been injured, the girl went into the hospital two weeks later for an abortion. The baby had a normal heartbeat of 132 to 136 before the abortion was initiated.

The girl delivered the baby alive.

Rojo said that the patient cried hysterically, "Get rid of it! I'm sorry, Mama -- get ride of it!"

Rojo said of the baby, "She was beautiful. She was pink. There were no physical deformities. She let out a little lusty cry. She lay in a basin put there to catch all the stuff. She was waving her arms and legs. You could tell she was making a big effort to live."

The baby weighed 1 pound 14 ounces. Without consulting any doctors, the nurses arranged to transfer the baby to Loma Linda University Medical Center, which was equipped to deal with very premature infants. A doctor there said that the little girl didn't seem to have been harmed by the saline used to abort her. At first she seemed to be doing okay, but she died at 11 days of age.

The family members were angry that the nurses had tried to save the baby.

Legal Status

"The court granted woman an unrestricted right to abortion ... in the first trimester of pregnancy. From that point to viability, the state can regulate abortions only to make sure they are safe. And only after a fetus reaches viability can state law limit abortion and protect the 'rights' of the fetus."

They note that in writing the majority opinion in Roe vs Wade, "Blackmun took no particular account, though, of the possibility of abortion live births, or of errors in estimating gestational age."

They review subsequent court cases regarding abortions at and past viability:

  • "A Missouri law was too specific in forbidding abortions after 24 weeks. 'It is not the proper function of the legislature or the court,' Blackmun wrote, 'to place viability, which essentially is a medical concept, at a specific point in the gestational period.'"
  • Letting the decision be a medical one didn't pass Blackmun muster, either because, by banning abortions "if there is sufficient reason to believe that the fetus may be viable," the state was being too vague and putting doctors in too tenuous a position.
  • "State laws could not interfere with a doctor's professional judgment by dictating the choice of procedure for late abortions or by requiring aggressive care of abortion live births."
The article notes that as of 1979, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 30 states had some sort of law trying to limit abortions at or post viability, some states had laws requiring that doctors try to save abortion survivors, but few states had laws both trying to limit late abortions and mandating that babies who survive such abortions got care. The authors note that many of those laws would not stand if somebody decided to challenge them.

Prosecutorial Barriers

Bronx County Assistant District Attorney Alan Marrus noted that he'd investigated several live-birth cause but hadn't been able to prosecute any. "You need an expert opinion that in fact that there was life and that the fetus would have survived. Often the fetus has been destroyed -- so there is nothing for your expert to examine."

Many cases would only come to light if a whistle-blower came forward. "The credibility of that sort of witness may be subject to attack," the authors noted. "And even if the facts do weigh against a doctor, he has some resources left. Almost always he can claim to have made no more than a good-faith error in medical judgement."

The Inquirer quotes a California prosecutor. "This is happening all over the place. Babies that should live are dying because callous physicians let them die." He doubted that he'd ever be able to win a conviction because "Nobody's as dumb as Waddill. They're smarter today. They know how to cover themselves."

A Creepy Thought

After spending some time looking at how improved neonatal care is pushing viability earlier and earlier in the pregnancy, the authors quote Dr. Roger K. Freeman, then medical director of Women's Hospital at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center: "Medical advances in the treatment of premature babies enable us to save younger fetuses than ever before. When a fetus survives an abortion, however, there may be a collision of tragic proportions between medicine and maternity. Medicine is now able to give the premature a chance that may be rejected by the mother."

Freeman had developed the fetal stress test and helped to develop a treatment to help premature lungs develop quickly and improve survival. I'm guessing that the tragedy he's seeing in the "collision" between "medicine and maternity" is that some women are tragically choosing to reject care for their abortion-surviving infants. 

The idea that he labels this rejection "maternity" is creepy.

Unwilling to Head Off the Problem

The authors notice that the problem of babies surviving abortion has two possible solutions. "The simplest, advocated by Dr. Sissela Bok of the Harvard Medical School among others, is just to prohibit late abortions. Taking into account the possible errors in estimating gestational age, she argues, the cutoff should be set well before the earliest gestational age at which infants are surviving." But, the authors note, while other countries have taken this approach, "the Supreme Court has applied a different logic in defining the abortion right, and the groups that won that right would not cheerfully accept retreat now."

"A second approach," the authors continue, "advocated by Mrs. Bok and others, is to define the woman's abortion right as being only a right to terminate the pregnancy, not to have the fetus dead. Then if the fetus is born live, it is viewed as a person in its own right, entitled to care appropriate to its condition."

They note, though, that this isn't a solution abortion practitioners are likely to accept. They quote Dr. Kerenyi of Mt. Sinai again: "You have to have a feticidal dose [of the saline]. It's almost a breach of contract not to. Otherwise, what are you going to do -- hand her back a baby having done it questionable damage? I say, if you can't do it, don't do it."

In other words, if you can't guarantee an in-utero death, send her to somebody who can.

Last Baby, Cleveland, March, 1978

A baby survived a saline abortion at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland in March of 1978. The infant was transferred to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. After several weeks in intensive care, the baby went home with the mother. "Mother and child returned to Rainbow for checkup when the child was 14 months old, the spokeswoman there said, and both were doing fine."

"The mother could not be reached for comment. But a source familiar with the case remembered one detail: 'The doctors had a very hard time making her realize she had a child. She kept saying, 'But I had an abortion.''"

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

December 6, 1988: Ambivalent Teen Dies Due to Neglect

Katrina Poole was conflicted during that winter of 1988. She'd had a positive pregnancy test on October 31, 1988. On November 4, she went to her family doctor, who confirmed a pregnancy of about 14 or 15 weeks, with a fetal heart rate of 140. 

Katrina's friend Lovie Jones said that Katrina told her, "I'm so confused." Katrina didn't want an abortion. She loved her boyfriend and wanted to have a baby with him.

But at 16, she was so young. She was doing well, excelling in her English classes at Raines High School in Tampa Bay, Florida. Some of her friends tried to talk her into following her heart and keeping her baby. Others reinforced her concerns that she was too young.

No details of the discussion with her physician are included in the medical board documents provided by AbortionDocs; it just relays that the doctor referred Katrina to A Woman's Choice, aka A Jacksonville Women's Health Center or Jacksonville Women's Health, because the doctor in question didn't perform second-trimester abortions.

Katrina didn't report to the clinic for a month, which confirms what her friends told reporters about her being conflicted about whether to have her baby or go through with the abortion. On December 5, Katrina's mother picked her up at school and drove her to A Woman's Choice for her 1 pm appointment.

Color photo of a small one-story building with a mansard roof. It has one large curtained-off window on each side and a sign between them reading "Jacksonvill Women's Health Center" along with the symbol for female.
A Woman's Choice, aka A Jacksonville Women's Health Center
The clinic records show no evidence that anybody at the clinic took any steps at all to determine how to provide appropriate care for Katrina. There's no evidence of a medical history -- which would have disclosed that Katrina's pregnancy had been estimated at 14 or 15 weeks a full month earlier. Taking a medical history would also have revealed that Katrina had a history of irregular menstrual periods, which would make it even more important to take all possible steps to determine an accurate gestational age. There was no physical examination of any kind noted. There was no ultrasound performed. Dr. Herman Miller simply charged ahead with a routine suction abortion, only suitable for first trimester pregnancies of 12 or fewer weeks. Katrina's mother was at her side.

Photo of a middle-aged Black man with half-frame eyeglasses, wearing a red suit coat, red tie, and white shirt with red trim on the collar.
Dr. Herman Miller Jr.
During the abortion, Miller noted that he had suctioned out far more placental tissue than expected. The medical board noted that Miller failed to take this second opportunity to perform an ultrasound and get a clear idea of what he was doing. Instead he simply kept going, making no notes at all about how he proceeded or any evaluation of the fetal remains other than to estimate that Katrina had actually been 22 weeks pregnant -- far enough along that the baby could potentially have survived if delivered alive. Miller had made no effort to assess the baby's viability.

After completing the abortion, Miller had Katrina remain in recovery for 30 minutes before prescribing Stadal (a synthetic opioid), Phenagen #3 (a drug to prevent nausea and vomiting), Metherzine (a drug to control obstetric bleeding), and "TCN Sumycus" (which a reader suggests is probably Sumycin tetracycline, an antibiotic).  He then sent her home. 

That evening Katrina took a prescribed medication, kissed her mother goodnight, and went to bed. She died some time between 2:00 and 6:30 the following morning. Katrina's family evidently went to wake her in the morning and found her dead.

Katrina had already been conflicted about the abortion. Would she even have consented had she known that her baby was at the cusp of viability? A simple ultrasound and a moment of honesty would almost certainly have saved Katrina's life, and perhaps spared the life of her possibly viable unborn baby.

The medical board took disciplinary action against Miller, including limiting his scope to perform second trimester abortions, but let him keep his license in spite of his appalling care of Katrina and the staggering lack of judgement he showed in failing to even examine his patient prior to surgery. I'm not sure how they could trust him to limit himself to first-trimester abortions when he didn't even bother to determine gestational age prior to firing up the suction machine.

New source: "Hard Lessons," St. Petersburg Times, February 8, 1989

The Dreaded Complication Part 1

On August 2, 1981 the editors of the Philadelphia Inquirer was intrepid enough to publish a special report on babies that survive abortions: "The Dreaded Complication."

Baby Boy, Omaha, 1979

The piece opens describing an event in Omaha, Nebraska in September of 1979: "A woman's scream broke the late-night quiet and brought two young obstetrical nurses rushing to Room 4456 of the University of Nebraska Medical Center." The patient in that room was there for a saline abortion, initiated 30 hours earlier. "When nurse Marilyn Wilson flicked on the lights and pulled back the covers, she found, instead of the stillborn fetus she'd expected, a live 2 1/2 pound baby boy, crying and moving his arms and legs there on the bed."

A second nurse, Joanie Fuchs, snatched the infant up in some of the bedcovers and dashed down the hall, calling other nurses for help. "She did not take the baby to an intensive care nursery, but deposited it instead on the stainless steel drainboard of a sink in the maternity unit's Dirty Utility Room -- a large closet where bedpans are emptied and dirty linens stored." 

"Finally, a head nurse telephoned the patient's physician, Dr. C.J. LaBenz, at home, apparently waking him."

"'He told me to leave it where it was,' the head nurse testified later, 'just to watch it for a few minutes, that it would probably die in a few minutes.'"

It took the neglected child 2 1/2 hours to die. One hour for every pound the baby weighed.

Baby Girl, Florida, c. 1976

"A baby girl in Florida, rescued by nurses who found her lying in a bedpan, is 5 years old now and doing well."

How Often?

The story notes that "interviews with nurses, some of the visibly anguished, uncovered dozens of ... cases that never reached public attention." The authors postulated that "for every case that does become known, a hundred probably go unreported." They noted that Dr. Willard Cates of the CDC estimated 400 to 500 babies surviving abortions annually in the United States. 

"They are little known," the article continues, "because organized medicine, from fear of public clamor and legal action, treats them more as an embarrassment to be hushed up than a problem to be solved. 'It's like turning yourself in to the IRS for an audit,' Cates said. 'What is there to gain? The tendency is not to report because there are only negative incentives.'"

Staff Reactions

The authors note that many facilities don't have protocols for dealing with live births from abortions, and that staff might not follow the guidelines anyway. Typically the births take place when the doctor in charge of the abortion is not present, leaving nurses or other staff to make changes. Babies aren't assessed after abortions but are merely presumed to be dead unless they make obvious movements or sounds. "Even then, the medical personnel on the scene may let the baby die rather than try to save it."

The article goes on to note that such live births "are taking a heavy emotional toll on medical staffs across the country. Some physicians say they have 'burned out' and stopped doing abortions altogether. Nursing staffs at hospitals in Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere have rebelled at late abortions and have stopped their hospitals from performing any abortions later than the midpoint of pregnancy. Some staff members who regularly perform late abortions report having nightmares about fetuses, including recurring dreams in which they frantically seek to hide fetuses from others."

Legal Realities

The article wasn't quite accurate in how it characterized the treatment of post-viability fetuses under Roe v. Wade. It characterized the Supreme Court as "reserving the right to protect the life of a viable fetus," without noting that the companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, defined the mother's "health" so broadly as to make any restrictions meaningless. The authors did, however, note that "the court never directly acknowledged the chance of an aborted fetus' being born alive. And it therefore never gave a clear guideline for dealing with what Dr. Thomas Kerenyi, a leading New York expert on abortions, has called 'the dreaded complication.'"

"Twenty states ... have no laws limiting late abortions or mandating care for live-born abortion babies. Even where such state laws exist, they have usually been found unenforceable in practice or unconstitutional." This, I would add, is because the abortion lobby holds firm that a right to an abortion is not merely a right to "terminate a pregnancy." They have held that the death of the fetus -- regardless of whether it takes place in the womb or outside of the womb -- is an implicit characteristic of an abortion, and any steps taken to preserve the life of an abortion survivor is an assault on the right of the child's mother to abort the baby.

Phoenix Baby, March, 1981

Doctors attempting a 19 - 20 week at Valley Abortion Clinic in Phoenix initiated an abortion only to have the mother deliver a live 32-week infant weighing 2 1/2 pounds which required two months of intensive care.

Baby Boy, Chicago, May, 1981

An abortion at a Chicago facility on an estimated 19 - 20 week pregnancy resulted in the birth of a 2-pound baby boy.

Glasgow Baby, January, 1969

A custodian at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, heard a cry from a paper bag left in the snow beside the incinerator. Opening the bag he found a living infant of about 32 weeks gestational age. The baby's age had been estimated at 26 weeks and since the baby was supposed to be born dead nobody bothered checking to see if it was alive before putting it out in the snow to be incinerated. The child was provided with care but died nine hours later. Nobody was ever charged in the death of the baby.

Bakersfield Baby, April, 1973

Dr. Xavier Hall Ramirez (John Roe 602) initiated a saline abortion only to have the woman deliver a 4 1/2 pound infant. Nurses began providing care to the baby and called Ramirez, who ordered them to discontinue oxygen. Another doctor countermanded the order, and the baby survived to be adopted. Ramirez was indicted for solicitation to commit murder. Other doctors testified in his defense, including Dr. Irvin M. Cushner of the University of California at Los Angeles. This doctor, who went on to become a top health policy official under President Jimmy Carter, asserted that it was perfectly reasonable for Ramirez to expect a dead or moribund baby.

West Penn Baby, July, 1974

A woman who said that she was pregnant as a result of rape, "though," the article notes, "hat and her account of when she became pregnant were later disputed," was turned down for an abortion at a Pittsburgh hospital because they estimated her pregnancy to be 26 - 31 weeks. She went to West Penn Hospital, where Dr. Leonard Laufe diagnosed her as 20 to 22 weeks pregnant and charged ahead. "The abortion, induced by an injection of prostaglandin, a substance that stimulates muscle contraction and delivery of the fetus, was filmed for use as an instructional film. The film showed the three-pound infant moving and gasping." The baby was not cared for and, of course, died. During a coroner's inquest Laufe insisted that the baby had suffered fatal injuries during the abortion so there had been no point in providing any care. No charges were ever filed.

The Edelin Baby, Boston, 1973

Dr. Kenneth Edelin performed a hysterotomy abortion on a girl who was 24 weeks pregnant. A hysterotomy abortion is just a C-section performed with the intention of just letting the baby die. Perhaps because he was in a hospital operating room rather than a freestanding clinic where everybody was on board with dead babies, Edelin pinched the umbilical cord and held the baby in the womb, covered in amniotic fluid, likely in hopes of drowning the infant before delivering it. He was convicted of failing to provide an abortion survivor with care, resulting in death. However, his conviction was overturned. 

Edelin's diligence in ensuring that the teenage patient got the dead baby she'd paid for, and his perceived persecution for providing this vital reproductive health care, made him a darling of the abortion rights movement.

Baby Girl W, Westminster, California, March, 1977

This is the famous Waddill case, in which Dr. William Baxter Waddill strangled a 32-week baby girl who had been born alive during a saline abortion. Witnesses -- at least two nurses, a pediatrician, and an emergency room doctor -- saw Waddill's repeated efforts to kill the baby. Dr. Ronald Cornelson, the pediatrician, testified that Waddill said, "I can't find the goddam trachea" and "This baby won't stop breathing." The case resulted in two hung juries because -- this isn't noted in the article -- nobody had tested the little girl for brain function before Waddill took action, so there was no proof that Waddill caused her "death," defined as "cessation of brain function."

Baby Boy, Los Angeles, July 1979

A woman delivered an apparently dead baby after Dr. Boyd Cooper performed an abortion at 23 weeks at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The baby was taken to a utility room and left with the other aborted babies. After half an hour later nurse Laura VanArsdale noticed that the 1 to 2 pound baby boy was gasping for breath. Cooper told VanArsdale, "Leave the baby there -- it will die." Twelve hours later, when VanArsdale returned to work, she found the baby still alive and gasping in the utility room. Cooper finally consented to have the baby taken to the intensive care unit, where he died four days later. A coroner's jury ruled the death "accidental." Cooper wasn't prosecuted.

"A Common Thread"

The writers noted, "A common thread in all these incidents is that life was recognized and the episode brought to light by someone other than the doctor. Indeed, there is evidence that doctors tend to ignore all but the most obvious signs of life in an abortion baby."

I'd call this a massive understatement. It took a lot of effort for William Waddill to extinguish the obvious life of Baby W. 

The International Correspondence Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

In an issue of the newsletter of the International Correspondence Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a doctor wrote that he was troubled when an aborted infant survived. In the November, 1974 issue, other doctors responded.

Dr. Ronald Bolognese of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, said, "At the time of delivery, it has been our policy to wrap the fetus in a towel. The fetus is then moved to another room while our attention is turned to the care of [the woman]. She is examined to determined whether complete placental expulsion has occurred and the extent of vaginal bleeding. Once we are sure that her condition is stable, the fetus is evaluated. Almost invariably all signs of life have ceased."

The Inquirer article notes that Bolognese backtracked in a 1979 interview, saying, "That's not what we do now. We would transport it to the intensive care nursery."

Dr. William Brenner of the University of North Carolina Medical school was a bit more charitable towards abortion survivors, at least if they continued to show signs of life for several minutes He then recommended calling the patient's doctor -- the abortionist, who, I  might note, has been paid to produce a dead baby, not a live one -- for instructions. If the baby remains tenacious of life after the abortionist has been consulted, "[t]he pediatrician on call should probably be appraised of the situation," Brenner adds. I would note the total lack of any sense or urgency. The idea seems to be to dawdle as much as possible in hope that the lack of care ensures the desired dead baby.

"Seemingly Callous Policies"

The Inquirer notes that in a 1979 interview, Dr. Warren Pearse, executive director of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said that what a doctor should to if a baby survives an abortion "is nothing. You assume the infant is dead unless it shows signs of life. You're dealing with a dead fetus unless there is sustained cardiac action or sustained respiration -- it's not enough if there's a single heartbeat or an occasional gasp."

"These seemingly callous policies are based on the assumption that abortion babies are too small or too damaged by the abortion process to survive and live meaningful lives. That is not necessarily the case, though, even for babies set aside and neglected in the minutes after delivery."

Florida Baby, Mid-1970s

The authors write, "A nursing supervisor who asked not to be identified told of an abortion live birth in the mid-'70s in a Florida hospital. The infant was dumped in a bedpan without examination, as was standard practice. 'It did not die,' the nurse said. 'It was left in the bedpan for an hour before signs of life were noticed. It weighed slightly over a pound.'"

After several months in a neonatal intensive care unit, the baby survived and was adopted. The nursing supervisor said that she continued to follow the child's progress and had photos of the child "riding a bicycle and playing a little piano."

SIDEBAR: Regarding hysterotomy abortions,
"'As the infant is lifted from the womb,' said
one obstetrician, 'he is only sleeping, like his
mother. She is under anesthesia, and so is he.
You want to know how they kill him? They put
a towel over his face so he can't breathe. And
by the time they get him to the lab, he is dead.'"
Dr. Thomas F. Kerenyi, pictured, of Mt. Sinai
in New York preferred saline abortions and
said that he screened his patients to make sure
they weren't past 24 weeks. He did say,
however, that they could be performed "virtually
all the way to birth. At 30 weeks, say, you
would just have to draw off and inject that much
more of the solution."
Another doctor, who wished to remain
anonymous, said "You can do it," of D&E
(dismemberment) abortions past 24 weeks.
"Some son-of-a-bitch misreads a sonogram
and sends me a woman 26 weeks. I've done
it. You've just got to take your time and be
careful. And you're not going to end up with
a live birth.

Two Wilmington Babies, Spring, 1979

An nurse found an infant that had been placed in a plastic specimen jar after a saline abortion at Wilmington Medical Center. The baby was gasping for breath, so the nurse took the child to a nursery where it was provided with the same care as any other baby. The child was later adopted.

Five weeks later, at the same hospital, a baby was clearly delivered alive after a saline abortion and was immediately provided with care. This infant was also adopted.

Baby Girl, Inglewood Women's Hospital, February 1979

In February of 1979, an infant girl was born at Inglewood Women's Hospital in Los Angeles, California. (This is the same abortion hospital where Kathy MurphyLynette Wallace, and Elizabeth Tsuji had already undergone fatal abortions, and Cora Lewis and Belinda Byrd would suffer fatal injuries later.) Somebody actually called Harbor General Hospital, associated with UCLA and fully equipped with a neonatal ICU. Nobody from their neonatal team arrived. Though it was "very unusual for them not to pick up an [infant] of this size," said Dr. Rosemary Leake of Harbor General, there had evidently been confusion about the baby's weight and vital signs. The infant died after three hours.

Baby Boy, South Carolina, September, 1974

Louise A. was 20 years old when in 1974 when her periods stopped. She went to her hometown doctor's office, where a nurse told her that she wasn't pregnant. The nurse was mistaken. This mistake delayed confirmation that Louise was indeed pregnant. She went to Dr. Jesse Floyd's office in July of 1974.

Floyd determined that she was past the first trimester of her pregnancy. Under South Carolina law of the time, those later abortions had to be performed in a hospital It took Louise a while to pull together the $450 abortion fee. 

Floyd admitted her to Richland Memorial Hospital. On September 4, he injected her with prostaglandin to cause an abortion.

On September 6, Louise said, "I started having real bad labor pains again and finally my baby was born. I called the nurse." Several nurses, including the head nurse, came into the room, Louise said, and the head nurse asked her if she had known that "the baby was a seven-month baby." Louise said no.

"One of the nurses said that the baby was alive. They took the baby out of the room. He never did cry, he just made some kind of a noise."

The first doctor summoned to the abortion ward was a young resident, who had been paged from the cafeteria. As the Inquirer said, "She did not hesitate. On detecting a heartbeat of 100, she clamped and severed the umbilical cord and had the baby sent to the hospital's intensive care unit."

"It was a shock, a totally unique emergency situation, very upsetting to all of us," the woman, ty then a practicing physician in California. "Some people have disagreed with me [about ordering intensive care for an abortion live birth] but that seems to me the only way you can go."

"It's like watching a drowning. You act. You don't have the luxury of calling around and consulting. You institute life-preserving measures first and decide about viability later on."

At first the baby's condition seemed to be improving. By the time he was ten days old he was prognosed as having a 50% chance of survival.

Louise, who never saw the baby, checked out of the hospital on September 8. "I kept calling this nurse," she said in a deposition. "I would call ... and get information from them about the baby, and they told me he was doing fine. They told me he had picked up two or three pounds. I started going to school, and one afternoon I called them and they told me the baby had died, but no one told me the cause of his death."

The baby had developed a tear in his small intestine and died of that and other complications on September 26, just 20 days old.

Prosecutors were faced with a difficult case. Floyd himself never had any contact with the baby, nor was he involved in making decisions about the child's care. However, it struck them as obvious that by proceeding with an abortion was illegal in that it was done outside a hospital after the first trimester, Floyd had taken action leading to the baby's death. Floyd was charged with both murder and criminal abortion, but eventually the abortion-rights arguments won out. Floyd could claim not knowing that the baby had been past viability, and could even assert that under Roe and Doe, the state had no business meddling in his decision to perform an abortion even after viability. The charges were dropped.

Baby Girl, South Carolina, c. 1974

Charges were filed against Dr. Herbert Schreiber of Camden, South Carolina, for first-degree murder and illegal abortion after allegations that a little girl had been born alive after an abortion and Schreiber had strangled her. Schreiber pleaded not guilty to the crimes. A month after charges were filed, July 18, 1976, a motel maid discovered Schreiber's body slumped over dead in a chair in his room. He had committed suicide by overdose. Noting how nothing had come of the case against Floyd, the prosecutor noted, although Schreiber had "just reached in and strangled the baby," "[i]f he would have been willing to wait [for the outcome of the case], he probably would have been OK too."

Watch Live Births: The Dreaded Abortion Complication Part 1 on YouTube.

Monday, December 05, 2022

December 5, 1998: Safe and Legal Neglect Kills Teen

 Seventeen-year-old Janice Gumm of Beach Park, Illinois, went to Dimensions Medical Center in Des Plaines, Illinois, for an abortion on December 5, 1998, to be performed under anesthesia.

Her abortionist was Dr. Jesse Chandler, and the anesthesiologist was Dr. Murray Rosenberg of Hospital Anesthesia Group. 

The suit by Janice's survivors held that Dimensions failed to perform an adequate physical examination prior to the abortion, particularly in that they did not properly assess her increased risks due to the fact that she had asthma. As a result, Janice suffered an anesthesia-related complication that resulted in her death that day. 

Dr. Jesse Chandler Jr.

Dimensions voluntarily closed in December of 2011, citing the following reasons:
The two surgical suites are too small to accommodate all equipment necessary for modern surgical procedures. The applicants also report flooding issues at the facility, resulting in unsanitary conditions, additional remediation costs, and unnecessary closures of the facility. The applicants also identified a non-functioning emergency generator system that must be replaced
Patients dying because abortion staff didn't take their asthma into account aren't unique. Other deaths similar to Janice's include:

  • Tami Suematsu was 19 when she went into bronchial spasm during an abortion performed by Dr. Vern Wagner at Riverside Family Planning Center in 1988.
  • Donna Heim was 20 when she went to Her Medical Clinic in 1986 for an abortion performed by Dr. Mahlon Cannon.
  • Sheila Hebert was 27 when she went to Delta Women's Clinic in Baton Rouge for an abortion in 1984.
  • "Colleen" was 20 years old when she travelled from Michigan to New York to take advantage of their newfangled "safe and legal" abortions in 1972.

Watch Deadly Oversight on YouTube.

Lime 5: Abortions on Women Who Weren't Pregnant

It's probably much harder to sell an abortion to a woman who only believes herself to be pregnant in our days of over-the-counter home pregnancy tests. However, it wasn't always that easy to verify on your own if you were or weren't pregnant. Women were sometimes sold abortions when they weren't actually pregnant, either because of a screw-up or because of blatant dishonesty, as was the case with the Voodoo Abortion Couple, Dr. Judith Comeau-Samuel and her husband, Dr. Maxen Samuel. The couple would charge $75 for a pregnancy test. They would then tell the patient she was pregnant, then offer to apply the $75 pregnancy test fee toward the cost of an abortion. Authorities estimated that 25% of the abortions performed at Comeau-Samuel's facilities were done on non-pregnant women. The number of victims in 1985 was estimated at 2,400.

It was also the stories of abortion clinics selling abortions to women who weren't pregnant that prompted Diane Sawyer to have one of her people call us at Life Dynamics and ask for information about clinics that were still open after getting caught doing that. Of course, when she found out that women were also being maimed, killed, and possibly raped she decided that she didn't want to do a story on seedy abortion clinics after all.

With this in mind, let's look at the cases from Lime 5.

"Sharon" went to San Vicente Hospital (Hospital 7) on January 26, 1974. Based on their assurance that she was indeed pregnant and that an abortion "was necessary for her health" she was admitted for an abortion. During the procedure she suffered injuries requiring treatment. She only discovered afterwards that she had not been pregnant after all. (Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. 109113)

"Patricia" went to a Kansas City, Missouri abortion clinic on April 16, 1983. She said that after "the painful poking had been going on probably about seven to nine minutes, ... the doctor had stopped for a second, and whispered something to the nurse ... and the nurse raised me up and said, it had been a mistake, I had not been pregnant." Patricia later said, "I was weak and I could not respond." She bled heavily, and a nurse told her that if they couldn't stop the bleeding they would have to send her to the hospital by ambulance. Another clinic employee warned her not to fall asleep. Patricia dressed and waited for an ambulance. "I waited for .. a half hour, and I was getting weaker and weaker, and nobody said anything about an ambulance. I wasn't going to wait all day.... I was crying telling [my sister] what happened. And I told her to come and get me." Patricia's sister drove her to the hospital, with tissues stuffed into her underpants because the clinic hadn't even given her a pad to absorb the bleeding. Patricia's reproductive organs were damaged and it was three years before her periods resumed. (St. Louis Missouri Circuit Court Cause No. 852-01457)

"Joann" underwent an abortion by John Roe 382 on June 17, 1985. She suffered a perforated uterus and permanent injury that required surgical repair. Doctors subsequently determined that Joann had not even been pregnant. (Oakland County Michigan Circuit Court Civil Action No. 86 320211)

"Debra" was able to use a home pregnancy test when she thought that she'd gotten pregnant in spite of having an IUD. When it came back positive, she went to John Roe 92 in Denver. He didn't give her another test to confirm the pregnancy but just assumed that the over-the-counter test was accurate and performed an abortion. There was no tissue collected from the procedure, so Roe tried again. Still unable to get tissue, he sent Debra to a hospital to check for a tubal pregnancy. There, he made an abdominal incision and noted a mass on or near Debra's ovary. Roe stated, "Because it could not be certain as to what exactly was going on, it was elected to remove the ovary and the distal segment of the tube." A lab report found that there was no pregnancy tissue in the tube or ovary. Debra had not, in fact, been pregnant. (Denver Colorado District Court Case No. 86 CV 7389)

Synthia Yvette Dennard

Twenty-four-year-old Synthia Dennard, a married mother of two, went to Biogenetics in Chicago for an abortion and tubal ligation on September 7, 1989. The surgery was performed by Inno Obasi. Synthia began to hemorrhage during the surgery. A medical investigation later found that Obasi had "failed to summon help in a timely manner; refused to allow trained and skilled paramedics to attend to Synthia; refused to allow paramedics to transport Synthia to a hospital in a timely manner," and otherwise "allowed Synthia to bleed to death." An autopsy revealed that instead of removing a section of Synthia's fallopian tube, Obasi had removed a portion of an artery. The autopsy also revealed that Synthia, mother of two, had not been pregnant at the time of her abortion. Biogenetics is the same facility where "Susanna Chisholm," and Brenda Benton underwent their fatal abortions.

Watch Lime 5: Not Pregnant on YouTube.