Friday, April 22, 2005

Something new for me in an old article

While searching for something else, I found this article at Human Life Review. I thought I'd read it before, perhaps because the facts are so familiar to me. But then I noticed this:

Hellen Pendley recalled how a doctor at her clinic, performing an abortion on a fourteen-year-old girl, tore her uterus and pulled the bowel through. He asked Pendley, "What do I do?" She interpreted that to mean, "What do I do to make sure that this stays under wraps?" Consulting the girl's medical record, Pendley found that she lived some distance from the clinic and was accompanied only by a friend. So Pendley said, "Poke it back in, and send her home." When she later described the case, Pendley admitted: "Whether she lived or died, I do not know."

Once an acquaintance of Pendley's alerted her about a young woman who was desperately ill in a local hospital. "She's comatose right now," Pendley's informant said. "We're getting ready to amputate her limbs. She's throwing blood clots. I don't think she's gonna make it. But we were able to determine that she had had an abortion today." They didn't know where the abortion was done, so Pendley drove to her own clinic at midnight to see if it was involved. She did not find any record of the woman at her clinic; if she had, she would have shredded it. "We had a personal shredder in my office for that purpose," she said. "There would not have been a medical record if the D.A. had shown up on my doorsteps the next morning."

This isn't the first instance of "stuff the bowel in and send her home" I've encountered, not by a long shot. Nor is it the first instance of destroying medical records. But it's for some reason it creeps me out more than the other stories.

And I thought for a moment the story in the second paragraph might be about Carolina Guitierrez, but she died in Florida, and Pendley was in Georgia. So now I have what may be another death case to track down and document. There's no good outcome for that woman -- even if she survived, she survived with multiple amputations. That's just hideous. And can you imagine, people are always curious, "How did you lose that arm?" so every time somebody would look at her she'd have to remember the abortion.

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