Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Three tragic anniversaries

Betty Hines was 21 years old when she was checked into Doctors Hospital in California for an abortion to be performed by Dr. A. Mitchell on July 19, 1971. Betty was eight weeks pregnant. There didn't seem to be anything wrong during the procedure. Betty was transferred to the recovery room, when she suddenly went into cardio-respiratory arrest. Betty's death was attributed to massive intravascular sickling due to underlying sickle cell disorder.

The tragic death of Betty Hines also reveals a problem with abortion advocates' claims about legal abortion safety. They often point out that after California legalized abortion in 1970, hospital admissions for abortion complications dropped significantly. But until Roe vs. Wade struck down California's law, all abortions had to be done in hospitals. This meant that if the woman suffered complications during or shortly after her abortion, she was already in a hospital and therefore she would not be admitted for the complications. The hospital admissions search that "proved" a drop in complications counted only women whose complications didn't develop until after they'd left the hospital.

A year to the day earlier, on the other side of the United States, 31-year-old "Alice" underwent a 14-week saline abortion in New York City. She had a history of rheumatic heart disease and two previous live births. After the saline was injected, she developed acute pulmonary edema and died.

Going even further back in time, July 19 is the anniversary of an illegal abortion death as well. According to the New York TImes, 17-year-old Gertrude Wynants died on July 19, 1925, of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Margaret Shott Higgens, age 23, was indicted for manslaughter in Gertrude's death.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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