Thursday, September 15, 2005

Safe-n-legal: Janet Foster

Eighteen-year-old Janet Foster underwent an abortion at the hands of Richard Neal at Valley Doctors' Hospital in North Hollywood, California on September 11, 1971. Janet's abortion had been a "therapeutic" abortion approved by the hospital committee, as was required at the time. Neal reported that he'd estimated the pregnancy at 12-weeks and performed what he thought was an uneventful suction abortion.

Janet's brother-in-law reported that she was very weak and sleepy when he picked her up at the hospital. After returning home, Janet suffered abdominal pain, and called Neal on September 14. He told her he'd see her the next day. Janet felt ill, so she went to bed early. In the early morning hours, Janet went into convulsions.

Her brother-in-law and paramedics attempted to revive her, to no avail; Janet was pronounced dead at 3:55 am. The autopsy found that in Janet's uterus was a "macerated, lacerated and purulent male fetus of about 19 weeks gestation. This fetus measures 14.5 cm. in crown-rump length, shows lacerations in the shoulder area, evisceration of the bowel through an abdominal laceration, and destruction of the skull and facila structures." Janet's uterus also contained "approximately 20 cc. of red-brown purulent and foul-smelling liquid with similar odor and color to an exudate on the endometrial surface." Janet's death attrubuted to septicemia due to "incomplete abortion, therapeutic, septic."

An LA County grand jury indicted Neal on a felony manlsaughter charge in Janet's death. The 1976 trial ended with a hung jury.

Janet wasn't the first, or the last, woman to think she was about to undergo a first-trimester abortion, only to end up undergoing a late (and possibly lethal) late abortion. Some whose cases I've written up include "Taranda," age 17, who went to Family Planning Clinic for Reproductive Health what she thought was a 6 week abortion on December 22, 1989. Four days later, Taranda gave birth to a one pound, critically ill infant girl.

"Jean" thought she was in the first trimester when she went for an abortion on November 20, 1973. At 5AM on November 22, Jean's mother-in-law rushed her to the emergency room, where she expelled a severely mutilated 19-week female fetus.

Fred H. Pulver voluntarily surrendered his medical license at the age of 79 in the wake of allegations regarding his January 18, 1990 attempt to perform an abortion on a woman who gave birth to a three-pound, 27-week baby boy five days later. Pulver had estimated the pregnancy as 11 weeks.

"Francine," age 16, went to All Women's Health Center for an abortion in August of 1986. Abortionist Harold Ticton estimated the pregnancy at three months. Upon removing the fetal arm, he realized that the fetus was actually seven months. Francine had the dead fetus removed by c-section, was admitted to the intensive care unit, and was hospitalized for over a week.

And other women besides Janet have ended up dead as a result of abortionists' choices to proceed with abortions when the pregnancy was far more advanced than the woman had thought. They include Eurice Agbaaga, Magdalena Rodriguez, and Maria Ortega.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

To email this post to a friend, use the icon below.

No comments: