Monday, February 05, 2007

"South Dakota Supreme Court, Abortion law 1972 Benjamin Munson"

The name Benjamin Munson immediately brings two other names to my mind -- the names of Linda Padfield and Yvonne Mesteth, who died of botched abortions under his dubious care.

There were no reported abortions in South Dakota prior to 1973, so I'm assuming abortion was illegal there.

Does anybody know any more about what this visitor might have been searching for?

UPDATE: Thanks to Tlaloc for providing this link:

Munson believed women had the right to safely end a pregnancy, and he risked his medical practice and well-being by performing abortions at a Rapid City clinic in the late 1960s. At the time, he was the only physician in the entire state willing to perform the procedure.

In 1969, Munson was arrested and charged with performing an illegal abortion. He won his case at the circuit court level, but the state appealed, and the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled against him. His case was still in appeals when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade case.

Does anybody see the irony of juxtaposing "Munson believed women had the right to safely end a pregnancy" with what he did to Linda and Yvonne?
Munson died on July 27 [2003?] of Alzheimer's disease. He was 87.

A commenter at the blog in question said that she'd befriended Munson in his old age and brought him to church. May he have repented before he went to meet his Maker.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I found this:
There was only one doctor in South Dakota who would perform abortions before Roe v Wade. He was a kind, generous,caring doctor who put himself at risk to help women in need because he knew it was the right thing to do: his name was Dr. Benjamin Munson. He was tried for murder because a women who had to travel in secret to western SD/Rapid City for an abortion was afraid she would be prosecuted so she returned in secret to the eastern part of the state where she lived. She bled to death because it was illegal in those days to check into a clinic or hospital for the procedure and stay until you were sure that nothing was going to go wrong afterwards—she would have been prosecuted even for going to an emergency room for help after her abortion! This is a famous case in South Dakota.

Does this mean that Munson's pre-Roe arrest involved the death of a patient?


Christina Dunigan said...

Ah! Thanks, Tlaloc!

Does anybody get the bitter irony of this statement:

"Munson believed women had the right to safely end a pregnancy"

Yeah, safely. Sending Linda and Yvonne home with rotting fetal tissue in their bodies so that they could die horrible deaths.

Anonymous said...

People should be able to choose to use birth control,
so as to avoid having to make another choice.

Abortion is the MOTHER of all holocausts...

With each new generation, comes the realisations of some of the mistakes of the former.

Something to do with evolution I suspect.

Many practices of the past are no longer practiced.

Abortion should soon join the practices of old.

Sometime in the not too distant future, people will look back in disbelief and horror at many of the practices of today.