Friday, February 22, 2008

Anniversary: Abortion recommended for "health" reasons kills teen

Barbara Hoppert was a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore when she checked into Loma Linda University Hospital for an abortion. Barbara was in the second trimester of her pregnancy. She was having the abortion on the recommendation of her physician, because of a congenital heart condition. The abortion was performed on February 22, 1983. During the procedure, Barbara's heart stopped. Physicians were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead on the operating table.

The following comment was posted on this blog:

It's been almost 24 years since I was at the Loma Linda Hospital and was roomed with Barbara Hoppert, but not year goes by when Feb 22nd rolls around and I don't think of her. She died that day during her abortion procedure. I just now put her name into google and found your article on her. It was barely 4 sentences and seemed as cold as her death. She was once alive and had such a sad end and dramatic story. It still brings me to tears today thinking about her last night alive... how she was treated by her own family and the staff at the hospital. We watched Square Pegs that night on tv. And she told me about the boy who had impregnated her... She left early the next morning and I wished her good luck... An hour later a woman came to the room, later I found out that was her "real" mother whom Barbara thought was her sister. She missed seeing Barbara that one last time.... Barbara's story is very tragic. I am so very sad that she was so alone her last night alive. I was her only comfort and I was a complete stranger. Don't know how comforting I was other than I cried with her and listened.... Knowing the pain she was in.... She remains in my prayers. Just thought you should know she was more than just part of your cause.

Thanks to the woman who came forward to share this memory of Barbara.

Barbara's was not the only tragic death caused by doctors who recommended (or excused) abortion as a life-saving or health-preserving option for the mother:
  • Allegra Roseberry was pushed into an abortion in order to obtain experimental cancer treatment.
  • Anjelica Duarte sought an abortion on the advice of her physician, and ended up dying under the care of a quack.
  • Christin Gilbert (pictured) died after an abortion George Tiller holds was justified on grounds of maternal health.
  • Erika Peterson died in 1961 when her doctors obtained her husband's permission to perform a "therapeutic" abortion.
  • "Molly" Roe died in 1975 when her doctors made the dubious decision to perform a saline abortion to improve her chances of surviving a lupus crisis.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Joy said...

What a sad tale about Barbara, from a dear woman who still, to this day, remembers her. Abortion is not only heartbreaking to the woman but to those around her. And she paid the ultimate price with her life. How different her life could have turned out.

Christina Dunigan said...

I was astonished when I was doing research on high-risk pregnancies and found out that successful management was measured in terms of fetal survival and uncomplicated labor rather than in survival rates for the mothers, who uniformly survived in all the articles I reviewed.

Joy said...

Exactly! There is a woman on a forum in disagreement with me on the point that abortion is medically safer than giving birth. She really needs to do her research. It's amazing what people would find out if they just READ and researched.

Reading and Sort of Running said...

Actually, when obtaining an abortion by a certified doctor in a safe environment, the risk of maternal death is only .2 per 100,000 procedures. By comparison, mortality from childbirth in developed countries is 11 times greater. The real issue, since abortion is legal, is that it should remain safe. It's a woman's decision, and it should be a safe and legal one she can freely make.

Christina Dunigan said...

1. You're basing your assumptions about safety on data so skewed that no honest and knowledgable person would use them. I leave it to you to determine if you are being dishonest or ill-informed.

2. To my knowledge, all comparisons of purported safety of abortion versus continuing the pregnancy naturally are based on national health statistics, generating a generic "abortion" risk and a generic "childbirth" risk. I've not seen studies comparing maternal survival for specific conditions. Studies look at treatment approaces and tend to measure how close to term the woman carries, the health and survival of the newborn, and the degree of intervention needed to get the woman through delivery. Her survival is assumed, since her death would be, if it did occur, a flukey thing.