Monday, June 30, 2008

1982: Teen mom bleeds to death, doctor charged with manslaughter

Seventeen-year-old Jennifer Suddeth underwent what she believed was a safe and legal abortion performed by Frank Robinson on June 30, 1982. On the drive home, Jennifer bled heavily, alarming her partner, John Fredzess. Fredzess called the clinic repeatedly over the four hours after their return home, but staff would not put the call through to Robinson. One nurse admonished Fredzess to "be realistic" about how severely Jennifer was bleeding. By that time, Jennifer had bled through two pairs of sweat pants, two blankets, and a towel. At last the hysterical young man was able to contact Robinson, who insisted that the bleeding was normal and instructed Fredzess to stop calling.

When Jennifer went into convulsions, Fredzess called an ambulance. Parmedics arrived at the home to find Jennifer already dead. Police interviewed the weeping and hysterical Fredzess, then pressed charges against Robinson for involuntary manslaughter in Jennifer's death. Although Robinson beat the rap, the state of California nevertheless counted Jennifer's death as due to illegal abortion.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Anonymous said...

I am incensed -- the girl's unfortunate death is bad enough, but how could it be counted as due to "illegal abortion"? This just makes it sound like she wouldn't have died if she had had a legal abortion.

I'm certainly not doubting what you've said, but do you know of any studies that demonstrate that deaths due to abortion are not accurately counted? In a blog-comment, I mentioned this blog and another website for showing that abortion deaths are underreported, and the person basically said he didn't believe anti-choice propaganda, and said that if what I said were true, then some doctor or scientist or researcher should be able to publish scientific data showing as much. I know that there have been studies verifying that maternal mortality is underreported in the US, and that the CDC admits as much, but that makes it sound like women are dying in childbirth at a higher rate than reported (which is probably also true), rather than dying from abortion.


Christina Dunigan said...

The CDC themselves did a study, published in Public Health Reports in July of 1978, that cross-indexed Georgia abortion certificates against Georgia death certificates, looking for deaths among women who had undergone abortions that year. They found some abortion deaths they had missed, but concluded that these deaths weren't "statistically significant" because they were a small number compared to the US total for that year. As if the only abortion deaths they'd missed were in Georgia!

David Reardon summarizes research here.

Sadly, you'll not find any "neutral" or "prochoice" studies, because this is the underpinning of their entire movement. If they had accurate maternal death numbers, their whole house of cards would come crashing down on their heads. What an independent, curious prochoicer could do would be to look at the deaths Life Dynamics has documented and compare it to the CDC's numbers, and they can see that the CDC are CLEARLY undercounting. But the person would have to be willing to do their own research to verify the deaths LDI found and compare them to the number reported by the CDC. And most prochoicers, frankly, are appallingly lazy. They'd rather recite what they've been told.