Monday, August 25, 2008

1980: A trash bag is not aftercare

On August 23, 1980, 26-year-old Betty Jane Zellers Damato went to Dr. James Franklin in Denver, Colorado, for a safe, legal abortion. According to Betty's family, Franklin did not remove all of the fetus. He instead gave Betty a trash bag, and instructions to collect whatever she expelled in the bag and bring it to him.

Two days later, Betty was dead from infection.

Franklin told a grand jury that he did not perform the fatal abortion. He claimed that he had examined Betty, found a dead fetus, and sent her to the hospital. A jury convicted him of manslaughter in Betty's death on October 19, 1981, and he was sentenced to prison for three years.

Other abortionists have also faced charges in the death of legal abortion patients:

  • Dr. Robert Sherman was charged with murder in the 1975 abortion death of Rita McDowell.

  • Frank Robinson was charged with murder in the 1982 abortion death of Jennifer Suddeth.

  • David Benjamin was indicted for murder in the 1993 abortion death of Guadalupe Negron.

  • Bruce Steir (rhymes with "fear") was charged with murder in the 1996 abortion death of Sharon Hamplton (Pictured, with her son, Curtis).

  • John Biskind was charged with homicide in the 1998 abortion death of Lou Ann Herron.

  • Dr. Rapin Osathanondh was indicted on manslaughter charges in the 2007 abortion death of Laura Hope Smith (Pictured).

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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