Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two centuries, one city, three deaths

On November 30, 1874, Mrs. Mary Dix died at her Chicago home from complications of a criminal abortion performed there. Dr. W. F. Aiken was arrested and charged with murder.

On November 30, 1926, 34-year-old Sophie Peterson died at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. She had been hospitalized due to complications of an illegal abortion performed October 27 in the Chicago office of Dr. Frederick Springe. Springe was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury on December 15.

A year to the day later, 22-year-old Lucille van Iderstine died in the Chicago office of Dr. Emil Gleitsman, from an abortion that had been performed on her that day. Gleitsman was indicted for felony murder in Lucille's death on January 15, 1928.

Were these criminal abortions, performed by physicians, typical of abortions before legalization?
Yes. Most abortions were performed by doctors.
Yes, though abortions by midwives or nurses were about as common.
Not really. Doctors did abortions, but only about a quarter of them.
Not at all. Most abortions were self-induced or performed by housewives or other untrained people.

New information from an old source

On a whim, while I was in the State Library waiting for WestLaw to become available, I checked the 1970 New York Times index.

I found an abortion death that year that I hadn't known about:

Pearl Schwier, age 42, was 20 weeks pregnant when she sought a safe, legal abortion at St. Luke's hospital in New York City. She was brought into the operating room on July 6, 1970 for a hysterotomy abortion, which is simply a c-section in which the intention is to allow the baby to die rather than to deliver him or her alive. It was performed under general anesthesia. About 45 minutes into the procedure, Pearl had a reaction to the anesthesia and died.

I also found the names of two women whose deaths I'd known about, along with a some additional information.

"Alice" from the Life Dynamics "Blackmun Wall" is actually Carmen Rodriguez. Her death touched off local protests by a radical Puerto Rican group that blamed hospital staff for performing a risky saline abortion on a patient already known to have heart problems.

"Sheryl" from the "Blackmun Wall" is Barbara Riley. She suffered fatal sickle cell crisis.

I also got additional information on a woman I believe to be Maria Ortega, but I'll have to make another search to verify that this is the same woman.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

1930: Michigan City abortion proves fatal

Seventeen-year-old Miss Dorothy Jasinski was brought to St. Mary's Hospital in Chicago by two unidentified women on November 17, 1930. Dorothy was treated there until her death on November 29. The coroner determined that Dorothy had died from an abortion performed in Michigan City, Indiana, the day she'd been brought to the hospital.

The coroner recommended identification of the person or persons responsible, and his or their arrest on charges of murder.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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Friday, November 28, 2008

1888: Snake oil salesman's wares prove fatal for Dakota woman

Mrs. George Libby, age 18, died November 28, 1888, in Wahpeton in the Dakota territories.

Before her death she admitted that she had bought abortifacient drugs from "a traveling doctor who made a specialty of selling such drugs."

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Only Women Bleed

Reasoned Audacity had a post by this name, though I thought it was about the Washington Times article about a female med student who decides she doesn't want to be an abortionist after all. It had been fun practicing the technique on papayas, she learned. But it wasn't a very pleasant thing to do to women for a living:

That evening, discussing the second-term abortion with her mother, Lesley described a process that she found disturbingly brutal, especially the stretching of the vagina.

"It's a lot more invasive than I thought," she said. "A papaya doesn't bleed and scream." Women do.

Indeed. Only women bleed:

Be unique! Just like us!

NARAL has a couple of interesting new ads out. Jill Stanek described watching them as like being the only non-stoned person in a beatnik coffee house.

As far as I can tell, the message is "Be just like us! Or you'll be one of THEM!"

"One of us! One of us! Gooble-gobble! Gooble-gobble!"

It kind of reminds me of this guy:

Be an original! Join the crowd!

I guess NARAL is figuring that vague works. If "Hope" and "Change" managed to put Harold Saxon in the White House, then "Free" and "Will" and "Power" can put a canula in a uterus and -- more to the point -- money into their coffers.

1971: Safe, legal abortion causes gruesome death

"Monica" was a 31-year-old mother of five. She requested a safe, legal abortion when she was 8 weeks pregnant, but the abortion was delayed about a month in order to address "some health, personal and administrative problems."

Her doctor decided that it was best to simply remove Monica's uterus with the fetus still in it. The hysterectomy was done under general anesthesia with no apparent complications.

On the second day after surgery, Monica developed fever and nausea, and had no bowel sounds. The next day she felt unwell and had a distended abdomen.

The next day, she felt better and resumed eating, but still had not had a bowel movement.

Six days after the surgery, November 26, 1971, Monica began to scream and vomit. She reported severe abdominal pain and couldn't see. Within an hour of the onset of these symptoms, Monica died.

The autopsy revealed grim findings. Monica had a severe infection that had interfered with her bowel function. As she continued to eat but not to have bowel movements, her bowels backed up, allowing gastric juices to enter her lungs and begin to digest them. She also had bacteria in her brain, which may have caused her blindness in the final hour of her life.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1923: Chicago doc leaves abortion patient dead

On November 26, 1923, 23-year-old Alice S. Johnson died at Chicago's West End Hospital from a criminal abortion performed there that day. The coroner identified Dr. Lorenz Lapsky as being responsible for Alice's death. Lapsky was indicted by a grand jury for felony murder on December 15.

Alice's abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Does evil disguise itself as stupidity?

A rant. A full-fledged temper tantrum.

I've got a ... an individual who argues the most inane arguments. Such as: That an embryo isn't alive. ISN'T ALIVE.

If it's not alive, how can it grow? How can it develop into a fetus, and from there into a newborn? How do its cells reproduce and metabolize? And if it isn't alive IT WILL BE EXPELLED NATURALLY. That's called a miscarriage. Which is NOT an induced abortion. If you sell an induced abortion to somebody whose uterus does NOT contain a living embryo, you are guilty of FRAUD, and you will lose your medical license faster than if you did an abortion to kill a live embryo and managed to disembowel the mother while you were at it.

Such stupidity enrages me.

This is addlepated thinking that makes the most washed-out stoner look like Stephen Hawkings.

Unlike stoners, they don't just mind their own business, watching cartoons and eating Fritos. They organize. They infest blogs.

God help us, they VOTE.

When you have this kind of active rejection of truth, you have, well, active rejection of the Truth behind all truth.

And Satan is the Father of Lies, acting in opposition to Truth.

So... is the stupidity just a variation of evil?

Do they know it's evil?

Or are the, like the stoner, truly convinced that they're on to some deep metaphysical reality that ordinary people don't grasp?

At what point is the choice made? And what exactly is the choice? Are they knowingly selling their souls for whatever it is they gain by the stupidity? What sort of Faustian bargain do you make, that gains you not great knowledge and power, but just... just ...

What the hell do they get out of it?

I ranted a while, but I've come back and edited part of the rant out because I think I have a bit of a clue.

What do they get out of it?

The ability to do what their hearts tell them is a terrible evil without seeing the evil.

Why, if the embryo's not ALIVE, then you can't kill it, right? So it's okay to just keep having abortions. Because you're not killing anything. You're just ... removing some tissue. Like an endometrial biopsy, right?

In order to have to cling so tenaciously to something so patently false, they must at some level have a strong desire to be good.

Just not strong enough to make them take off the moral equivalent of Beer Goggles and see reality.

Poverty pimps poised to strike again

Cost of Rebuilding U.N.'s Palace? A Billion Dollars

The U.N.'s Palace of Nations is falling apart.

The Palais des Nations is the U.N.'s European headquarters, flanked by the Swiss Alps to the west and Lake Geneva to the east. Peacocks roam freely on the grounds of the pristine, 111-acre Ariana Park that surrounds it.

But on the inside, the onetime home to the League of Nations is plagued by 70-year-old wiring, fire hazards and miles of rusty pipes that have flooded the archives repeatedly. Asbestos lines some of the walls, and the roof is in danger of caving in. The palace is in need of a major facelift.

It doesn't speak well of their management that they've let the place go so far to seed in the first place, does it? Don't most responsible property owners do routine upgrades and upkeep? You budget for upkeep when you move in, if you have an ounce of sense. So aside from all other matters, this speaks very ill of UN management in the first place.

And how much will all this failure to maintain set the UN back?

The tab: one billion dollars, says Director General Sergei Ordzhonikidze, who heads the U.N. Office at Geneva.

Some folks are advocating just building new offices elsewhere, since "keeping the Palais des Nations could cost more than double what it would take to build a new home from scratch."

"We are extremely conscious that our mandate is not to do renovations for the pleasure of renovations. This is not our purpose," said Marie Heuze, chief spokeswoman for the U.N. Office at Geneva.

Heuze said the buildings are a storehouse of history and stand as a symbol of international cooperation. Every year about 100,000 visitors come to the palace, where tours are led in 15 languages.

It's a "symbol of international cooperation" all right. A symbol of how people of many nations can cooperate in graft and inefficiency. Let it fall into ruin, like Alcatraz. Let visitors ponder how the supposed best and brightest from all nations failed to plan for upkeep and upgrades to their property. Something a guy with a hot dog cart is capable of doing.

And wait, it gets better:

Any major work on the Palais would likely come after the $1.9 billion renovation of the U.N.'s New York headquarters is complete.

WTF?!?! How in the name of God did we let them get used to just pissing away money like this?

Yet relief groups expressed bewilderment at the scope of the suggested renovations. Non-governmental organizations said $1 billion represents more than twice the amount the U.S. government spends worldwide on child survival and maternal health aid.

That $1 billion, relief groups said, is also larger than the entire humanitarian action appeal for all countries served by UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, which requested $850 million to address 39 humanitarian emergencies around the world in 2008.

$1 billion could also go a long way to feed the hungry. Oxfam America reports on its Web site that "$1,000 brings potable water to 22 families in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia...."

Where are the UN's priorities?

When I got stranded at the Pittsburgh airport a couple years back because of a cancelled flight, the guy ahead of me in line to try to arrange another flight was a UN worker on his way to a poverty conference in Kenya. They could book him on another flight in just 8 hours (the rest of us were having to wait 24 - 36 hours). But there were no first-class seats available. He'd have to fly coach.

He would wait, he said, for another first class seat. Flying coach was totally unacceptable.

Now, either this conference wasn't that important, or this guy's contributions to it weren't that important, if he could go ahead and arrive days late, just to be able to arrive in style and comfort. How many people could his first class ticket have actually lifted out of poverty?

I just went to Expedia and searched a flight from Pittsburgh to Nairobi, coach: $1,168. The same flight, first class: $4,897.

That guy could have said, "Okay, I'll take coach, but I want the difference in ticket costs refunded." And the $3,729 he saved could have provided one of the villages in Kenya with a well for potable water to stop children from dying of water-borne diseases.

But his comfort on the flight was more important than the children whose lives could have been immeasurably improved and even saved by the difference in ticket prices. And that's just one way!

Poverty pimps. They disgust me beyond words.

Thank you, Sarah Palin!

They forgot, "Thank you for standing up for special-needs kids and the unborn, and thanks for sharing your beautiful family with us."

For me, the best moment of the entire campaign was this one:

Three cheers for Piper's mom!

2003 - Woman bleeds to death after top-of-the-line abortion

Leigh Ann Stephens Alford, age 34, underwent a safe and legal abortion at the hands of Dr. Malachy DeHenre at Summit Medical Center of Alabama, a National Abortion Federation member clinic, on November 25, 2003.

Leigh Ann was discharged from the clinic 20 minutes after her abortion, according to a lawsuit filed by her husband. Within six hours, he said, he called the facility to report that Leigh Ann was suffering pain and fever. She died about 18 hours after the clinic had sent her home. Death was attributed to hemorrhagic shock from an unrecognized uterine perforation.

DeHenre's medical license was suspended in Mississippi and Alabama after the death. DeHenre, age 53, also performed abortions at New Woman Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, as well as his own Jackson's Women's Health Organization.

Alabama suspended DeHenre's license as of July 28. The Mississippi suspension was expedited, rather than addressed in a board meeting scheduled for September 16. An Associated Press article quotes Dr. W. Joseph Burnett, executive director of the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure: "We couldn't wait another day to take action. He won't be practicing in Mississippi."

The Alabama medical board concluded that DeHenre's practice was conducted in such a way as to "endanger the health of patients," and found that he had committed "repeated malpractice."

DeHenry was also investigated after an abortion he performed on March 20, 2003. That patient began to hemorrhage and was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she underwent a total hysterectomy.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Cue violins

In the great tradition of Owen B. Evans, who lamented how much he'd suffered needlessly, being sued for killing Michelle Madden, we now have Bruce Steir (rhymes with fear), who wrote his tear-jerking prison memoir. Alas, the entire 144 days he spent in prison. (How's that compare to how much time Barack Obama spent in the Senate before he started running for President?)

Alas and alack, poor pitiful Dr. Steir. All he did was kill Sharon Hamplton by pulling her bowel through the back of her uterus, shoving it back in, leaving her shocky and with no medical supervison to be loaded into a wheelchair and shoved out the door to bleed to death. While he was on probation with the medical board for having nearly killed several other patients. It's not like he did anything so very naughty!

Cue violins. These abortionists sure have a tough life, being held accountable for killing their patients.

Not all it was cracked up to be

The Washington Post has a puff-piece about how one young medical student, Lesley, explores her options and decides not to become an abortionist after all.

She likes to help. She likes to make a difference. She went to a lot of trouble to arrange for medical students to practice abortion techniques on papayas so they could explore this exciting field of medicine.

But when she went to do her shadowing at an abortion clinic, she had second thoughts about becoming an abortionist herself.

"Everyone talks about the context, the morality, the politics of it," she said the night before she would observe an actual abortion, "but nobody really knows what it is like in that moment between doctor and patient."

The first thing she learned is that there isn't any real doctor/patient relationship. The patient was already on the table, glassy-eyed and sedated, when Lesley and the doctor walked in. And the doctor went to work:

As Lesley watched, the doctor grabbed the tenaculum, numbed the cervix with a needle, grabbed the specula for dilation, then the suction machine. He was methodical and very fast. The patient was in obvious pain. Her screams gave Lesley the chills, and she thought she might throw up.

"I'm getting dizzy," she said aloud. The doctor told her to sit down. She backed away, found a bench and sat. She was hot and sweaty.

The second patient was more effectively sedated, and Lesley participated in the abortion, hand-over-hand. Not so bad! Lesley stuck around to see the patients being "counseled". She didn't want to leave.

The only woman crying that afternoon was one who was too far along to have an abortion and was sent away. Lesley helped with that ultrasound and saw the fetus moving. It was 20 weeks, 3 days old and "pretty real" to her. In previous weeks, she had tried to keep similar-sized babies alive. This "conflict of effort" was, to Lesley, "weird, even surreal."

But not, evidently, disturbing enough to make her wonder if it was right to be killing the babies in question.

The woman with the red heels asked for a printout of her ultrasound and wanted to know the sex of the 14-week-old fetus. It couldn't be determined.

What the puff piece doesn't bother to tell the reader is that a properly trained ultrasonagrapher can determine fetal sex as early as 11 or 12 weeks, depending on the quality of the equipment and the position of the fetus. The writer chooses instead to give the false impression that it's impossible to determine the sex of a fetus at 14 weeks.

Lesley watched as the doctor counted the parts of the fetus, and, to her surprise, she didn't find it jarring. To her, the parts appeared doll-like.

"It was definitely gruesome," she said. "You could make out what a fetus could look like, tiny feet, lungs, but it didn't look like a person." She knew this abortion was an act that her friend Litty considered tantamount to murder. She herself expected to be very upset. She'd felt that way at her first autopsy, that of a teenage boy who'd shot himself in the head. For weeks, she could not shake the image of the boy. But this was different. She didn't regard the fetus as a person yet. She said she was happy to help the woman: "I feel like I was giving [her] a new lease" on life.

Tiny feet, tiny lungs, but in pieces no, it wouldn't look like a person, would it? Denial. It's not just a river in Egypt.

But even so, the brusqueness of abortion practice is starting to take its toll on Lesley:

Later that morning, though, while conducting a pelvic exam, Lesley noted that she wasn't her usual slow, gentle self.

And this is just after some time spent observing, some time spent hand-over-hand.

That evening, discussing the second-term abortion with her mother, Lesley described a process that she found disturbingly brutal, especially the stretching of the vagina.

"It's a lot more invasive than I thought," she said. "A papaya doesn't bleed and scream." Women do."

A papaya also doesn't die if you screw up.

Lesley didn't want to have to steel herself emotionally to perform abortions, and she was coming to realize that that's what she'd have to do.

It wasn't the destruction of the babies that bothered her. It was the way abortion was clearly an assault on the woman's body that bothered Lesley. Which it ought to do.

Lesley was left disillusioned.

Even as she'd shadowed the abortion doctor, Lesley knew in her heart that this would not be the right place for her to make a difference. It was a big disappointment, she said. "I really thought I'd love it."

You have to wonder what she thought she'd love about it. Seriously. What part of stepping into a room where a dazed, sedated woman is spread-eagled, sticking sharp things into her to get her baby out in pieces, then stripping off your gloves and doing the same thing to the next woman is there not to love?

The things she cared about -- taking care of women, seeing them through the process -- hadn't happened. It was the nurse practitioner who cared for the patient. Vacuuming out a uterus and counting the parts of the fetus did not seem like a desirable way to spend her work days. It took a unique person to do that on a daily basis, she said.

Unique. That's one way to put it.

Lesley still believed passionately in abortion rights and was proud of what she'd accomplished at Maryland with her activism. She didn't want to let people down. Even so, she had to follow her heart. Somebody else -- maybe Laura Merkel, the new chapter president of Medical Students for Choice -- would become an abortion provider. But it wouldn't be her.

For only part of the right reason. That she can't picture herself inflicing humiliation and pain on women all day as being a very fulfilling way to spend her life.

But she still wants to recruit other people to spend their lives that way.

Which is sad.

HT: Pro Life News

UPDATE: Reasoned Audacity has a post on a different topic, entitled "Only Women Bleed" -- which made me think of the women versus papayas comment. Which made me think of this:

Next step after "Safe Sex"?

A User's Guide to Speed brochure available to teens at anti-drug program in Toronto

Tips like, "Go with a reputable dealer," and "Just do a test run of each new purchase".

I'll grant, the brochure was intended for users trying to cut down, but somebody was smoking something to have passed this out.

Adult stem cells save woman's leg

Adult Stem Cells Save Woman from Amputation:

Adult Stem Cell research and therapy has saved the leg of a woman facing amputation due to critical limb ischemia. In India, a 68 year old woman came to the hospital suffering from a large ulcer in her foot due to insufficient blood flow. Doctors thought that amputation was necessary.

Not so fast said Dr. Subrammaniyan ... of the Vijaya Health Centre in Chennai. There was one last option.

a team led by chief vascular surgeon S R Subrammaniyan tried stem cell therapy on Vidyalakshmi, extracting 100 ml of bone marrow from her, isolating the stem cells, and injecting them into the her calf. The therapy worked, healing her ulcer and forming new blood vessels that increased circulation in the affected area.

Today, Vidyalakshmi can walk and use her lower left limb just like her right one. Her case is just one among several in India where clinical trials on stem cell therapy have helped saved people’s limbs from amputation.

Hey, ESCR folks, how many limbs have y'all saved? How many people's cancer is in remission because of your embryo-killing methods? How many paralyzed people have been given improved sensation and mobility because of the embryos you killed for them? How many people's damaged hearts have been mended thanks to the way you bravely kill embryos?

What's that? I can't hear you!

Then I"ll have to answer for you: NONE.

You've accomplished not a single treatment or cure, not even in lab rats.

Give it up, guys. You're selling your souls and getting nothing in return. That's a bad bargain.

Now we'll see if anybody's paying attention

As I posted before, I became a friend of Clara Bell Duvall in FaceBook, and have been posting links to my blog posts about abortion deaths. So far, they've all been the horrible, tragic, unacceptable illegal kind that the Clara Bell Duvall Reproductive Rights Project enjoy getting their knickers in a twist over. But today's death is Michelle Madden, a co-ed who died in 1988 from a safe and legal abortion.

Will I be ousted as a friend? Are some deaths unmentionable? We shall see.

I've gotten no comments on the deaths I've posted already, and haven't noticed any click-throughs, so I'm guessing that the Clara Bell Duvall folks aren't exactly swimming with curiosity or an interest in anything they don't already know and believe.

Anniversary: A tragic holiday surprise

Eighteen year old Michelle Madden, a coed, sought a safe and legal abortion from O.B. Evans at Family Planning Medical Center of Mobile, Alabama. It was performed on November 18, 1986. Michelle had been taking medication for epilepsy, and a doctor had told her that her baby would have birth defects.

When Michelle's parents arrived at the college to take her home for Thanksgiving, the house mother had sad news for them. Three days after the abortion, Michelle had collapsed. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors found a leg bone, two pieces of skull, and some placenta still in Michelle's uterus. The surgery to save her life was too late. Sepsis had already set in, and Michelle died November 24, three days after she was admitted. According to FindLaw, she bled to death.

Her parents sued Evans and the facility, and in 1991 a jury awarded them $10 million in damages. Evans appealed on the grounds that this would "devastate him financially", because his malpractice insurance would only cover $1 million. During the appeal, the parties agreed to settle for $5 million, with the insurance company paying the entire amount. Evans then sued his insurance company for not having settled with the family for $1 million prior to the trial, thus subjecting him to "emotional distress, humiliation, damage to his reputation, and loss of business" -- such "emotional distress", he asserted, was "so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it."

Interesting, that the lawsuit, and not the needless death of an 18-year-old girl who had trusted him, is what caused Evans such emotional distress. Though, of course, he had nobody to sue for that other than himself.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

An abortion injury

Martha H., age 20, filed suit against Saihb Sinuhe Halil, and the medical board investigated her case. She went to La Clinica Feminina on November 23, 1988, for a 7-week abortion to be performed by Halil. He failed to perform a proper examination of Martha before proceeding. He punctured her uterus twice and her bowel at least once, but neither informed Martha of this nor noted it on her chart. He allowed his unlicensed staff to make the decision to discharge the patient from the facility. On November 27 she was admitted to a hospital, and there the inuries were discovered and surgically treated. On December 20 she had to be again admitted to the hospital and required additional surgery to treat a bowel obstruction, periappendicitis, and peritonitis. (LA County Superior Court Case No. C720334; Los Angeles Times 7-6-93; California medical board Case No. D-5193, OAH Case No. L-60576)

Additions to the Cemetery of Choice

Additions to the Cemetery of Choice

An hour on Westlaw gained me information on these deaths:

Alda Christopherson: Dr. Lillian Hobbs was convicted in the 1916 abortion death of this 21-year-old unmarried Chicago woman.

Bessie Kouns: Bessie implicated Dr. H.C. Dorroh in her deathbed statement.

Ruth Lemaire: Ruth implicated Dr. Lillian Hobbs in a deathbed statement.

Ellen Matson: Dr. Lillian Hobbs was sentenced to 14 years in Joliet for the 1917 abortion death of 29-year-old Ellen.

"Eudora" Roe: This 17-year-old girl lingered for nearly two months before finally dying of complications of an abortion performed in Wichita, Kansas in 1930.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Searches: anesthesia and rape, anesthesia and coma, kitchen-table abortions

  • Anesthesia and rape: Abortionist Lawson Akpolonu had multiple patients come forward to allege that they had awakened from anesthesia to find him raping or otherwise sexually abusing them.

  • Anesthesia coma: These women and girls were left in fatal comas from abortion anesthesia - Deobrarh Lozinski, Missue Mohar, Venus Ortiz, Catherine Pierce, Dawn Ravenelle, Jacqueline Reynolds, Angela Scott and Deloris Smith (injured almost simultaneously at the same facility), and Robin Wells. Suzanne Logan recovered from her post-abortion coma to find herself mute and paralyzed; she died before ever being able to return home to see her father. Christi Stile remains in a vegetative state after her abortion.

  • abortionist illegal kitchen-table: I've never found a confirmed case, but they no doubt happened, since surgery was once routinely performed on kitchen tables.
  • Christmas shopping season is nearly upon us

    Consider a gift in your loved one's name from the World Vision Catalog. Some gifts include:

  • Less than $100: China earthquake relief; $375 worth of food for Africa; $1,050 worth of school supplies; Sudan food and emergency relief; new mother and baby kit; a bicycle for a girl to go to school; or a goat to provide a hungry family with milk, more goats, and later, meat.

  • Less than $50: Five ducks to provide a hungry family with eggs, and later more ducks and the meat they provide; seeds, tools, and agricultural training; education for a child; $490 worth of clothing; or immunizations.

  • Less than $30: A chicken to provide a hungry family with eggs, and later more chickens for eggs and meat; drought-resistant seeds; malaria prevention for one family; help for children with disabilities; $125 worth of food for Africa; support to help rescue sexually-exploited girls; or a caregiver kit.

    Or consider something from the Mercy Ships gift catalog. Gifts range from $25 for a New Beginning kit for a woman recovering from fistula surgery or 5 pair of protective sunglasses for patients recovering from sight-restoring eye surgery, through $45 to provide a village with agricultural training, $100 to provide a case of surgical gowns, $360 to sponsor life-changing surgery, $3,000 to provide a village with clean water, $10,000 to provide a complete set of surgical instruments to perform sight-saving surgery. Many of these big-ticket items would be excellent holiday projects for a club, scout troop, or civic organization.
  • Celebrate Victory in Iraq!

    Read about it here.

    Does this look like war to you?

    Or this?

    Our servicemembers deserve a huge celebration, one they'll never get from the MSM or the politicians. They'll have to get it from us.

    Yes, there's still violence in Iraq. But it took a lot of Japanese warriors a long time to catch on to the fact that WWII was over. We ought not to let a bunch of loosely-organized murdering creeps steal our troops' thunder.

    Go to Zombietime to get graphics and pictures, and to commit to joining the celebration.

    November 22 malpractice anniversaries

    "Jean" and her husband visited Hallmark Clinic when they suspected that she was pregnant. A clinic pamphlet indicated that Hallmark used "the most modern, and by far the safest" abortion technique, and that abortions past 12 weeks gestation would be performed by Hallmark's Board Certified or Board Eligible doctors at a local hospital, as required by law, rather than in the clinic. Reassured by the pamphlet, Jean returned for an abortion on November 20, 1973. Because the abortion was being done in the clinic rather than the hospital, Jean believed that her pregnancy was in the first trimester. Harold Hoke performed a suction abortion, then discharged Jean without a post-abortion examination. Jean suffered "excruciating pain and bleeding" at home. At 5 a.m. on November 22, Jean fell into semi-consciousness. Jean's mother-in-law rushed her to the emergency room, where she expelled a severely mutilated 19-week female fetus. The fetus was missing both arms and one leg. The rib cage was exposed and lung tissue was sticking out the left side of the chest. The skin was damaged at the neck and right side of the face, "and there was distortion of the facial features". Jean suffered a severe depressive reaction at the sight of her mangled, dead baby. Jean was hospitalized, and treated for depression and severe infection. She returned home on bed rest, and was unable to work. (Lincoln County Superior Court Case No. 74CVS247)

    "Brandy" was 18 years old when she went to Andre Nehorayoff's office on November 22, 1989, for a second trimester abortion. Nehorayoff "failed to perform and/or record the findings of an adequate medical history and physical examination." All he recorded were pulse, blood pressure, and weight. He didn't use laminaria and inadequately dilated her cervix. During the abortion, Nehorayoff pulled a loop of Brandy's bowel through her cervix through a 2.5 cm tear he'd made in the back of her uterus. Instead of stopping the procedure and transferring Brandy to a hospital, Nehorayoff just pushed the loop of bowel back through the hole and continued with the abortion. Only after the abortion did he hospitalize Brandy. Surgeons there found "a 6.5 segment of devascularized bowel" which they had to remove. They also had to remove fetal parts Nehorayoff had left in Brandy's abdominal cavity. (Medical board disciplinary document) Nehorayoff also performed the fatal abortions on "Ellen" and "Faye".

    A suit by Suzanne W. alleged that she underwent an abortion November 22, 1989 by Dr. Michael Gold at Southern Vermont Women's Health Center in Rutland, Vermont. Gold perforated her uterus and bladder. Suzanne required surgical repair, performed at Rutland Regional Medical Center. She sued for permanent injuries, continuing health problems and difficulty controlling bladder functions. Suzanne indicated that she would not have consented to an abortion had the risks been adequately explained. In his deposition 73-year-old Gold stated "the placenta and a hand of the fetus had been removed, and an omentum came into the canula;" "Omentum is the apron of fat that hangs in front of the viscera in the abdominal cavity.... And when you see omentum in the canula, you realize that you're in the abdominal cavity or the abdominal cavity has come into the instrument." (Rutland Superior Court Docket No. S0806-91RcC; Rutland Herald 8-2-94, 9-24-94, 9-26-94, 9-27-94, 10-14-94)

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    1924: Mystery abortion in Chicago proves fatal

    On November 21, 1924, 24-year-old Mildred Bleschke died at Chicago's Grant Hospital from complications of an abortion performed earlier that day.

    The perpetrator was never identified.

    For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Abortion deaths in 1987

    The Centers for Disease Control deigned to count the following abortion deaths in their most recent Abortion Surveillance Summary, for 2004:

    Today I'll look at deaths in 1987. They count 7 legal and 2 illegal.

    I have 11; 10 legal and one likely illegal, which means that I counted at least three that the CDC missed, but I likely missed an illegal death.

  • Brenda Benton died from hepatic necrosis due to toxicity reaction to abortion anesthesia.

  • Belinda Byrd was left unattended for three hours after her five-minute abortion.

  • Kathy Davis died of heart failure after her safe, legal abortion.

  • Elise Kalat went into bronchospasms and died two days after her abortion.

  • Patricia King died in an abortion facility that her sister described as looking "like a haunted house".

  • Myria McFadden suffered heart and lung failure after her abortion.

  • Michelle Thames was one of four women I know of who died at Her Medical Clinic.

  • Iris Velazquez's survivors sued after her abortion, which they said was illegal.

  • Pamela Wainwright left two children, one of them with Down syndrome, motherless after her abortionist accidentally pumped carbon dioxide into her bloodstream.

  • Sheila Watley died of an embolism after her abortion.

  • Diane Watson died when four doctors at the abortion facility all failed to resuscitate her.

    Remember that the CDC will count an abortion death as an illegal abortion death if the doctor's license was suspended or revoked, even if the woman had no way of knowing this and believed her abortion to be one of the perfectly safe, legal kind. So it's possible that one or more of these apparently legal deaths was "illegal" in their eyes. We have no way of knowing which ones they counted or how they classified them.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

    For more abortion deaths broken down by year, see this post.

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  • Collateral damage

    I've been trying to find the ratio of unintended civilian casualties for every enemy combatant killed by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, to no avail.

    The closest I can get to an estimate of how much collateral damage our troops are causing is this piece, that estimates a little more than one civilian death for every 12 bombs or missiles our troops use.

    I'll round it up, say that it's two civilian deaths for every dozen bombs or missiles.

    Our targets aren't so much enemy combatants as enemy equipment -- tanks, weapons caches, munitions factories, and so forth -- and efficacy is counted in terms of whether the target was destroyed, not whether combatants were killed. But the equipment isn't just sitting there unattended. I think it's a safe assumption that if a bomb hits its intended target, it's also taking out at least one enemy combatant. And for the sake of comparisons, I'll go for the very lowest estimate and say that each successful bomb or missile is taking out only one enemy.

    This article estimates that 75% of bombs were hitting their intended targets. That's 3/4, which is 9/12.

    To eliminate a hundred guys like this, we accidentally kill 22 people we didn't intend to kill.

    So, if we're making the low estimate of combatant casualties (one per successful bomb or missile) and a high estimate of civilian casualties (two per dozen bombs or missiles), every dozen missiles is taking out nine enemy combatants and two civilians. For every 100 of the enemy killed, we are (at the absolute highest estimate) taking out 22 civilians.

    Let's compare the War on Terror, then, to the War on Down Syndrome, which kills three genetically standard babies for every "enemy" (baby with Down syndrome) successfully eliminated. For every 100 of the "enemy" killed, we are killing 300 "civilians" -- non-targeted "normal" babies. That's at least 13 times the "collateral damage" rate of combat bombing missions.

    To eliminate 100 people like this guy, we accidentally kill 300 people we didn't intend to kill. So evidently we consider this guy thirteen times as threatening as that guy in the other picture.

    What has the world come to, when doctors have at least a 13-times higher collateral damage rate than military bombers?

    Who is killing indiscriminately here?

    Pray for Tiller's lawyer

    Tiller’s Attorney Loses Control In Court While Irrational Conspiracy Theories Abound

    Imagine you're a lawyer for a high-profile abortion doctor. Imagine that you became his lawyer initially simply because hey, he's a paying client. You're a defense attorney. This is what you do. And you figured the publicity would be good for business. Or maybe you're "prochoice" and you think he's helping women. Whatever. You take the case.

    Imagine that you find out the reprehensible things this guy is doing. Abortions on underage girls -- some as young as 10 years old -- without reporting the abuse and making sure that the girls are safe and free from further abuse. Abortions way into the third trimester, way past viability, for the flimsiest of reasons. You learn that your client plays Russian roulette with patients' lives, keeping them in a motel room under the care of their loved ones, while he performs these risky procedures. A 19-year-old mentally disabled rape victim died because of this shoddy care. But still you're expected to defend this guy.

    By attacking the people who are trying to uphold the law. By attacking absolutely everybody who even remotely had a hand in trying to uphold the law and protect the public.

    Yeah, you're a defense attorney. You're used to defending the guilty. But this guy is not a garden-variety crook. He facilitates child rape. He stabs babies in the heart with needles, injecting the same drug used in executions. He allows his staff to send critically ill patients to the La Quinta in the care of their parents, rather than sending them to a hospital for desperately-needed care. He betrays the trust of his patients, the public, everybody around him. And there you are, linking your reputation with his.

    Even by the standards of your clients, this guy is evil. And you're defending him. And the world is watching.

    If it ever becomes widely known what he really does, your name is mud. You might as well have defended Nazis at Nuremberg.

    And you might even have a conscience. You might start to wonder if getting this guy off the hook and allowing him to continue to prey on the public is a morally acceptable thing.

    Wouldn't you crack under the strain?

    Add Dan Monnat to your prayer list.

    UPDATE: Evidently the 10-year-old was "referred" for her abortion by the prosecutor in her home state. Since when can a freaking prosecutor refer for a "medically necessary" abortion?!

    Two Chicago back-alley deaths, November 20, 1925

    On November 20, 1925, 23-year-old Mrs. Helen Bain died in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion performed that day. A physician, George Slater, was arrested on November 21 for Helen's death. Slater was indicted by a grand jury for homicide on May 1, 1928.

    That same day, 29-year-old Anna Kick died in Chicago's Washington Park Hospital from an abortion performed that day at an undisclosed location. The coroner determined that a midwife was responsible for Anna's death, but did not determine the midwife's name.

    Which woman, Helen or Anna, found the most common type of criminal abortionist?
    Helen. Most criminal abortions were done by doctors.
    Anna. Most criminal abortions were done by paramedical professionals.
    Both. In Chicago at that time, criminal abortionists were a pretty even mix of doctors and paramedicals such as midwives or nurses.
    Neither. Most criminal abortions were performed by "back alley butchers" with no medical training.

    For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Abortion deaths in 1988

    The Centers for Disease Control deigned to count the following abortion deaths in their most recent Abortion Surveillance Summary, for 2004:

    Today I'll look at deaths in 1988. The CDC counts 16 legal and 0 illegal.

    I have 14:

  • Demetrice Andrews died of multiple organ failure.

  • "Kelly" B was charted as "pink, responsive, alert" though she was in full cardio-respiratory arrest.

  • Junette Barnes bled to death.

  • Teresa Causey's last words were, "Oh, Mama, Mama, it hurts so much!"

  • Erna Fisher choked to death on her own vomit on the abortion table.

  • Dawn Mendoza started screaming and gasping for breath during her abortion.

  • Denise Montoya was 25 weeks pregnant when Douglas Karpen performed an outpatient abortion on her.

  • Joyce Ortenzio died of septic shock.

  • Katrina Poole died of post-abortion hemorrhage.

  • Allegra Roseberry consented to her abortion after being lied to about her baby's condition and the criteria to get into a cancer treatment program.

  • Stacy Ruckman was deliberately overdosed on Lidocaine.

  • Teresa Smith died of an embolism.

  • Laura Sorrels was found dead in a motel room, her 1-year-old daughter by her side.

  • Tami Suematsu went into respiratory failure.

    That means that there are at least two safe, legal abortion deaths in 1988 that I don't know about.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

    For more abortion deaths broken down by year, see this post.

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  • Take the Verbal Reasoning Test!

    This test asks you to read passages, then gives you statements and asks if the passage indiates that the statement is true or likely true, false or likely false, or if you didn't get enough information to judge this.

    Excellent practice for critical reasoning skills!

    Poverty Pimps Strike Again

    Foreign Aid Money Spent on $23 Million Art Ceiling at U.N. Human Rights Council

    The freaking thing looks like a fraternity prank. And it was bouoght with money that was supposed to be spent feeding the poor.

    Things like this are why conservatives are "opposed to programs to help the poor". Because you would never in a million years voluntarily give money to a private charity that was so wasteful of money intended to help starving people. We support -- of our own volition -- private charities. Private charities that have to be accountable to their donors. These guys don't. End of discussion.

    Call for information "safe" and "unsafe" defined

    I've noticed that lately abortion advocates have stopped using the dichotomy "legal" versus "illegal" abortions and instead refer to "safe" or "unsafe".

    I've found "unsafe" defined here: "According to the World Health Organization, unsafe abortion is the termination of a pregnancy carried out by someone without the skills or training to perform the procedure safely, or in an environment that does not meet minimal medical standards, or both."

    I recall seeing something indicating that by definition, all legal abortions are "safe".

    Does anybody have anything on this?

    I thought about it after reviewing a blog post about Richard Mucie, the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who performed the fatal abortion on Nancy Ward in 1968.

    After Roe, Mucie was able to get Nancy's abortion retroactively declared legal. I noted that this "leaves abortion advocates in a quandry: Was Nancy's abortion an inexcusable, tragic, back-alley abortion? Or was it just an example of how all surgery has risks? I've yet to get any answer."

    And the new dichotomy of "safe" versus "unsafe" doesn't give a clear answer either. Mucie was a physician. He had an office. He's no different from any number of safe-n-legal practitioners getting the nod from abortion advocacy organizations. That would make Nancy's abortion "safe". Which strikes me as oxymoronic. If she's dead, how can it be "safe"?

    To me, all abortion deaths are preventable and needless. To the abortion lobby, only some of them are. It used to be that the "illegal" deaths were preventable and needless, and the "legal" deaths can be attributed to "Shit happens." Does the new paradigm of "safe" versus "unsafe" change that?

    (And, presumably, only "unsafe" abortion deaths are needless and tragic. "Safe" abortion deaths are just the price you pay to stamp out the dreaded fetus scourge.)

    I still draw the line on what's "legal" and "illegal" based on the woman's perception at the time of the abortion. Did she think this was a perfectly safe, legal abortion? Or did she know she was taking her chances with a "back alley butcher"?

    Though I might draw new categories: "presumed safe", "presumed risky", and "clearly high-risk", with abortions by reputable physicians or trained laypeople as "presumed safe", etc.

    Cue crickets chirping

    A Stem Cell First- New Organ Created and Transplanted Using Adult Stem Cells

    Granted, it was a simple organ, or rather structure, since I'm not sure a section of trachea counts as an organ. But it's more than the Dr. Frankensteins have been able to do with their gutted embryos.

    Even the faintest hint of the possibility of success in lab rats with embryonic stem cells gets shouted from the rooftops. But even the most spectacular results with adult stem cells are relegated to Section B page 13, right under the "bus plunge" snippet.

    1924: Unknown perp kills woman with abortion in Chicago

    On November 19, 1924, 38-year-old Elizabeth Strazdas died at Chicago's Mother Cabrini Hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed that day. The person responsible for Elizabeth's death was never identified.

    For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Let me guess -- public school educations?

    The View is pretty dim, it seems. Neither Whoopi Goldberg nor Sherri Shepherd had a clue what suffrage is. Whoopi read it off the teleprompter, evidently, then had a "Tell me about the rabbits, George" moment which Sherri compounded with, "I guess it’s when black people had to, you know, they didn’t want to die for being black. They didn’t want to be lynched. They wanted to be able to walk through the front door."

    It's the right to vote, you addlepated twits!

    Do your freaking homework before the show. It's not like they don't pay you enough to review what's gonna be coming up on the teleprompter and at least make sure you understand the big words.

    Particularly big words that you could have learned just by sitting slack-jawed in front of the TV as a kid.

    And Whoopi is the same dim bulb that didn't understand what the 13th Amendment did. It freed the slaves dipstick! By clear Constitutional process that can't simply be undone because a President has a senior moment or whatever she thought McCain was going to do to put chains on her wrists.

    Overpaid bimbos, the whole clueless lot of them.

    Who wants to take bets on how long this will last?

    An abortion advocacy organization put a profile of Clara Bell Duvall on FaceBook.

    I became a friend, then posted links to the Cemetery of Choice as well as to the posting about today's anniversaries.

    The Cemetery of Choice I imagine they'll tolerate. Today's post I imagine they'll tolerate -- all three were criminal abortion deaths. Likewise I imagine they'll tolerate tomorrow's death -- Elizabeth Strazdas, since her abortion was illegal. Ditto for Thursday, when I'll have two more illegal abortion deaths. Ditto Friday, when my only death is an illegal abortion death. But Saturday's anniversary is Michelle Madden -- a safe, legal abortion death.

    So! Who wants to bet that on Saturday I'm deleted as a friend? Or will it take until the 25th, when I post Leigh Ann Alford?

    How many safe, legal abortion deaths will it take before Clara Bell Duvall decides that only certain women's deaths are worthy of mourning?

    Or am I underestimating them?

    UPDATE, November 20: So far I'm still a friend, but nobody's commenting on the posts, either. And I'm not seeing any click-throughs. I get the feeling that nobody there is interested in learning anything, not even more juicy "back alley" stories that they can be indignant about.

    Why Obama loves the public education system

    It produces an ignorant electorate.

    I wish they had also asked these two questions:

    1. What is Barack Obama's greatest accomplishment that makes you believe he will be a good President?

    2. What Obama policy do you most strongly support?

    I bet none of those 12 people would have an answer to either question.

    HT: Fr. John Whiteford

    Three criminal deaths

    On November 18, 1942, 26-year-old Madeline McGeehan died at Prospect Hospital in New York after an illegal abortion. Arrested were Dr. Joseph Nisonoff; his nurse, Camille Ewald; his receptionist, Pearl Tense; and Dr. Max J. Weinstein, who was thought to have referred Madeline to Nisonoff. Nisonoff was out on bail after being charged with performing another abortion, which the woman survived. A man identified as Madeline's friend, Henry Elters, was held as a material witness. Nisonoff was sentenced to 5 years in state prison, and Weinstein was sentenced to the city penitentiary.

    Joyce Chorney, age 25, died Wednesday, November 18, 1953. An autopsy was performed at Bellevue Hospital. It showed that she had died of an induced abortion. Fifty-four-year-old Dr. Alfred Joseph was charged with criminal abortion in her death.

    Madeline's and Joyce's abortions were typical of pre-legalization abortions in that they were performed by physicians.

    Virginia Hopkins Watson had been on a record-setting relay swimming team with Esther Williams in 1939, and had herself set the world's fifty-meter record in 1938. Virginia was 32 years old and pursuing a Hollywood career when she became pregnant in 1954. Deciding that a baby would hurt her career, Virginia arranged to have an abortion on November 18. Her husband learned of the pregnancy and the abortion a few hours before Virginia's death from peritonitis at General Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

    For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Monday, November 17, 2008

    A mystery solved -- and more uncovered

    I had long suspected that Dr. Lucy Hagenow, back-alley butcher of early 20th Century Chicago, was also Louise Hagenow, sometimes identified as a midwife. Both were held responsible for maternal deaths from criminal abortions.

    This past weekend I went onto Westlaw and looked up Dr. Hagenow. I found the appeal of her conviction for the 1907 criminal abortion death of Annie Horvatich (who I had not previously known about). I verified that Lucy Hagenow was a doctor, also known as a midwife (as was common for female obstetricians), and that she operated as Louise Hagenow.

    I also found out that she had another alias -- Dr. Ida Von Schultz -- and that she was responsible for two other abortion deaths I'd not known of: May Putnam in 1905, and Hannah Carlson, whose death clearly predated the trial for Annie's death, since Hagenow admitted complicity in Hannah's death on the witness stand. Leslie Reagan's "When Abortion Was a Crime" indicates that Hagenow was responsible for patient deaths in 1896, 1899, 1905, 1906, 1907, and 1926. I have all the years accounted for except 1896, so I'm guessing that this is the year Hannah died.

    This makes Lucy the "Fast Eddie" of her day, linked to the deaths of:

  • 1896: Hannah Carlson (date yet unverfied)
  • 1899: Marie Hecht
  • 1905: May Putnam
  • 1906: Lola Madison
  • 1907: Annie Horvatich
  • 1925: Lottie Lowy, Nina H. Pierce, Jean Cohen, and Elizabeth Welter
  • 1926: Mary Moorehead

    Of course, we have to keep in mind that unlike Fast Eddie Allred, Dr. Hagenow didn't have access to blood transfusions, antibiotics, or other miracles of modern medicine which we take for granted -- and which leave Dr. Allred with very little excuse for his dead patients.

    Still, that leaves the mystery of how Dr. Hagenow was able to produce such carnage when she should have been behind bars.

    The gaps in deaths between 1899 and 1905 and between 1907 and 1925 might reflect periods of incarceration. If so, when Lucy was released she went to work at a fevered pace, perhaps to make up for revenues lost while she was locked up.

    I would be very grateful if anybody in Chicago would be willing to undertake some research to look into these mysteries.

    For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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  • Victory in Iraq: Celebrate our troops on November 22

    Read about it here.

    Does this look like war to you?

    Or this?

    Our servicemembers deserve a huge celebration, one they'll never get from the MSM or the politicians. They'll have to get it from us.

    Yes, there's still violence in Iraq. But it took a lot of Japanese warriors a long time to catch on to the fact that WWII was over. We ought not to let a bunch of loosely-organized murdering creeps steal our troops' thunder.

    Go to Zombietime to get graphics and pictures, and to commit to joining the celebration.

    Another cartoon that nails it

    From Jewish World Review

    Very disturbing

    Not how they meant it, just how it comes across.

    1935: Oklahoma abortion proves fatal

    On November 17, 1935, Georgia Marie McGill, 21-year-old daughter of oil company superintendent George McGill, died from an apparent criminal abortion in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Marie's father identified Dr. W. R. Mitchell as the perpetrator. Mitchell was already a reputed abortionist, and police had already gotten many complaints about him prior to Marie's death. Mitchell was arrested and tried but the case ended with a hung jury. After the trial, Mitchell resumed his abortion business and was arrested again for his practice.

    Marie's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

    For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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    Sunday, November 16, 2008

    Here's a guy who would have supported Obama

    The first man sentenced to die in Illinois's electric chair was not a typical death row inmate: he was a physician whose patient died from complications of an illegal abortion. Reporters covering the case in Chicago contended that Dr. Amante (or Amenti) Rongetti was the first doctor in the United States ever sentenced to die over a patient's abortion death.

    Rongetti's death sentence was handed down by a Chicago jury of 11 married men and one widower on March 1, 1928, after three hours of deliberation. Rongetti had been convicted of murder in the abortion death of 19-year-old Loretta Enders. Loretta died on November 16, 1927. Rongetti's scheduled execution date was to be April 13, 1928.

    Rongetti reportedly stood stunned and quiet as the sentence was read, but his wife became hysterical, pushing her way through the courtroom crowd crying, "Let me out."

    Many factors disclosed in court helped to seal the jury's verdict:

  • The baby had been born alive; Rongetti left it unattended to die, then threw the body in the furnace. (Rongetti faced an additional charge of manslaughter in the death of the baby.)
  • After Loretta had developed sepsis (blood poisoning) from the abortion, Rongetti refused to provide follow-up care, including possibly life-saving additional surgery, because she had no money to pay him.
  • Not only did Rongetti refuse to provide the care himself, but he prevented Loretta from going elsewhere for fear his practice would be exposed.
  • Rongetti filed a falsified death certificate, claiming that Loretta had died of heart disease.
  • Rongetti refused to summon a priest to perform last rites for Loretta, again fearing exposure of his illegal practices.
  • Rongetti's defense claimed that Loretta came to him at his Ashland Boulevard Hospital after having undergone an illegal abortion elsewhere -- a claim that fell flat, considering the lack of proper aftercare.

    Witnesses in the case said that they recieved threats to try to intimidate them.

    After the sentence was handed down, Rongetti's attorney, Scott Stewart, immediately filed motion for a new trial. Stuart's bid for a new trial was successful, and the very next year, Rongetti was at large to be implicated in the criminal abortion death of Elizabeth Palumbo, who died May 23 after an abortion performed May 10.

    He was tried again for Loretta's death in December of 1929. Rongetti found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to Joliet.

    Loretta's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.
  • Safe and Lethal in 2002

    A woman identified as "Patient A" (I'll call her "Adelle"), was 26 years old and had a history of anemia and sickle cell disease. She sought a safe, legal abortion at Kim called her office "Landmark Women's Center" in Fairfax, Virginia. Though the place appeared to be a clinic, which would be inspected by the state, it was just the private office of Dr. Mi Yong Kim.

    Kim did not order proper lab studies, document an appropriate history, or perform a proper exam on Adelle before performing thel abortion on her on November 16, 2002. Kim administered 25 mg of Versed to Adelle, in response to her reports of pain, over a 10-minute period, without giving the medicine time to take effect.

    Kim told the medical board that she did not give Adelle any analgesia for pain because she gives enough Versed to cause amnesia so that the patient can't remember the pain. The board noted that Kim lacked judgment and knowledge of intravenous conscious sedation and that she was not fit to supervise a CRNA.

    At the end of the abortion, Kim noted that Adelle's pulse oximeter reading was only 70%, an alarming finding. Kim thought she found a pulse, did not assess whether or not Adelle was breathing, and simply ordered her staff to give Adelle oxygen by mask and call 911.

    Kim administered Romazicon to reverse the effects of the Versed, but did not notice that Adelle had gone into cardiac arrest. As such, Kim made no effort to resuscitate her. The ambulance crew arrived and transported Adelle to the hospital, where she was declared dead from possible air embolism.

    The medical board noted that Kim was not certified in Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support, nor was she or anybody else on her staff qualified to perform an intubation or use crash cart equipment. Kim did not document the operative report for Adelle. Kim told the board that the police had told her not to make any further notes in her file.

    The board did not suspend or yank Kim's license, instead noting that she was making improvements in her quality of care. She was instead placed under stipulations regarding her use of anesthesia in her office and her record-keeping.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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