Sunday, May 31, 2009

Get your facts right, AP!

This AP article said, "Tiller's Women's Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy."

For crying out loud, do a little homework!

Just go to one freaking website, Abortion Clinics Online. I count 36.

Last time I looked, 36 was more than three.

Okay, let's try this, Tiller fans

Some Tiller fans are confusing recognizing the evil that he did with celebrating his murder.

But I bet I can think of an example of of Tiller's supporters recognizing the evil somebody did, while not wishing them dead.

Every time a murderer is executed.

You can hate, for example, what Ted Bundy did to Kimberly Leach, the Chi Omega sisters, and his other victims, and still not have wanted to see him fry.

You can hate what he did, in fact, and actually be sorry and upset that he fried.

Not because you thought he'd done no evil, but because you thought killing him was to indulge in that same evil.

THAT is how prolifers can despise what Tiller did, and still not wish to see him murdered.

Can you understand that?

A bright day for abortion lovers

You can't buy the sort of publicity Tiller's murder is generating.

Abortion advocates know this. Tlaloc, who had been absent from my blog for months, showed up as soon as he knew Tiller was dead to gloat about the prochoice victory. Oh, he doesn't say it that way. He couches it in "This is just what you wanted all along!" But he knows better. He's not stupid enough to think this is anything the prolifers would have wanted.

We know how it will play out. Abortion supporters will be out tonight at vigils, wiping away tears, saying all the canned speeches about poor hapless Dr. Tiller, brave champion of women's rights, yada yada yada. Yeah, they're saddened that an abortionist, a kindred spirit, is dead. But they know this is a victory for them. The biggest since Roe was handed down. The political gain is immeasurably greater than any sadness they'll feel at his passing. For them, inasmuch as any of them pray, Tiller's murder -- especially his murder in a church -- is an answered prayer. They wanted something, anything, to use as a stake to pound through our hearts. And they've gotten a huge one.

Prolifers, on the other hand, have been praying for TIller's conversion for decades. His conversion would have been a huge coup for us. As big a coup as his death is for abortion advocates. Now our hopes are dashed. Not just for Tiller, but for ordinary women and their children. For the cause of life and love. For everything we've worked so hard to achieve.

And hardcore abortion advocates know this. They know we've dreamed of Tiller's conversion like a Disney princess dreams about her handsome prince. They know the secrets Tiller took to his grave. And they rejoice that those secrets will be buried with him, not brought into the light as we'd hoped and prayed all these years.

Tiller and his supporters spent the past 35 years giving Satan a foothold in Wichita, in that church, in Tiller's life. And today Satan cashed in his chips big time. This was the payoff for 35 years of laying the groundwork. Satan couldn't have scored a brighter and more spectacular victory.

And don't think his supporters in abortion advocacy don't know it.

To those who don't get it, imagine that your job is to "turn" enemy spies, to get them to become double agents who give you vital information that saves tens of thousands of lives. Imagine that one of those enemy spies, who has access to all the enemy's most vital secrets, had been your target for 35 years. If you could turn him, it would be a mighty blow to the enemy, one from which they might never recover.

And then some dillwad went and shot that spy, in such a time and place as to score a huge PR coup for the enemy and to set back your work at least ten years.


Totally aside from the fact that a man was murdered, we're watching all of our hard work and dedication get torn to shreds by a gleeful press. This is a huge, massive, demoralizing blow.

My reaction when my troll came out from under his bridge to make the announcement was to sit and mutter, "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!" for about five straight minutes. My initial blog post was pretty much "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit." It needed a lot of editing.

If there's anything prolifers love more than rescued babies, it's converted abortionists. We kill the fatted calf for them. And we had an entire ranch of fatted calves just waiting for the barbecue when Tiller joined our side. He was going to blow the lid off the whole sordid thing when he converted. It was only a matter of time.

Then some dickweed gunman killed Tiller and with it so many of our hopes.

George Tiller went from monster to martyr the moment that bullet entered his body. The worst, most notorious abortionist in America became the most sympathetic character on the political and public opinion stage.

And to add insult to injury, we have the hardcore abortion advocates pretending this is good news to us.

It's hard to imagine worse news. Obama's election. Proabortion Supreme Court justices. Hardcore abortion advocates in positions of political power. Those were bad news. This is worse than all of them combined.

A response to the Tiller murder

With people assuming that the murder of George Tiller was motivated by opposition to abortion, this is, I think, a good time to bring back something I published in 1999. It's as true now as it was a decade ago. I'll only change it to update it a bit to the current event.

Wise as Serpents; Innocent as Doves

A lot of people are going beyond merely noting that George Tiller reaped what he sowed. He was in the business of killing. He himself was killed. But is this the sort of thing a Christian or a prolifer could ever condone?

There is a tiny, frustrated minority of people who think that those who live by the sword need to die by the sword (or, more accurately, that those who live by the canula need to die by the .22, but that's just being technical). By and large, these folks aren't bloodthirsty. They're just plain fed up. It's hard to watch abortionists slaughter women and children for decades on end, and listen to them gloat about it, without sometimes thinking that maybe the world would be a better place if somebody just took these folks out of it.

Most of them struggle with the issue; after all, the Bible says "Rescue those who are being led to slaughter." Does this mean that believers have an obligation to use whatever worldly means are necessary to stop abortionists in their tracks? Since I personally have been a Christian for 15 of my 25 years of pro life activism, and since those tempted to become violent often think that God might be calling them to harm abortionists, my primary approach will be from a Christian point of view. But those of other faiths, or of no faith, or those who are confused, will still find food for thought.

There are many angles from which to approach the question, "Is violence justified in dealing with abortionists?" The one that I think cuts to the quick is Jesus' admonition to "Be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves." Examining whether or not killing abortionists is wise and innocent can provide insights for people of all faiths.

Is killing abortionists wise?

The professed goal of someone who shoots an abortionist is to "rescue those who are being led to slaughter." Superficially, it might seem wise to simply shoot the person who plans to slaughter the babies. But is that what is really accomplished?

Let's not forget that every baby scheduled for death by abortion is being carried to the death house by his or her own mother. The abortionist is the instrument that carries out the death sentence she herself, for whatever reason, has imposed on the child. Unless her heart and mind are swayed, she will simply select another executioner. In the case of George Tiller, his killing is so high profile that abortion advocacy groups will probably rush in to fly his patients to George Pendergraft in Florida, who might well do the abortions as freebies to benefit from the good publicity.

Although some women might take the shooting of the abortionist to be a sign against aborting, others will be hardened in their resolve. Insiders who have fled the abortion industry tell us again and again that direct confrontation only tends to make the woman more stubborn -- she now has an additional reason to go through with the abortion, if only to show those hateful busybodies that they can't push her around. The most anyone will accomplish by shooting an abortionist is that they will delay some scheduled abortions. On the other hand, peaceful pro life efforts such as running alternative centers, sidewalk counseling, and peaceful pickets, have been shown to be effective in turning women away from abortion and helping them to choose life for their unborn children. Is it wise to turn from a method with a proven track record to one that is dubious at best?

Let's also step back and look at the big picture. There are more babies scheduled for death in the United States every day than just those at a particular abortion mill. Roughly 4,000 women will walk into abortion facilities on any given day and have their children put to death. Tiller ran a high-volume mill. His murder will at most delay the scores abortions scheduled for the upcoming days, leaving roughly 25,000 other abortions to go on as scheduled. What of the tens of thousands of mothers going into other abortion facilities? On ordinary days, many of them will be swayed by the peaceful pro life presence outside. Sometimes just looking out through the waiting room window at all those people willing to help her is enough to give a woman the courage to have her baby. But if an abortionist gets shot, you can be certain that word will get out quickly, and that the staff at clinics nationwide will be exploiting the news. They will use it to convince the women that the peaceful prolifers outside are actually violent, ready to shoot people who disagree with them. Instead of being open to approach by pro life counselors, the women will be frightened and driven straight into the waiting arms of the abortionists.

And what of the scores of thousands of women scheduled for abortion in the weeks and months to come? Again, abortion advocates will use the shooting of an abortionist to drive a wedge between the women and the people who are tying to reach them. Proven effective peaceful efforts will not have a chance if the women are too frightened to approach pro life activists.

Let's look at some of the ripple effects of shooting abortionists: demonization of pro life activists, increased sympathy for abortionists, draconian laws passed to keep peaceful and effective pro lifers away from abortion facilities. None of these effects is positive. So is shooting abortionists wise? Not at all. It simply feeds the pro abortion propaganda machine.

I have already seen glee from some abortion supporters on the blogosphere. Yes, glee. These abortion supporters are delighted beyond words, just as many of them were at the death of Rosie Jimenez, to have a corpse they figure they can hang around prolifer's necks. They're just as happy to see Tiller die as they are indifferent to the deaths of women at the hands of abortionists. It's all about The Cause. Any given person -- be it a woman or an abortionist -- is important only as far as he or she contributes to The Cause. And face it, abortion advocacy has scored a huge triumph today. Satan certainly has made good use of the foothold George Tiller and his associates gave him in Whichta and in Tiller's church.

And that brings us to the spiritual impact of an abortionist's murder.

Let's start with the abortionist himself. He was shot on his way to church, a church he'd attended for decades with no glimmer of a sign that he repented the evil that he embraced six days out of seven. We can't be sure, but it looks pretty grim for Tiller. Another soul is firmly won for Satan, with no chance of redemption. Peaceful efforts, on the other hand, have been shown to win abortionists over to Christ. Now, which does Satan the greater harm -- giftwrapping an abortionist and leaving him on Hell's doorstep, or stealing him into the Kingdom of God? Which does God the greater service, reaching out to a lost sheep, or delivering an abortionist to Satan, all trussed up and ready to torment?

And what of the surviving abortionists? Won't shooting one of their own at least put the fear of God into them? Hardly. As we've seen before, it hardens their hearts and makes them harder to reach.

What of the other unrepentant souls? The associates of the slain abortionist, and the other abortion defenders? Again, they harden their hearts. Those who might have been receptive to the Gospel want no part of God, if God means people shooting their friends. What about the unbelievers not directly involved in abortion? All they see is a man or woman gunned down in the name of God. They decide, "If that's what God is about, I want nothing to do with it." So unbelievers -- even those with no great love for abortion -- are turned away from Christ. I'm sure Satan chuckles when that happens.

So what does shooting an abortionist do? It thwarts efforts to rescue babies from death, and drives more souls away from Christ and toward Satan.

This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, wise.

Is shooting abortionists innocent?

There are those who advocate shooting abortionists since the Bible contains examples of God instructing His people to smite the wicked. Since the abortionists are clearly wicked, these people rationalize, killing them isn't covered under the Commandment to refrain from killing.

They're overlooking quite a few things.

First of all, God gave very specific instructions to very specific people about exactly which wicked folks to smite, and when, and how. There have been far more wicked people that God did not give orders for anybody to smite. I doubt that this was an oversight on His part. If He had wanted His people to smite this particular wicked man, I'm sure He would have said so. God is many things, but He's no shrinking violet. Unless you've received a direct order from God, "On such-and-such date, take such-and-such weapon and shoot such-and-such abortionist," your actions don't fall under some sort of global instruction to smite the wicked. And even if you think you have received such an order, you're instructed to "test" the message by consulting with your brothers and sisters in Christ. All the abortionist slayers to date have neglected this vital step, or have ignored the council of their brethern who warned them that their plans were not Godly. Jesus warns us that the Devil can quote Scriptures. Considering the great service done to Satan when an abortionist is shot, it's pretty clear where those instructions are coming from, and they're not from God.

Secondly, we can not see into anybody else's heart. Our many brothers and sisters who have fled the abortion industry tell similar stories of the final days before they left. Many of them reached out to their fellow employees, trying to reach them. Others helped women to leave the clinic instead of going through with scheduled abortions. (For examples of those rescued from the abortion industry, read the testimonies of former abortionists such as Carol Everett, Luhra Tivis, and Bernard Nathanson.) A human being standing looking at an abortionist has no way of knowing what is going on inside his heart. Yeah, Tiller had walked into that church thousands of times before without repenting. But we can not know that he was not going to repent on this occasion. Because we can not know, shooting the abortionist is not innocent, either.

Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Continue the prayer and education and peaceful efforts that have saved lives and souls.


I can especially see the hand of Satan in the shooting of George Tiller.

1. Tiller likely died unrepentant.

2. His murder will harden the hearts of other abortion advocates.

3. Because of his extreme high profile, his killing will generate massive amounts of attention that the killing of -- excuse the expression -- a run-of-the-mill abortionist would never do. This means that people who never really gave abortion much thought will have this drag the issue to their attention -- in a way that makes abortionists look like brave, beleaguered champions of "reproductive health", instead of as the quacks and butchers they are.

3. Because of Tiller's spectacular wickedness, even for an abortionist, a lot of abortion opponents will lose sight of the fact that Jesus came with the goal that NONE should perish. Not even somebody as spectacularly evil as George Tiller.

4. The shooter did damage to his own soul.

5. Just as the abortion cause was losing ground in the polls, somebody comes along and gives them a martyr.

6. Tiller was shot in a church, making him seem like some sort of decent, God-fearing guy, and really highlighting the evil of killing him.

This whole thing just sucks on so many levels.


Here is an excellent reflection on Tiller's murder.

Tiller shot to death!

George Tiller shot to death at Wichita church

HT: Tlaloc.


I didn't pray for him nearly enough.

I really, really wanted to see this guy converted. I wanted to see him speak truth instead of ...


We can still pray for his soul. And despite the earthly evidence -- we can't know what he really believed about what he was doing. We can't know what his father (an abortionist) taught him.

The motive could be just about anything -- anger at his smug baby killing, a grieved father of a baby he killed, a family member of a woman he injured, a rival. We won't know until the dust settles. But whatever the motive, just gunning down the man wasn't the answer. I think Father Frank Pavone said it well:

"I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.

"But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions."

But abortionists, really, THINK ABOUT IT. You're in the business of death. And sometimes you reap what you sow. For the sake of your own souls and whoever you have who loves you, REPENT WHILE YOU HAVE TIME.

Here's more coverage:

Abortion Doctor George Tiller Killed at Church, Police Say
George Tiller shot to death at church; police search for suspect

We need to pray, pray, pray for abortionists. Many of them are old, all of them are doing things every day to make enemies who would wish them dead. And not all of them know what they're doing is wrong.

The Point also put it well:

I wanted to lose no time in emphatically denouncing the crime. This is not something that any of us here would have wished on Dr. Tiller. Despite his own acts of violence, we are not to take the law into our own hands. Better to leave his life in God's hands and let him have every chance to repent and turn from his sins before facing his Creator.

But now we can only pray, may God have mercy on his soul.

Kudos to LTI as well, for saying, "This is a terrible end to a life that was tragically misspent."

I'm a little pissed off at Troy Neuman for calling the shooting "vigilantism". We have no idea what the motive was at this point. Abortionists have been shot in gangland slayings and over adulterous affairs. We won't know why Tiller was shot until the investigation is over.

I'm also pissed off that news coverage isn't noting that plenty of patients and their families have just as much reason to have hated him and wanted him dead as anybody else.

ADDENDUM: The "prochoice" lamentation over this "hero" sickens me. He wasn't a hero. He killed babies. He let that quack Carhart kill Christin Gilbert. (I didn't see any prochoicers lamenting THAT death.) He left Sarah Brown paralyzed, blind, and mentally retarded after injecting formaldehyde into her brain to abort her then failing to finish the job. (Pro child my ass, prochoicers.)

If Tiller's death is a loss to society, so was the death of Josef Mengele. So was the death of Ted Bundy. So was the death of any other habitual killer.

Shooting him was wrong, but that doesn't make him a sad, pathetic victim. Tiller's shooting was on a par with a drug lord being gunned down by a rival. Yeah, shooting him was wrong. But that doesn't make his death a loss to anybody but his loved ones. Tiller left the world a better place purely by leaving it, and not by a single DAMNED thing he did while he was upright. And God knows he did enough DAMNED things. And I'm not using that word lightly.

Shooting Tiller was an example of prochoice thought -- that if a person's existence troubles you, then you have the right to kill them. And as such it was just as wrong as what he devoted his life to. Killing. The main thing that separates Tiller from his killer is that we have no reason at this point to believe that killing was something the shooter did habitually. And we have no reason to believe the shooter was rich, with powerful political connections and a firm belief that he was above the law.

There was a victim here, yes, but hardly an innocent victim.

And who benefits here? The abortion lobby. Now they're looking ever so sympathetic and beleaguered. People will lose sight of what it is they stand for -- pulling babies limb from limb out of the wombs of their weeping mothers. Some other greedy butcher will arise to take his place. George Pendergraft in Florida seems likely to assume the title of King of the Post-Viability Abortions. The killing will continue. And the killers will look like victims.

Just as the abortion lobby was losing ground in the polls, somebody steps forward and gives them a martyr. Satan is laughing. I can see his fingerprints all over this.

ANOTHER ADDENDUM: The only way this is a dark day for women is that the abortion lobby will gain ground. The loss of George Tiller himself is about as much of a loss to women as the death of Hitler was a loss to Jews. Get this through your thick heads: Most women prefer their babies alive. The death of a man who made it his business to kill babies is only a blow to women who hate babies and want them to be violently killed. And I resent the way self proclaimed spokespersons for women assume that I share their hatred for babies. Speak for yourselves.

1986: Woman dead, family sues

The survivors of Dorothy Bryant filed suit against Dr. Robert Prince in her death.

The suit claims that Prince failed to perform a proper pre-operative evaluation before performing a safe and legal abortion on 22-year-old Dorothy at Dallas Medical Ladies Clinic on May 27, 1986.

Dorothy hemorrhaged during the procedure. In the lawsuit, her family said that Prince was negligent in his administration of drugs, anesthesia, and in his administration of a blood transfusion.

Dorothy was transferred to a hospital, where she died on May 31 of pulmonary fibrosis.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

1929: Fatal abortion by unknown perp

On May 30, 1929, 19-year-old Amelia Stumbras died from complications of a criminal abortion. Though the coroner pushed for prosecution, the guilty party was never identified or apprehended.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future when Ameila died. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

Friday, May 29, 2009

1988: Top notch abortion facility kills teen

Denise Montoya was fifteen years old when her parents brought her to Women's Pavillion in Houston for a safe, legal abortion on May 13, 1988. Denise was 25 weeks pregnant.

The abortion was performed by Douglas Karpen, an osteopath.

Denise suffered severe bleeding, and was admitted to Ben Taub hospital. Her condition deteriorated, and she died on May 29.

Her parents filed suit against Karpen and the clinic, saying that they had faied to adequately explain the risks of the procedure, and had not provided consent forms, or had the parents sign any informed consent document, prior to the fatal abortion.

According to their 1991 Annual Report, Women's Pavillion was a National Abortion Federation member.

NAF tells patients, "NAF is the professional association of abortion providers in North America. .... In order to become a member, a clinic must complete a rigorous application process. Member clinics have agreed to comply with our standards for quality and care.... NAF periodically conducts site visits to confirm that our clinics are in compliance with our guidelines."

So either their standards aren't all that high, or the site visits aren't very effective in seeing what's really happening.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Abortion supporters have reason to look askance at Sotomayor

Sotomayor Voted to OK Asylum for Spouses of Women in China Forced Abortions

Sotomayor has made some judicial calls that will give the folks at NARAL, NAF, and Planned Parenthood reason to shake in their shoes.

1. She upheld the Mexico City Policy, which blocked US funding of organizations that promote abortion in other countries.

2. She passed a ruling in favor of prolife protestors.

3. She backed political asylum for the spouses and unmarried partners of Chinese women facing forced sterilization or abortion.

That third one will particularly stick in the abortion advocacy craw because of what she wrote in her opinion on the case:

“The termination of a wanted pregnancy under a coercive population control program can only be devastating to any couple, akin, no doubt, to the killing of a child,” she wrote

"The harm is clearly directed at the couple who dared to continue an unauthorized pregnancy in hopes of enlarging the family unit," she added.

Sotmayor also noted “the unique biological nature of pregnancy and special reverence every civilization has accorded to child-rearing and parenthood in marriage.”

To the abortion lobby, them's fighting words.

Government demands local charity stop helping poor sick people

Koot Karts’ operator awaiting regulations

A local military hero who became successful in civilian life left a legacy to his small hometown: A van service to take the poor and elderly to medical appointments. The rides were free -- though there were donation envelopes for if a rider wanted to make a donation to keep the service afloat.

Now the state has its knickers in a twist. Somebody complained on two counts:

1. The van service provides rides to residents of the founder's hometown of Windber, Pennsylvania. Windber is right on the county line, so some of those people live in Cambria County, not Somerset County where the bulk of the town is. Evidently it's perfectly kosher to transport Somerset County residents to appointments in either county, but it's taboo to transport Cambria County residents to appointments unless they're in Somerset County. I think. It's hard to tell because the state is being very vague about what exactly is so horrible.

2. Because the vans have envelopes aboard inviting riders to donate to keep the service afloat, it's somehow not considered "free" -- even though the donations are NOT mandatory. A rider can use the van service again and again and again without contributing a penny.

They've been given a cease and desist order and threatened with fines of $1000 a day for every day they give free rides to poor, sick people.

What really makes it suck is that nobody's really clear on exactly what the van charity is doing wrong, and why suddenly after all these years it's a problem.

Windber is in a rural area, with very limited public transportation. This van service provides a vital link between needy residents and their necessary medical care. And it does it at no expense to the taxpayers of either county.

Which, it seems, is something the government simply can not tolerate.

Only to a bureaucrat is there some heinous problem with driving poor people to the doctor for free, just out of basic human decency.

And it's these bureaucrats that some people think should be in charge of our health care.

No, thanks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Abortion advocate to fellows: Address this problem!

Abortion Advocate Chides Pro-Abortion Movement for Ignoring Lila Rose Videos

Mandy Van Deven has spoken out at the abortion-advocacy blog "RH Reality Check" (a misnomer, since the by "RH" she means "reproductive health", which abortion damages, and by "Reality Check" she means "platitudes to calm the sheep when they start to be alarmed by reality"). She wants the abortion lobby to tackle the Lila Rose videos head on.

Now, here's the test of how long you've been in this game. Why does Ms. Van Deven want the abortion lobby to tackle the Lila Rose videos?

If you said, "Because she's disgusted that people are ignoring sexual abuse of teens, and PP's facilitation thereof," you win the coveted Hopelessly Naive Award.

If you said, "Because she thinks they need to do damage control rather than hope it goes away," you're absolutely right.

I can count on one hand the number of times, in a quarter century of prolife activism, that I've seen abortion advocates acting from actual concern for real women rather than from a standpoint of damage control for The Cause:

1 & 2. Two cases of abortion clinic staff reporting dangerous practices -- one to the National Abortion Federation, and one to the medical board.

3. A feminist newsletter did an expose on a seedy abortion mill.

4. Planned Parenthood teamed with prolifers to drive a dangerous abortionist out of Pennsylvania.

5. A prochoice author arranged a raid on an illegal abortionist who had killed a patient.

So, Mandy Van Deven, I'm sure that child abusing perverts are breathing a sigh of relief that they have you in their corner. But wouldn't it be a bit more decent of you to have some actual concern for the victims? Just as a refreshing change of pace?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

1950: Young mother bleeds to death

On May 26, 1950, Annis Whitlow Brown performed an abortion on Joy M. Joy, the unmarried mother of a six-year-old daughter. Brown botched the job, causing hemorrhage and failing to properly treat the patient. Joy died quickly from blood loss.

I have not determined what Brown's profession was.

During the 1950s, we see an anomaly: Though maternal mortality had been falling during the first half of the 20th Century, and abortion mortality in particular had been plummeting, the downward trend slowed, then reversed itself briefly. I have yet to figure out why. For more, see Abortion Deaths in the 1950s.

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

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1915: Chicago abortionist shoots dead patient

Dr. Eva Shaver was involved in one of the most spectacular and bizarre abortion cases of the century.

A young Chicago woman, Anna Johnson (pictured), was found dead with a bullet hole in her head on May 26, 1915, in Shaver's home. Shaver told police that she had hired Johnson as a maid, and that the girl had committed suicide. But investigators concluded that Anna had died after Shaver had botched an abortion on her. They tore up the floorboards in the house, searching for the remains of aborted babies.

Anna's "sweetheart", Marshall Hostetler, told the coroner that he had known Anna for a year, since they'd met at a dance hall. They'd planned to marry. When she discovered that she was pregnant, Hostetler had purchased abortifactient pills for her from Shaver's son, Clarence. The fetus survived this chemical assault, so Hostetler arranged for Shaver to perform a surgical abortion.

Hostetler reportedly "sobbed" and "collapsed" at the inquest into Anna's death. News coverage painted him has having been misled by Dr. Shaver and her son, though he had gone into hiding upon the girl's death at one point been a suspect.

Shaver was tried for Johnson's death and the abortion death of another patient, Lillie Giovenco, in 1914.

Interestingly enough, Anna Johnson's death sparked a crackdown on midwife-abortionists rather than physician-abortionists, even though the corner's records showed both professions to be responsible for a roughly equal number of deaths in Chicago during that era. Part of this, Leslie Reagan believed, was due to the public perception that female practitioners were all midwives, and part was due to the political clout that physicians had but midwives lacked.

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

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Monday, May 25, 2009

93 days of love

Faith Hope has passed. Please respect her mom's wishes not to take her pictures and post them. But pray for all who loved little Faith.

Her mom is still blogging here.

I really hope Faith's doctor writes her up for the medical journals. Faith has paved the way for other babies with anencephaly to have time to know their families' love.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pray for Baby Faith

The little miracle baby, who has astonished doctors by thriving for three months despite having anencephaly is sick. She has a distended tummy and blood in her diaper. This is very very not good. Pray for little Faith, her mommy, and the doctors who have treated her like any other baby.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1974: Prochoice hero kills teen abortion patient

Milan Vuitch was a hero among abortion advocates. He had deliberately been arrested performing criminal abortions so that he could challenge the Washington, DC abortion law, and he succeeded in changing the way the law was enforced, effectively nulifying it.

On June 15, 1974, seventeen-year-old Wilma Harris of West Virginia went to Vuitch's Laurel Clinic for a safe and abortion. Five days later, she was dead.

During interrogatories, Vuitch said that anesthesiologist Strahil Nacev described Wilma as "so quiet" during the abortion. Although he had begun a vacuum abortion, Vuitch said that the fetus had been too big to pass through the suction tube. He said he used instruments to remove the remaining fetal parts.

Although the abortion was done at around 2:00 PM, Vuitch didn't trasfer Wilma to a properly equipped hospital until after midnight. Wilma's family sued, claiming that Vuitch and his staff had allowed Wilma to lapse into a coma and lie unattended for 12 hours before transferring her to the hospital. The suit also claimed that Vuitch and his staff falsified records to cover their tracks.

The family won a judgment on December 23, 1976, but the settlement was sealed by court order.

Georgianna English also died after an abortion by Milan Vuitch.

Vuitch isn't the only aborionist who kept his nose clean as a criminal abortionist, only to kill two patients after legalization. Jesse Ketchum managed to kill Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner in a four-month period after New York put out a welcome mat for carpetbagging abortionists in 1970. Benjamin Munson of South Dakota killed Linda Padfield and Yvonne Mesteth.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1937: Abortionist backpedals, claims fatal abortion was actually medical justified and thus legal

Dr. Claude C. Long ran a rather fishy medical practice in San Francisco. He, his wife, and a relative named Ann Fisher, were charged with the 1937 murder of Genevieve Arganbright. Long admitted -- once he'd been caught -- that Genevieve had died while he'd been performing an abortion on her. The jury acquitted Mrs. Long and Ann Fisher, but found Dr. Long guilty of manslaughter.

The story was twisted, and the trial hinged on Long's supposed justifications for the unorthodox things he did.

Long had an office on Valencia Street, and another on Haight Street.

The one on Valencia Street was in a middle flat of the building, with his name on the window and a telephone listed in the city directory. Ann Fisher, who was in some way related to Long and his wife, managed this office for him, scheduling appointments for patients who had walked in or telephoned. Mrs. Long's sister-in-law, Mrs. Spence, who lived in a flat upstairs of this office, reported that Mrs. Fisher lived at the rear of the Valencia Street office. However, no medical or surgical equipment was found at the site during the police investigation. Long said that he seldom saw any patients there at all. Mrs. Spence said that she had in fact never seen Dr. Long at the premises.

Long actually saw his patients at the Haight Street location, in premises rented by his wife under the name of Young. There was an unlisted telephone at that location. Long made a habit of parking his car at a garage about seven blocks away, often having the garageman drop him off about a half-block from the Haight Street office. When he was arrested, Long had keys to the back doors, but not the front doors, of the Haight Street building. When they searched the building, police found every evidence that Long was practicing medicine there, with "various medicines used in connection with operations on women" found there, and abortion instruments found in a closet. The actual instruments used in the fatal abortion had been hidden by Long the night of the death, but he eventually turned them over to the police.

Genevieve was, according to her husband, about 2 1/2 months pregnant at the time of her death. She had been in good health, athletic, and in the habit of taking long hikes, dancing, swimming, and playing tennis. She worked for the W.P.A., and kept house for the couple and their child. She had not shown any overt symptoms of having a bad heart.

On May 19, 1937, Mr. Arganbright heard his wife make a phone call to Dr. Long's Valencia Street office and make an appointment to go there between 2 and 4 that afternoon. The couple arrived and were let in by Mrs. Fisher, who took down Genevieve's name and asked her who her companion was. Mrs. Fisher then took Genevieve into another room, where Mr. Arganbright overheard Fisher asking his wife how long she had been pregnant and instructing her not to bring her husband with her for her appointment the next night.

The next day, May 20, Genevieve went to work and returned home as usual. At about 6:45 that evening, she left, telling her husband she going for her abortion. She was planning to go by streetcar to the Valencia Street office, where a driver was to take her to somewhere on Haight Street for the actual surgery. She brought with her $50 that she had borrowed to pay for the abortion.

That was the last time Mr. Arganbright saw his wife. Nobody at Dr. Long's practice called to tell him that his wife had died on the operating table.

Dr. Long did have Mrs. Fisher make a phone call: to a Dr. Goldsand. Some time about about 10:25 p.m., she called him and asked him to come to the Haight Street office to help with a very sick patient. He arrived in a little under ten minutes. Mrs. Fisher met him and brought him upstairs to a bedroom where the body of Genevieve lay in bed, dressed in street clothes, partially covered with a blanket. Both Dr. Long and his wife were there. Long asked Goldsand to examine Genevieve. He did so, confirming that she was dead. He administered drugs to try to revive her, to no avail.

Long asked Goldsand to sign a death certificate, but he refused, noting that since Long had been treating Genevieve, it was his duty to prepare and sign a death certificate. Long did not respond, and Goldsand left the premises. Long later testified that he was left with the impression that Goldsand would sign the death certificate, a claim the jury clearly didn't believe.

The next call made from Long's office was to an undertaker's office. When two employees arrived to collect Genevieve's body at about 2:30 the morning of the 21st, Dr. Long wasn't present. Mrs. Long and Mrs. Fisher were there, and identified themselves as "very dear friends" of the dead woman. They said that the woman's relatives had left, but would contact the undertaker in the morning to complete the funeral arrangements. They said that Dr. Goldsand had been the attending physician, caring for the patient for at least half an hour before she died of a heart attack. The undertaker's men wanted a phone to call Dr. Goldsand and verify this, but they were told that there was no phone, and the Dr. Goldsand said that everything was in order and that he would sign the death certificate in the morning.

The men took Genevieve's body to the mortuary, where the embalming was done. But when no relatives called to finalize arrangements, and nobody produced a death certificate, the undertaker notified the coroner. The employees at the undertaking establishment didn't notice anything about Genevieve's body that would lead them to believe that she had died from any reason other than a heart attack.

While things were getting squirrely at the mortuary, Dr. and Mrs. Long were making tracks. They registered at the Chancellor Hotel under the names of Mr. and Mrs. C. Young of Sonora, California. But when they were told they'd have to vacate the room by 4 p.m., they went to the Cecil Hotel and registered there under assumed names.

Nobody had even tried to contact Genevieve's husband.

Late in the afternoon of the 21st, Mr. Arganbright called the Valencia Street office and spoke to Mrs. Fisher. She said that she knew nothing of Genevieve's whereabouts, and that Dr. Long had left town. It wasn't until later that day, when the police arrived, that Mr. Arganbright learned that his wife was dead.

Dr. and Mrs. Long were arrested at the Cecil Hotel on May 22, where they were found registered under their proper names this time. In the mean time, Mrs. Fisher fled, and was later apprehended in Nevada City.

Neither Mrs. Long nor Mrs. Fisher took the stand during the trial, and both were acquitted. Dr. Long testified, and the jury didn't find his testimony particularly credible.

Long argued that Genevieve had died of a heart attack brought on by her long standing mitral stenosis, and that the abortion he'd been performing had only been intended to save her from the risk of death from the stress of continued pregnancy and labor. The abortion, he contended, had been perfectly legal, and had been performed with all due care.

The prosecution argued that the abortion had not been medically indicated by Genevieve's heart condition, and that even if it had been, Long's lack of due diligence had caused her death anyway. If the abortion had been elective, and thus illegal, Long was guilty of murder in Genevieve's death. If the abortion had really been to try to prevent Genevieve's death from pregnancy stress on her heart, but had been negligently performed, Long was guilty of manslaughter. And if the abortion had been medically indicated and properly performed -- if Genevieve had died from her pre-existing heart condition -- then Long was not guilty of any crime.

The autopsy performed on Genevieve did note that she had mitral stenosis -- a heart valve constricted due to previous infection. Medical witnesses testified that as mitral stenosis progressed, it would cause the heart to work harder and faster and to become enlarged. After a while, the heart is unable to compensate, and the patient dies. However, they noted, before a patient dies from advanced mitral stenosis she will show signs of a heart condition, such as shortness of breath and discoloration of the skin.

Long testified that Genevieve had first come to him in March, and he had diagnosed the mitral stenosis. He said he had considered her condition to be borderline, that her heart was adequately compensating for the restricted valve, but that she could decompensate and die at any time. He was unsure if she was pregnant, and told her to return in two weeks so that he could determine if she was pregnant and if she was, perform an abortion to prevent her death from the mitral stenosis. She had not returned until the 19th, when she'd made the abortion arrangements. There was no record of this March office visit; Long held that he'd made a record and implied that it had vanished when the police had raided his office.

Genevieve's husband stood by his testimony, that the visit of the 19th was the first time his wife had gone to Dr. Long's practice.

Long did not deny that he treated Genevieve on May 20. He said that she had not come specifically for an abortion, but was certain that she was pregnant, and that she was constantly tired, with chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath, all indications of heart problems. Long said that he then informed Genevieve that her heart was in very bad shape and that he recommended an immediate therapeutic abortion to prevent her death. The defense also pointed out that Genevieve had sought a consultation at the Mt. Zion Hospital Clinic in 1933, believing that she might be pregnant, and that doctors there found that she was not pregnant but would have recommended an abortion had she been.

Long described the abortion as he performed it, and indicated that Genevieve's heart simply stopped during the procedure and he had been unable to revive her. He gave excuses on the stand -- not noted in Westlaw documents -- about the reasons he didn't document the pre-abortion examination that supposedly verified a dangerous heart condition, about why he'd fled with his wife and assumed a false name, about why he kept one dummy office with a listed phone separate from his actual practice where there was an unlisted phone, why he'd tried to get Goldsand to sign the death certificate, why he'd not contacted the widower, and other actions that would not have been undertaken by an innocent man.

Expert testimony agreed that Genevieve did indeed have mitral stenosis, but there was no agreement on whether or not it warranted an abortion. The surgeon who performed the autopsy, and a pathologist from the coroner's office, both testified that Genevieve's heart was not at all enlarged. Her mitral stenosis seemed stable, and their expert testimony was that Genevieve would have likely tolerated pregnancy and delivery quite well. Several other physicians testified that there was nothing in Genevieve's autopsy or medical history to indicate that the mitral stenosis posed any threat to the young woman's life. Mr. Arganbright, other family members, and Genevieve's co-workers all testified that she had been in good health, showing none of the shortness of breath or other signs that would indicate that her heart was in poor shape.

In fact, the pathologist and several other doctors testified that Genevieve's heart had stopped not due to heart disease, but due to excessive blood loss. Expert testimony also pointed out that Genevieve already had the mitral stenosis since childhood, well prior to the birth of her child in 1932, and that she had tolerated pregnancy and labor quite well. A cardiologist testified that Genevieve's mitral stenosis was well-compenstated and stable, not posing any threat to her life.

Though expert witnesses conceded that some doctors simply recommended abortion for all patients with mitral stenosis, abortion would only be properly recommended if a heart specialist examined the patient and concluded that she was decompensating and in danger.

All of this would be germane to a murder conviction, which depended on Long proceeding with an abortion not necessary to try to save the woman's life. But there was also the matter of the real cause of death. Genevieve's cervix was lacerated and torn away from her uterus, with additional damage to the vagina and portions of the placenta torn loose and hanging out through the tears. Expert testimony indicated that a proper therapeutic abortion for a patient with heart troubles would involve hospitalizing her and performing the surgery under general anesthesia so as not to cause undue stress to the heart from excessive pain. Performing an outpatient abortion on an ailing patient meant performing a risky procedure without access to emergency facilities. In fact, Dr. Carr, the pathologist, testified that a patient sick enough to require an abortion would also have been too sick to simply perform one on the spot; a conscientious physician would have sought a consultation with a cardiologist, and would have hospitalized the patient for some time before the abortion in order to ensure that she was strong enough to survive the surgery. He also noted that the agony of having one's cervix ripped off would be enough in itself to cause shock in a patient with a weak heart. All of these factors were indicative of lack of due diligence on Long's part in performing the abortion, regardless of his reasons for performing it. At the very least, if he really was performing the abortion due to concerns about Genevieve's heart problems, he was guilty of manslaughter for performing an outpatient surgery and ripping his patent's internal organs so badly.

Long reminds me very much of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, who claims that he only does post-viability abortions on patients whose lives or bodily integrity are so threatened by pregnancy that those pregnancies must be terminated -- but who keeps these supposedly horribly ill patients in a motel room for three days instead of hospitalizing them and caring for them under constant medical supervision.

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

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1870: Mystery death in Brooklyn turns out to be from abortion

On May 20, 1870, Mrs Matilda Henningsen, aka Matilda Hunt, died at No. 182 East Seventh Street in Brooklyn. Authorities investigated her death.

Matilda's sister, Henrietta Henningsen, testified that she recognized clothes and other items belonging to her sister. Henrietta said that Matilda had been sick about two months earlier, and had been treated by Dr. Herzog and Dr. Kennerer. Shortly after having taken ill, Matilda told Henrietta that she'd gotten an invitation to go to Williamsburgh, and that was the last Henrietta had seen of her sister.

August Herman Rauffes testified that he'd known Matilda for about twelve years. She had worked for several families as a live-in governess. In October of 1869 she had rented a room from him above his store. She had been treated by Dr. Herzog for sickness. She told Rauffes that she was going to the country, and left a forwarding address. After her departure, Rauffes found a card with the names of Dr. Wolff and Dr. Grindle written on it.

Dr. Max Herzod testified that he had treated Matilda on March 12 for abdominal pain. After three weeks of care, the pain continued, and Matilda also reported nausea. He examined her and determined that she was pregnant. Afterward she told him she was going to Germany. That was the last he'd heard of her until learning of her death. Dr. Krammerer, who had also treated Matilda, concurred with Dr. Herzod's testimony.

Dr. Joseph B. Chshman testified as to the post-mortem examination he had performed. He said he found all the evidence of uterine infection and resulting peritonitis, resulting from an abortion.

The Dr. Wolf whose name was on the card Matilda's landlord found, was Mr. A. A. Wolff, from Denmark, purported to be a physician. However, he is not identified as such in the source document. But he clearly was an abortionist. Six fetuses, along with various instruments, were found in his office.

The jury determined that Wolff had performed the fatal abortion.

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

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Monday, May 18, 2009

1924: Abortion by doc proves fatal for Chicago woman

On May 18, 1924, 26-year-old Miss Mary Whitney died at St. Mary's Hospital of complications of an abortion performed April 2 at the Chicago office of Dr. Lou E. Davis. Dr. Davis was held by the coroner on May 19.

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

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

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1925: Fatal abortion, unknown perp

On May 18, 1925, Della Davis, a 25-year-old Black woman, died in Chicago from an illegal abortion performed that day. The person responsible for her death was never caught.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Drawing a closer parallel with the "kidney donation" argument for abortion

A common argument in favor of abortion goes something like this:

A stranger needs a kidney transplant, or he will die. You are the only tissue match. Should you be forced to give up your kidney to save the stranger?
The attempted parallel fails on several levels:

1. A fetus in the womb isn't a stranger.
2. Pregnancy isn't some flukey thing that happens out of the blue; we know what causes it.
3. Pregnancy isn't permanent.
4. Abortion isn't letting somebody die who was moribund anyway; it's causing the violent death of somebody who would likely have lived a long life otherwise.

If we want to make the imaginary situation more akin to abortion, the scenario would have to go more like this:

You and your boyfriend/husband have a hobby that involves use of toxic chemicals that are fairly safe for adults, but can cause fatal kidney problems in children. Knowing this, you nevertheless pursue this hobby, exposing your child to the toxic chemicals. Your child ends up suffering kidney failure as a result. Should you be required to submit to a temporary transplant of one of your kidneys for the nine months it will take his kidneys to heal, or should it be perfectly legal and socially acceptable for you to hack him to death with a machete so you don't have to deal with any of this situation?
Does it look just a tad different now?

There is also one fundamental difference between the kidney donor scenario and abortion: The person with the failing kidneys is approaching the end of his natural life. The fetus slated for abortion, however, is at the beginning of her natural life. In the kidney donor scenario, refusing a kidney is a decision not to make a noble sacrifice to extend his life. It is a decision to refrain from intervening. Aborting the fetus is taking an action to deprive her of the decades of life that she could expect to have. In the kidney donor scenario, nothing is being stolen from the ailing person. In abortion, a choice is made to intervene in another person's life, an entire lifetimes is stolen.

The difference between the kidney donor scenario and abortion is the difference between deciding whether or not to give and deciding whether or not to take.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1971: Journey to death for Michigan teen

"Roxanne" was 17 years old when she traveled to New York from Michigan to have a safe, legal first-trimester abortion in a doctor's office. The doctor gave her sedatives and local anesthesia to begin the abortion on May 13, 1972. But before the abortion could be started, Roxanne started to have convulsions and went into cardiac arrest.

Roxanne was taken to an area hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival.

An investigation into the case revealed that the doctor had exceeded the recommended dose of the local anesthesetic.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

1991: Found dead in her home after abortion

The family of 34-year-old Colleen Chambers had become concerned about her after her safe, legal abortion in 1991. They called an employee of the place Colleen lived, and asked him to check on her. He found her dead in her room.

Autopsy showed that she had died from blood clots in her lungs and legs, and gave her date of death as May 12, 1991.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1989: Found dead on floor of restroom at college

Survivors of Gladyss Delanoche Estanislao, 28-year-old mother of one, alleged that she underwent a safe, legal aspiration abortion by Alan J. Ross at The Wisconsin Avenue Women's Health Care Center on April 25, 1989.

The family's arbitration claim indicated that "tissue retrieved consisted only of clots and [Ross] drew the conclusion that there had been a missed abortion [fetus died of natural causes but was not expelled]. He then sent [Gladyss] home and prescribed medication instructing her as though the pregnancy had been terminated."

On May 12, Gladyss was found unresponsive on the floor of the rest room near her college classroom. A doctor who was in the vicinity performed CPR while awaiting an ambulance. Gladyss was taken to a hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival from cardiac arrest due to blood loss from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

The fact that the abortion specimen did not contain fetal parts should have indicated that Gladyss had an ectopic pregnancy. This condition is routinely treated by competent doctors, saving the lives of the mothers. But Ross missed his diagnosis and allowed Gladyss to leave his clinic with her life in danger.

Even though, in theory, women who choose abortion should be less likely to die of ectopic pregnancy complications, experiences shows that they're actually more likely to die, due to sloppy practices by abortion practitioners.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1971: A young mother's last journey

"Anita" was a 23-year-old mother of two when she chose safe and legal abortion in 1971. She traveled from Massachusetts to New York for her abortion. She was 22 weeks pregnant. On May 11, the doctor initiated a saline abortion by injecting strong salt solution into her uterus, then sent Anita home to expel the fetus. The next day, Anita was found unresponsive at her home. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. She had bled to death.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

1994: Cream of the crop abortion hospital leaves teen dead

Fifteen-year-old Sara Neibel went to Midtown Hospital in Atlanta for a safe and legal abortion at 17 weeks. She was given a clean bill of health and sent home.

The next day, she reported a severe headache, sore neck, neck stiffness, and trouble seeing. Her parents began the drive to take her to the hospital. On the way there, Sara began screaming and behaving strangely. When they got to the hospital, she refused to get out of the car. She was disoriented and stuporous upon admission.

Sara went into respiratory arrest, and was admitted to the ICU. She was pronounced dead May 11, 1994. The cause of death was determined to be Group B Streptococci Meningitis caused by infected amniotic fluid in her bloodstream.

The autopsy performed on Sara found dead tissue and a fetal bone fragment in her infected uterus.

Midtown Hospital was a member of the National Abortion Federation.

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1992: Antiquated abortion method kills mother

"Melissa" was 27 years old and five months pregnant when she checked into Lutheran Medical Center of Brooklin on May 1, 1992 for a safe, legal abortion. For some reason, her doctor chose the dangerous and antiquated saline abortion procedure. Melissa died of complications on May 11.

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1981: Multiple failures result in student's death after abortion

A lawsuit filed by the father of Barbara Dillon, a 22-year-old college student, alleged that Barbara underwent a safe and legal abortion performed by Dr. Mark Silver at Long Island Gynecological Group April 18, 1981.

Barbara's father said that the pathology report identified placental tissue, but no fetal parts. This meant that something had gone wrong, and that Barbara needed medical care, but nobody contacted her to tell her this. Barbara suffered pain and bleeding from May 5. She went to the emergency room and was treated with antibiotics and advised to see her family doctor. She was in severe pain later that day, so her roommates called the emergency room again. They were told to give the antibiotics more time.

Barbara's pain did not abate. On May 10, her roommates got a neighbor to take Barbara to the university health center. Barbara was unconscious upon arrival, with no respiration, blood pressure, or pulse, and was rushed to the emergency room. There were delays finding a doctor from the clinic who would aid the emergency room physician in addressing Barbara's symptoms. She went into irreversible shock and died on May 11. It turned out that Barbara had an ectopic pregnancy which the clinic had failed to detect. Barbara's father also sued Silver over his daughter's death.

Even though, in theory, women who choose abortion should be less likely to die of ectopic pregnancy complications, experiences shows that they're actually more likely to die, due to sloppy practices by abortion practitioners.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Excellent article, sure to send the kind and loving abortion fanatics into an apoplexy

Choosing not to abort babies with disabilities, in the Washington Times, looks at moms who choose life, however brief, for their babies diagnosed in-utero with disabilities.

I can just hear the grinding of teeth among hardcore abortion advocates. After all, if carrying to term is a blessing even for these worst-case-scenario moms, how much more of a blessing could it be to continue to birth under less dire circumstances?

HT: Jivin' J

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Territorialism. It's what choice is all about, isn't it?

The basic prochoice argument is that the fetus, however innocent, however human, is a trespasser and thus subject to lethal action at the discretion of the person upon whom he or she is trespassing.

This is what that attitude looks like when we can see the victim and the world actually gives a damn about him.

So, "I have the right to kill the fetus because it's a trespasser" folks -- look in the mirror:

God only knows what the inside looks like.


Friday, May 08, 2009

1986: Abortionist's mistake leaves woman dead

Claudia Caventou, age 33, underwent a safe, legal first-trimester abortion at Mercy Medical Clinic in Los Angeles on May 8, 1986, performed by H. N. Fahmy.

Claudia's boyfriend was in the waiting room during the procedure. Staff told him that everything was okay, and suggested that he leave and get something to eat. Since he'd heard Claudia screaming earlier, he decided to stay.

Several hours later, he heard the doctor come out and tell his staff to call 911. Claudia was taken to a hospital where she underwent emergency surgery for what doctors thought was a perforated uterus. It turned out that Claudia's pregnancy had been in her fallopian tube, which had ruptured during the abortion. Efforts to save Claudia were futile, and she died later that day.

Even though, in theory, women who choose abortion should be less likely to die of ectopic pregnancy complications, experiences shows that they're actually more likely to die, due to sloppy practices by abortion practitioners.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1981: One of four deaths at Miami abortion mill

Twenty-four-year-old Maura Morales was eight weeks pregnant when she went to Woman's Care Center for a safe and legal abortion on May 8, 1981.

When she was in the recovery room, her heart went into spontaneous ventricular fibrillation -- irregular heartbeats not capable of effectively pumping blood. Maura was taken to a hospital, but died that day.

Maura was the one of four women to die at the same facility. The others were Shirley Payne, Myrta Baptiste, and Ruth Montero.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1928: Another fatal Chicago abortion

On May 8, 1928, 27-year-old Margaret Barnts died from a criminal abortion performed by Pauline Zickerman or Nickelman. (The name is given two different ways in the source, perhaps due to illegible handwriting on their original source documents.) The defendant was indicted for felony murder on May 15, 1928. Her profession is not mentioned.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

If the government wants it, kiss it goodbye

Feds To Seize Private Land For 9/11 Memorial

It's getting to where holding the deed to a piece of land means you have the responsibility for protecting endangered species, wetlands, and your neighbor's property values -- but you don't actually OWN the land. You're just responsible for it, and permitted to make some use of it, until the government decides to come and take it away from you.

When private property rights mean nothing anymore, welcome our new totalitarian overlords.

1905: Mom clears docs in fatal abortion

On May 7, 1905, Mrs. Hannah Calhoun died in Peoria, Illinois, from fever and blood poisoning attributed to an abortion.

At first, Dr. J. W. Parker and his assistant, Dr. John Peattie, were held in the death. Then the Grand Jury heard from Sophia Spellman, Hannah's mother. Her testimony, to the effect that Parker had only been called in to attend to Hannah after she had taken ill, was enough to lead the Jury to exonerate the men, though they were reputed abortionists. Parker had been charged in another abortion, evidently not fatal, several years earlier.

Hannah's mother would not concede that Hannah had aborted the pregnancy, but said that if there had been an abortion performed, Hannah must have done it herself.

Note, please, that with overall public health issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

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

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

If it was really a photo-op, where are the photos?

White House to Release Photo From New York Flyover

A photo. For over $300,000. Makes what photo studios do with their $8.95 loss leader packages look like total freebies.

I don't think it really was a photo shoot. I think somebody came up with that story. So what was REALLY going on?

1938: Practical nurse performs fatal abortion

On May 5, 1938, Mrs. Genevieve Horton, a practical nurse, pleaded guilty in an abortion case in Westchester County, New York. She was released on $1,500 bail. According to an indictment, after being released, Horton performed an abortion on 29-year-old Mrs. Asunta La Rosa, a mother of three. Asunta died in her home later that evening.

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

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1924: Another victim of Dr. Achtenberg

On May 6, 1924, 24-year-old Madelyn Anderson died at Chicago's Washington Park Hospital from a criminal abortion performed that day. The coroner recommended the arrest of a woman identified as "Dr. Ogdenberg". On May 13, Dr. Louise Achtenberg was arrested for Madelyn's death. Achtenberg was indicted for felony murder on May 15.

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

Achtenberg, identified only as "Mrs." Louise Achtenberg, was also implicated in the 1907 abortion death of Dora Swan.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

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1907: Another of many victims of Chicago's notorious Dr. Hagenow

Thursday, May 2, 1907, started out as an ordinary day for 26-year-old Annie Horvatich of Justine Street in Chicago. She did the family washing in the morning, then in the afternoon took the streetcar to the bank to withdraw $25.

At 6:30 that evening, she asked her new husband, Michael, to accompany her to the home of Dr. Louise Hagenow. It was late by the time they arrived. Though she didn't bring a change of clothes or any type of overnight bag, she asked Mike to look after her children (She had three from a previous marriage.) and to come and see her on Saturday.

Mike, who told his story through a translator, said that he didn't know Hagenow and didn't know what his wife's purpose was in the visit -- a claim that isn't held up by the letter he says he got from her the next day:

Beloved Mike -- I let you know everything is well. Slept very well. Take care of the children. Tell Fanny not to go outside unless she puts a cap and coat on her. If she won't, don't leave her out. You see how she is. You didn't have any coffee at home and you were mad this morning. I will take care you won't be angry. Don't be afraid. There won't be any serious happenings. Will be in the house that day until I go home. Come over Saturday afternoon as you said, and tell the children where you are going, so that they won't go away from the house. Tell them I will come back with you. Nothing else. With love and regards to the children. A.H.

So evidently Mike knew enough about Annie's purpose that she would have to assuage his fears that there might be "serious happenings".

Mike went to Hagenow's home on Saturday afternoon and found his wife sitting up in bed, apparently in her underclothes. She told him she was unwell and sent him home, saying she would not be returning home until Monday.

On Sunday, Mike got a phone call to go to Hagenow's place. He arrived at 10 p.m. to find his wife very sick, abed in a different room than the one he'd first seen her in. A Dr. Rasmussen was also present. Annie indicated that she wanted to send for a doctor from South Chicago, but Hagenow insisted that it was too late to bother the other doctor.

Mike remained at Annie's side during the night, noting that by morning she appeared to be much worse. He went to the home of Mary Galavitch, who could speak English and thus serve as a translator. When Mike and Mary arrived, Hagenow met them and told them that Annie had died at 5 a.m.

Hagenow gave Mike a business card for a neighborhood undertaker. Mike indicated that he'd prefer an undertaker that he knew. Hagenow then sent Mike to Rasmussen's office to get a death certificate, which indicated that Annie had died from pneumonia and bronchitis.

Mike sought out an undertaker named W.J. Freckleton, who went to Hagenow's home to pick up Annie's body at around 5 p.m. He said that Hagenow told him that she ran a private hospital, and that he should return after dark to take Annie's body out the back way. He returned at about 9 p.m. with an assistant, and found it very difficult to get Annie's body down the narrow staircase. He said that Hagenow told him that her regular undertaker never reported any trouble getting bodies out down that staircase.

The funeral was held, Annie buried, and it seemed as if Mike and the children would be getting on with their lives as best they could. But that changed on May 13. The Cook County coroner, attended by Annie's brother, John Sneller, exhumed Annie's body. Dr. E.R. LeCount, teacher at Rush Medical College, Dr. Warren J. Hunter, coroner's physician, and Dr. Rudolph W. Holmes, specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, performed a post mortem examination. What they found was shocking.

Annie's lungs had been quite healthy and normal -- as were most of her internal organs. She clearly had not died of pneumonia.

It was in her pelvis that the true cause of death was found. Her uterus was lacerated, with the top of the uterus torn nearly off, causing fatal peritonitis. From the condition of her uterus, the doctors gauged that she had been about four months pregnant, but there was no sign of the fetus, which evidently had been successfully killed, removed, and disposed of.

Everyone participating in the post-mortem agreed that Annie had been healthy prior to the assault on her reproductive organs. She had no signs whatsoever of any reason to think an abortion would have been necessary to preserve her life.

Hagenow admitted that Annie had come to her place on the 2nd and died on the 6th, but insisted that Annie had been bleeding vaginally upon her arrival. She insisted that Annie told her she had seen a doctor on the South Side who had "brought her around" (i.e. done an abortion). Hagenow insisted that her examination of Annie had found no signs of injury, just vaginal bleeding which she diagnosed as pneumonia. She said she had charged Annie $15 to treat her for the pneumonia, then summoned Dr. Raumussen, who she (Hagenow) knew had been charged in the past as an abortionist.

Hagenow's claim that she hadn't performed an abortion on Annie wasn't very credible, given her history. She advertised consistently in Chicago daily papers, ads reading, "Dr. Louise Hagenow; licensed physician; expert; twenty seven years; female diseases; a new scientific, painless method; no operation; good results...." and "Ida Von Schultz, 480 North Clark street; regular graduate; expert in obstetrics, female complaints, etc., and all difficult cases; twenty-five years experience; ladies call or write...." In short, she was an open and known abortionist.

Also entered into evidence in the trial was the dying declaration of Marie Hecht, who died from one of Hagenow's "scientific, painless" abortions in 1899, as testified to by the police officer who had taken the statement.

Likewise entered into evidence was the testimony of a doctor who Hagenow had brought in to help try to save the life of a young woman Hagenow had disemboweled in the process of an abortion sometime ten or fifteen years prior to the trial over Annie's death -- which would mean this girl had died between about 1892 and 1897. I have no idea who she could be, since the earlier death I have attributed to Hagenow is of Marie Hecht.

A police officer also testified about taking the dying declaration of Lola Madison.

A private investigator for the United States postal authorities testified that she had priced abortions with Dr. "Ida Von Schultz" on January 22, 1907. Hagenow quoted a price of $50 for a married woman two months pregnant, and estimated that the woman would need to remain in her care for about eight days. Hagenow, as Von Schultz, later quoted to the same investigator a price of $35 for an abortion for an unmarried woman who would board elsewhere during the procedure.

To top it off, during cross-examination, Hagenow admitted involvement in the abortion death of Hannah Carlson. I am utterly unable at this point to learn anything else about this victim.

The appeals court noted, "had the evidence shown that Annie Horavitch was the only pregnant woman whom [Hagenow] had caused to miscarry or abort, it might not have been unreasonable to presume that she did so in good faith and for the purpose of saving the woman's life. .... [but for] 27 years [Hagenow] had been constantly engaged in producing miscarriages and causing abortions... [and] she kept a place for the treatment and care of women upon whom miscarriages and abortions had been caused and performed; ... she was surrounded at her house by men and women engaged in the business of causing and producing criminal miscarriages and abortions, and ... she had caused the death of several women upon whom she had caused miscarriages and produced abortions within a few years prior to her indictment for causing the death of Annie Horvatich ...."

Hagenow, nearly 60 years old at the time of her trial, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for Annie's death.

There were a number of deaths in Chicago attributed to Dr. Lucy Hagenow, aka Louise Hagenow aka Ida Von Scultz. These deaths include:

1899: Marie Hecht
1905: May Putnam
1906: Lola Madison
1925: Lottie Lowy, Nina H. Pierce, Jean Cohen, and Elizabeth Welter
1926: Mary Moorehead

These abortions were typical of pre-legalization abortions in that they were performed by a physician.

Note, please, that with issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

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

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