Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anniversary: Staff blow off concerned boyfriend, teen bleeds to death

Seventeen-year-old Jennifer Suddeth underwent a safe and legal abortion performed by Frank Robinson on June 30, 1982.

On the drive home, Jennifer bled heavily, alarming her live-in boyfriend, John Fredzess. Fredzess called the clinic repeatedly over a period of four hours after their return home, but staff would not put the call through to Robinson. One nurse admonished Fredzess to "be realistic" about how severely Jennifer was bleeding. By that time, Jennifer had bled through two pairs of sweat pants, two blankets, and a towel. At last the hysterical young man was able to contact Robinson, who insisted that the bleeding was normal and instructed Fredzess to stop calling.

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

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Lauren said...

I'm a little confused why they would list the death as an illegal abortion. I mean, obviously, the doctor who performed the abortion was charged with manslaughter, but the abortion itself was legal, right?

I guess i just need some clarification as to how they list this sort of thing.

Christina Dunigan said...

We don't know either. Was it a coding error, or because the doctor was charged with a crime in connection with the abortion?

To put it succinctly: WTF?