Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A poorly chosen poster child, and a poorly chosen major

Student loans puts college graduate into deep financial hole:

There are a lot of things I could ask, a lot of things I could say, but I'll leave them for y'all. I'll just ponder who will want to hire her after that profile hit the newsstands. And what she was thinking when she consented to it. "Might as well totally torpedo all my hopes of ever getting a better job?"

1985: Multiple docs miss the obvious

Twenty-six-year-old Yvette Poteat had an abortion performed by Dr. Marion D. Dorn Jr. at The Ladies Clinic in Charleston, South Carolina on July 16, 1985.

A lawsuit filed by her surviving mother and sister says that Dorn did not examine the tissue he removed from Yvette's uterus, and did not notify Yvette that the lab report showed no fetal or placental tissue in the specimen.

On July 27, Yvette experienced "sudden, sharp, constant lower abdominal pains," and was taken to a hospital by her fiancee. Yvette was admitted to the emergency room, where she informed the doctors about the abortion. She was mistakenly diagnosed as having Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, was given medication, and was discharged after several hours with instructions to seek follow-up care in two days.

Throughout July 28, Yvette experienced continued pain. She called the hospital but "was instructed not to return but to give the medication a chance to work."

Early in the morning of July 29, Yvette collapsed at home. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital. She went into cardiac arrest due to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that both Dorn and the hospital staff had failed to diagnose, and was pronounced dead 6:15 a.m.

The lawsuit noted that Yvette's mother "suffered the loss of the financial support of her daughter, extreme mental shock and suffering, wounded feelings, extreme grief and sorrow, has lost the love and affection and companionship of a loving and wonderful daughter, has been deprived of the use and comfort of her society."

The suit against Dorn, the clinic, the hospital and hospital doctors won a small $23,000 plaintiff verdict in 1987.

In theory, women with ectopic pregnancies should be less likely to die if they seek abortion than if they intend to carry to term, because the abortion staff should be able to readily detect -- and appropriately treat -- the ectopic pregnancy. But in practice, these women are more likely to die if they seek abortions, because the symptoms of the ectopic pregnancy are attributed to the abortion, leading to misdiagnosis.

1949 Protip: If an abortionist nearly kills your wife, don't bring him any more patients

On July 29, 1949, on the basis of a third-party referral, Dorothy Martin went to the home of P.D. Beigun for an abortion. Beigun was not a physician or qualified to practice medicine. Dorothy, with the assistance of a man named Virgil Echols, had vistied Beigun a few days earlier to make the arrangements.

Beigun took Dorothy into a bedroom while Echols waited in the living room. About 15 or 20 minutes later, Echols heard a sound described as a "slump," and Beigun called for him to come and help. Beigun went into the other room and found Beigun supporting an unconscious Dorothy by the waist. Dorothy made a gurgling sound.

Echols helped Beigun lay Dorothy on the bed, and the men picked up her panties off the floor and put them back on her.

Echols tried to revive Dorothy, and asked Beigun what happened. Beigun indicated that he'd packed Dorothy's uterus with gauze. The men summoned police and an ambulance. While they waited, Beigun instructed Echols on what story they were to tell. They were to say that they'd been sitting in the living room with Dorothy when she'd felt faint and asked for a glass of water. Then, they'd say, Dorothy fainted and they moved her to the bed. Beigun warned Echols that he'd be in just as much trouble as Beigun himself unless he stuck with the story.

When the police arrived, Dorothy was dead. A toxicologist, who later participated in the autopsy, said that when he arrived at Beigun's home to remove Dorothy's body, he'd found her with her slip bloody and rolled up around her waist, but that there'd been no blood on the panties.

The next day the toxicologist and a physician performed an autopsy. They found that Dorothy's cervix had been dialated, discolored, and abraded, and that her injury must have been very painful. They believed that gauze had been forced into Dorothy's uterus, even though no gauze was present at autopsy, because her injuries were consistent with this scenaria. They also concluded that Dorothy had gone into shock and died within a few minutes of her injury. Dorothy had been in good health, with no abnormalities of her heart, lungs, or kidneys and no history of fainting.

The fetus appeared to be about three to four months of gestation. It was removed at autopsy, along with Dorothy's damaged uterus, and placed in a glass jar to be presented as evidence of Dorothy's pregnancy, gestational state, and injuries.

Three days after Dorothy's death, medical supplies and broken packages of gauze bandages were found in Beigun's home and collected as evidence.

In trial, it came out that Echols had previously brought his own wife to Beigun for an abortion. That abortion took place in June, 1948. Echols paid Beigun $65. Echols had dropped his wife off for the abortion and picked her up later to take her home. She became sick with nausea and pain, and Echols pulled a 6-inch rubber tube and about 60 feet of gauze out of his wife's uterus. Her pain became so great that Echols called a doctor, who had the sick woman brought to a hospital. Her temperature was 104 degrees. She was provided with penicillin and a blood transfusion. Beigun visited her at the hospital, asking why she'd not returned to him for treatment rather than going to somebody else.

Documents don't reveal why Echols, whose own wife had very nearly died under Beigun's care, brought another woman to the same man for his dubious services.

Dorothy's abortion was unusual in that it was performed by an amateur, rather than by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

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

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Few facts available on 1989 death

Charisse Ards is one of the women Life Dynamics lists on the Blackmun Wall of women killed by safe and legal abortion. They indicate that Charisse was 20 years old, single, and a mother of one. She died July 28, 1989, from a pelvic infection after a legal abortion.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1928: Mystery abortion kills woman in Chicago

On July 28, 1928, 21-year-old Maud Thurmond died in Chicago from sepsis from a criminal abortion performed that day.

Maud's race is first given as "colored" then as "white - American Indian." Make of that what you will about the times.

Nobody was ever held accountable for Maud's death.

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

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Cash for Clunkers counterproductive, cruel

Here's the email I just sent my Senators:

It was difficult to choose a category for this message, because the problem spans many areas the government has its tentacles in.

A co-worker told me today about the $4500 trade in he got under "cash for clunkers" -- and that the perfectly serviceable vehicle he traded in will be destroyed.

Why are these vehicles not being recycled, given to the needy working poor or to welfare recipients who can not find work due to lack of transportation?

I work every day with people who are desperately trying to get off welfare, whose cheap clunkers -- real clunkers costing $2000 or less -- constantly break down, leaving them stranded, sometimes costing them their jobs. They desperately need these "cash for clunkers" vehicles that are being casually destroyed in the name of environmentalism -- meaning that these poor people are stuck driving cars even less fuel-efficient than the trashed "clunkers". So even the "green" goal isn't realized, as poor people are stuck driving pathetic heaps of junk that are barely roadworthy.

Does nobody in Washington have a clue? Or is this some sort of animosity toward the working poor and people who are aspiring to become at least *working* poor and no longer on the dole?

I am outraged beyond words at this callous waste of a desperately needed resource that could make such a significant difference in people's lives.

1990: Five kids left motherless by safe, legal abortion

Thirty-two-year-old Mary Ann Dancy, mother of five, went to Fleming Center in North Raleigh, North Carolina for a safe and legal abortion on July 27, 1990.

The abortion was performed by Clarence J. Washington. He documented no complications.

After Mary Ann went home, she bled heavily, and the next day, July 28, she was taken to Halifax Memorial Hospital. She died that night during emergency surgery from hemorrhage due to a lacerated cervix.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1985: Second death for erstwhile back-alley abortionist

Eighteen-year-old Yvonne Corrie Mesteth was the second of two patients to die of infection after safe and legal abortions by South Dakota abortionist Benjamin Munson. Munson's career as an abortionist had begun in the "worst of times", prior to legalization, but there is no evidence that any of his "back alley" patients died under his care.

Yvonne was in the second trimester of her pregnancy. The abortion ws performed in Munson's office in Rapid City. Yvonne developed an infection, kidney failure, and adult respiratory distress syndrome. She died on July 27, 1985.

Munson is the third former criminal abortionist I've learned of who had a clean record -- no patient deaths -- as a criminal abortionist, only to go on to kill two patients in his legal practice. The others are Milan Vuitch (Georgianna English and Wilma Harris) and Jesse Ketchum (Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner).

Despite having already killed Linda Padfield shortly after his practice was granted legal protection, Munson was welcomed into the National Abortion Federation, and allowed to remain a member after Yvonne's death.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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History: Secrecy leads to suspicion and exhumation; abortion revealed

Twenty-five-year-old Lizzie Cook, a farmer's daughter, died suddenly on July 27, 1884, in Lockport, New York. The newspaper noted that "the secrecy in getting her body removed to her home created suspicion." Lizzie's body was exhumed for an examination, which showed that she had died from an abortion. Dr. Ira T. Richmond was arrested. Richmond had come to Lockport a year earlier and opened a sanitarium, "which died for want of patronage."

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

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Friday, July 24, 2009

When to rebuke and when to remain silent

From Jewish World Review.

Tiller's legacy of buying political favor

National Organization for Women Establishes Kansas Abortion-Rights PAC To Fill Void After Death Of Abortion Provider Tiller:

[Tiller's PAC] ProKanDo spent more than $1 million over the last four years to advocate for abortion rights, assist candidates who support abortion rights and oppose antiabortion-rights candidates. The organization had more than 6,400 contributors but received between one-third and one-half of its annual funding from Tiller, according to former Director Julie Burkhart.

Is it any mystery why Tiller got away with so much quackery and law breaking?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

1961: Life-saving abortion proves fatal for California woman

Erika Peterson, age 28, died July 23, 1961 during a legal abortion at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California.

At this time, abortion was only legal in California if it was done to save the life of the mother.

Erika had entered the hospital on July 11, 1961 during the first trimester of pregnancy, because of problems breathing. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and placed in a tank respirator.

Her physicians made the decision to abort her child as soon as she was well enough to undergo the abortion.

On July 21st, Erika's condition was improved, and her husband signed the consent form for the abortion, which was scheduled to take place two days later.

Erika went into cardiac arrest during the abortion and was unable to be resuscitated. The abortion that was intended to save her life ended her life instead.

After autopsy, it was believed that Erika's original illness was caused by a hereditary disease that was exacerbated by the medications she was taking for her schizophrenia.

Erika's was not the only tragic death caused by doctors who recommended (or excused) abortion as a life-saving or health-preserving option for the mother:

  • Allegra Roseberry was pushed into an abortion in order to obtain experimental cancer treatment.
  • Anjelica Duarte sought an abortion on the advice of her physician, and ended up dying under the care of a quack.
  • Barbara Hoppert died after an abortion recommended due to a congenital heart problem.
  • Christin Gilbert died after an abortion George Tiller holds was justified on grounds of maternal health.
  • "Molly" Roe died in 1975 when her doctors made the dubious decision to perform a saline abortion to improve her chances of surviving a lupus crisis.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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  • Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    1974: Troubled hospital kills abortion patient

    On July 22, 1974, twenty-two-year-old Carole Wingo died of a Demerol over dose during a safe and legal abortion at Mercy General Hospital in Detroit.

    Despite the name, Mercy was not a general hospital. It was an abortion hospital. It was also a hospital in big trouble even before Carole's death.

    The Michigan Public Department of Health had cited Mercy for 43 violations of nursing standards and 12 violations of physical plant standards in October of 1973, and had withheld their license. Among the violations were that the operating room lacked a cardiac monitor, a resuscitator, and a defibrillator.

    Carole's mother filed suit against the facility and doctors David Northcross, Chuk Nwokedi, and Robert Wolf.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Three deaths, years apart

    On July 21, 1907, Mrs. L. Paffrath died at German American Hospital in Chicago. The coroner's jury determined that she had died from an abortion performed. They held two midwives -- Alice Rastone and Hacrone Schuetner -- responsible. Another woman, Alice F. Gustafson, whose profession is given as "abortion provider" was also arrested.

    On July 21, 1916, Miss Elizabeth Radcliffe died in Olney, Illinois. An autopsy confirmed pregnancy, but showed no external signs of violence and all her reproductive organs appeared normal. However, upon cutting open her heart, air escaped. There were also signs of air embolism in the brain. There were no lung lesions to explain the air in Elizabeth's bloodstream. Investigation found that a man had discarded some sort of abortion instrument while going to the sanitarium. The instrument was located. The man in question, who had admitted to friends that he was familiar with such an instrument, was Roy Hinterliter. Hinterliter had showed up at a sanitarium with the unconscious Elizabeth in his buggy. Hinterliter was held without bail after the coroner's jury verdict.

    On July 21, 1923, 28-year-old Mrs. Mary Federowicz died at Chicago's St. Mary's Hospital from complications performed that day. Mrs. Anna Mithnewicz, whose profession was not given, was identified by the coroner as the person responsible, but no arrest was made.

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

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    Monday, July 20, 2009

    1970: Medically-recommended abortion leaves patient dead

    Barbara Riley was 23 years old when, under guidance of doctors, she agreed to undergo a safe and legal abortion. She had a history of sickle cell anemia and three previous term pregnancies -- two live births and a stillborn child.

    She was in her first trimester of pregnancy when she underwent the abortion on July 11, 1970 at Harlem Hospital. The abortion had been recommended by hospital staff because Barbara had a history of sickle cell disease. The abortion would probably have been recommended as beneficial to Barbara's health, under New York's old abortion law, and so would have been legal even if the new abortion-on-demand law hadn't been passed earlier in the year.

    But instead of improving, Barbara's health deteriorated. Her blood started to break down. Nine days after the abortion, July 20, Barbara died of sickle cell crisis triggered by the abortion.

    The other women I've identified as dying from sickle cell crisis triggered by an abortion are Margaret Davis and Betty Hines.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Largest collection of WTF? pictures to date

    Living up to the stereotype of inscrutability

    Anniversary of another pre-Roe abortion death

    Betty Hines was 21 years old when she was checked into Doctors Hospital in California for a safe, legal abortion, to be performed by Dr. A. Mitchell on July 19, 1971. Mitchell had been Betty's physician for three or four years. Betty was eight weeks pregnant.

    There didn't seem to be anything wrong during the procedure. Betty was transferred to the recovery room, when she suddenly went into cardio-respiratory arrest.

    Mitchell theorized that perhaps Betty had died because of a bad vial of Inovar, because the next patient who was injected from that vial also went into cardiac arrest but was successfully resuscitated.

    Betty's autopsy, however, found no trave of Inovar in her system. A toxicology check was also done on the vial of medication, and found nothing wrong with the Inovar.

    Betty's death was attributed to massive intravascular sickling due to underlying sickle cell disorder.

    Other women who died of sickle cell crisis triggered by abortion include Margaret Davis and Sheryl Roe.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1970: Abortion death sparks outrage, calls for complacency

    Carmen Rodriguez was 31 years old when she underwent a 14-week saline abortion at Lincoln Hospital in New York City.

    She had a history of rheumatic heart disease and two previous live births. After the saline was injected, it got into Carmen's blood stream. This caused acute pulmonary edema -- fluid accumulation in the lungs -- and Carmen went into a coma from which she never recovered. She died on July 19, 1970, leaving behind a husband along with her children.

    After Carmen's death, a militant Puerto Rican group, The Young Lords, swung into action. They pointed out that doctors at Lincoln Hospital knew that Carmen had heart problems and failed to take proper precautions -- a very valid claim. After all, saline abortions had long been known to be risky to the woman's heart. What responsible physician would choose to perform an abortion on a heart patient, using a technique that has been documented as potentially causing heart-damaging electrolyte imbalances?

    The Young Lords distributed leaflets in the neighborhood of the hospital, denouncing Carmen's death as "murder". For 12 hours, the group occupied an administration building connected with the hospital, denouncing the hospital as "a butcher shop that kills patients".

    Merle Goldman, spokeswoman of an abortion advocacy organization, did not share The Young Lords' outrage. Ms. Goldman said she hoped that Carmen's death wouldn't deter other women from undergoing abortions. She touted abortion's reputed safety and stressed that her group was lobbying against proposed health department regulation of abortion practice.

    New York City Chief Medical Examiner Milton Helpern, on the other hand, expressed concern that ill-equipped and poorly-staffed freestanding abortion facilities were posing a danger to women.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1925: Abortion kills teen

    Very little is on record about the death of 17-year-old Gertrude Wynants. According to the New York Times, Gertrude died on July 19, 1925, of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Margaret Shott Higgens, age 23, was indicted for manslaughter in Gertrude's death.

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

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    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    1979: Two independent deaths

    Twenty-year-old Gail Ann Vroman had a safe and legal abortion performed on July 14, 1979, by New York abortionist Taskin Ratharathorn at Ft. Wayne Women's Health Organization. Within two hours, Gail was transferred to a nearby hospital. Gail died of massive infection on July 18. The coroner ruled that the death was caused by clostridium perfringens, or "gas gangrene" -- exactly the kind of death legalization was supposed to put an end to.

    As Gail was losing her battle for her life, Geneva Calton, age 21, mother of two, underwent an abortion at Northside Family Planning Service in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 18, 1979. She had no way of knowing that she'd be dead before the day was over.

    On the drive back home she was in pain, but she figured that this was just the cramping the clinic had told her to expect. At 8:30 that evening, Geneva was admitted to a hospital, with no vital signs detected. Doctors attempted to resuscitate her, to no avail. She was pronounced dead. The autopsy found that Geneva's uterus had been perforated. She had bled to death.

    Northside was eventually sued by their malpractice insurer because they'd allowed one of their abortionists to continue to perform surgery even though his manual dexterity had deteriorated due to multiple sclerosis. The suit by the insurer also alleged failure to meet state health standards, failure to have enough nurses on duty, failure to have proper on-call procedures, and lack of a professional director of medical services.

    The clinic where Geneva's fatal abortion was performed seems to be the same clinic where Catherine Pierce underwent her fatal abortion in 1989.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Sotomayor's agenda for America

    Listen to Dr. Charmaine Yoest describe how Sotomayor's philosophy of jurisprudence and unbridled enthusiasm for abortion would not just erode common ground, but marginalize even the majority of prochoice citizens:

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    When your body doesn't feel like it's yours

    Body Identity

    I've blogged before about people who want a healthy limb amputated, and who will go to great lengths -- often life-threatening lengths -- to get rid of the limb in question.

    Now researchers have found that, as I suspected, the problem is a neurological one, not a psychiatric one.

    I've advocated safe amputations for these folks, after all attempts at less radical treatment fail. And here it turns out that a neurological test can diagnose them for certain.

    And if, as they say, the prochoice movement is about letting people make their own (however unpopular) decisions about what to do with their bodies, they ought to take up the cause of folks with BIID as well. Just as they ought to be fighting for easier access to tubal ligations (which, again, are about people acting on THEIR OWN BODIES).

    Or is it really less about bodily integrity and more about just destroying fetuses?

    1980: Dead after abortion by unidentified perp

    Little is known of 21-year-old Linda Lovelace of Tennessee.

    According to her death certificate, she underwent a safe and abortion on June 14, 1980. The death certificate does not say where, or who performed the abortion.

    It does say, though, that her uterus was perforated. As a result, Linda developed sepsis and went into shock. She died on July 16, 1980.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1903: Friend's "help" proves deadly

    Mrs. John A. Morris of Jacksonville, Illinois, died at 3:00 the morning of July 16, 1903.

    An investigation found that she had tried a do-it-yourself abortion with an instrument given to her by a friend, Belle Osborne.

    The abortion had caused septic peritonitis that took Mrs. Morris' life. She was about 29 years old, and left two children motherless.

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

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    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    1989: Two fatally injured patients and a doctor's lame excuses

    Thirty-four-year-old Debra M. Gray went to Hillview Women's Medical Center for a safe and legal abortion on July 8, 1989. She went through their conseling procedure and underwent lab work.

    Debra returned for the actual procedure on July 12. An ultrasound was performed and she was estimated to be 16.5 weeks pregnant. Debra signed an undated consent form for the abortion and anesthesia.

    The records don't indicate who initiated IV Brevitol for anesthesia, nor do they document the dosage or concentration, nor Debra's weight or the amount of fluid given. There was also no record of a physical exam or any exam to determine if Debra was an appropriate candidate for this type of anesthesia.

    The abortionist, Gideon Kioko, indicated that the nurse and other staff expected the drug to induce "twilight sleep" rather than general anesthesia. There was no anesthesiologisst on duty, and no physician supervising the administration of anesthesia medication.

    Kioko initiated the abortion. There was no documentation of the effect of the medication, nor of Debra's vital signs. A hospital note indicated that Debra had "responded rather rapidly to the anesthesia" and that three minutes after Kioko had started the abortion, Debra's blood was noted to be "very dark" and she was having trouble breathing. Kioko spent five minutes completing the abortion.

    A code note dated July 12, 1989, by a Dr. Raymond Taylor, indicates that Debra was unresponsive, with a low blood pressure and sluggish pulse. Dr. Taylor's note indicated that after fifteen minutes of CPR and advanced cardiac life support, Debra was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

    When paramedics arrived, they estimated that Debra's brain had been deprived of oxygen for twelve minutes. Debra had a racing heart, then went into ventricular fibrillation. She was resuscitated, but never regained consciousness. She was pronounced dead on July 15.

    The autopsy found traces of heroin in Debra's bloodstream. There was no evidence that the facility had screened Debra for possible drug use.

    Hillview staff also allowed Suzanne Logan to suffer an eventually fatal lack of oxygen during an abortion that same year. Suzanne languished in a nursing home for three years before her death.

    Kioko made the following excuses to the medical board regarding the fatal abortions:

    In the first two cases where Brevital was given, I did not give it, nor did I consent to it. I was not consulted or asked about it. I did not even start intravenous fluids. The decision to administer Brevital was made by the patient and the clinic, and during those [sic] time, I would be called in. I would be notified that "the patient is now asleep, Doctor. You may start the procedure." ....

    I, therefore, had nothing to do with the Brevital administered to these two patients. Other contract physicians were also working under similar terms, and, like me, they had nothing to do with the administration of Brevital. I suppose that I was just unlucky at that time and happened to be there when this incident happened.


    [Regarding Debra Gray]. I understand that [the Brevital] was given by Dr. Barbara Lofton-Clinical Practitioner. My initial contact with the patient was the initial sizing evaulation and to determine the gestational age of the pregnancy. The next contact by me was when the patient was already asleep. As I was finishing the procedure, I called the attention to the administers [sic] of the anesthetic, that the patient's blood was getting unusually dark. At that time, in my view, adequate resuscitation efforts was [sic] immediately instituted with airway established and 911 was called. EKG and oxygen were available and were used. Dr. Taylor, a Cardiology fellow headed the resuscitation effort. It is just not true that adequate resuscitation was not done and that the equipment was not available. Indicenttally, this patient had recently used Opium [sic], though the patient had denied this in her medical history.

    The case of [Suzanne Logan] is similar. The patient was put to sleep, with Brevital. I was not in the Operating Room at the time. Once again I was called in to do the procedure once the patient was deemed asleep. I was not consulted, nor did I participate in the decision to give the agent, but once again, I know there was immediate and adequate resuscitation effort. (Please refer to the letter from Dr. [sic] Barbara Lofton). The only case I directly had complete responsibility for is that of ... [Patient C].

    The medical board noted that Kioko, as the physician performing the procedure, was still responsible for ensuring that the patient was being provided with appropriate care, regardless of how the clinic chose to assign tasks. The board also noted that nobody was monitoring either woman's vital signs while Kioko was operating on them.

    The board noted that "In the above cases, [Kioko] performed surgical procedures under conditions that failed to meet appropriate standards for the delivery of quality medical and surgical care. .... In the event that [Kioko} was unable to correct these conditions, the appropriate standard of care required that [he] not perform these procedures at this facility until these conditions were so corrected."

    The board also noted that "Kioko demonstrated a serious lack of judgment.... Kioko assumed that his role was limited to performing technical procedures upon anesthetized patients, leaving overall management of the patients to others. Dr. Kioko's gullibility in this regard proved fatal."

    Debra's sister, Tam, who had known her sister was going to Hillview that day and had been planning on meeting her for dinner that night, told 60 Minutes, "It's sad to think that people can go in and have a safe procedure, what they think is safe, and die. The outcome was just like a back-alley abortion."

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Pre-Roe abortion proves fatal for homemaker

    Margaret Davis was a 33-year-old homemaker who underwent a safe and legal abortion at Windsor Hills Hospital in Los Angeles County. Christopher Dotson began the abortion at about noon on July 15, 1972.

    Dotson said that Margaret started to have breathing and heart problems after the abortion, and that he was unable to revive her. He declared her dead at 3:30 PM of cardiopulmonary failure.

    An autopsy revealed that Margaret had suffered acute sickle cell crisis triggered by the abortion. The other women I've identified as dying from sickle cell crisis triggered by an abortion are Sheryl Roe and Betty Hines.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Monday, July 13, 2009

    One woman's rejection of abortion is a celebration of "choice"

    Why I Decided Against a Late-Term Abortion, by Alice Eve Cohen

    Cohen didn't think she could get pregnant. Doctors had told her not to even try, because they were sure that she'd not be able to carry past six months. So when she discovered, at six months, that she was pregnant, she freaked out, to the point of considering suicide.

    Instead of sending her for psychiatric care, "an abortion specialist" made an appointment for her to get the unexpected baby snuffed at Tiller's Wichita abortion mill as a "life of the mother" case.

    The baby's father didn't think he could stay with her if he did that.

    "Me? Oh, Jesus … a lot of different things," Michael answered. "I’ve seen Alice in the throes of this terrible unhappiness, and I don’t recognize her. I’ve been politically in favor of choice, but uncommitted on the personal side — it’s been an abstraction. But now that this is suddenly so real, all I can think is that there’s a baby. Our baby. My baby. And I can’t stand the thought of this baby being aborted. So If Alice has an abortion, I won’t go to Wichita with her. And I might not be here when she gets back. I’ll have my own unbearable sorrow about losing this baby, about endorsing this decision. But I don’t want Alice to kill herself. So she should do what she needs to do."

    Cohen doesn't really get it:

    For the past ten years, this turning point moment in our relationship — Michael acknowledging my right to choose, but telling me he might leave me if I had the abortion — has remained a largely unspoken but crucial shared memory, equal parts rift and bridge between us.

    Somehow it seems to diminish him in her eyes that it would have devastated him to have his child put to death. That he loved the child unconditionally is, in her eyes, a big problem. What redeemed him was that he "acknowledg[ed]" her "right to choose" whether the baby would live or die.

    As if he had any way of stopping her.

    When Cohen wrote a book about, among other things, contemplating abortion, she let her 9-year-old daughter read it. The daughter was okay with it, "Because I know how it turns out." As if a child would say anything else! What's she going to say?

    It took the wisdom of our child, confident in her parents’ love, to clarify this truth — that exercising freedom of choice is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Maybe she wasn't so much confident of her parents' love as she was aware of the fact that to even tacitly question mom's "right to choose" would destroy whatever fragile, conditional love her mother had for her.

    And note the author's tone about the whole thing. No hint of a chill running up and down her spine over how close she came to killing this child. Just a smug satisfaction that in having the baby, rather than killing her, she "exercis[ed] freedom of choice".

    At least the child has one parent who values her inherently and unconditionally, and not merely as the product of a "choice".

    And the fact that the child's value to her is only in having been "chosen", and not in merely being, really is something Ms. Cohen should be ashamed of.

    HT: Jivin' J via Jill Stanek

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    1970: Safe, legal, deadly

    "Judy" was a 42-year-old mother of four from upstate New York when she chose safe and legal abortion in 1970. She was to have a tubal ligation done at the same time.

    Judy underwent the procedure, but went into cardiac arrest. Her heart was started again, but she remained in a coma for six days until her death on July 12.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    19th century abortion death

    On July 12, 1889, Annie Doran, from Cadlock City, Michigan, was found dead in her Chicago room from an illegal abortion performed that day.

    The crime scene was described as a "Medical facility", with the additional notes, "Midwife, Abortion place" and "Clinic (e.g. abortion facility)".

    The database notes that both Annie and the person arrested for her death were white, and that they were not related. The abortionist's name and profession are not given.

    I have no information on overall maternal mortality, or abortion mortality, in the 19th century. I imagine it can't be too much different from maternal and abortion mortality at the very beginning of the 20th Century.

    Note, please, that with ordinary 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 on this era, see Abortion Deaths in the 19th Century.

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

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    Friday, July 10, 2009

    1998: Abortion at hospital proves fatal

    Virginia Wolfe, age 33, was pronounced dead at Methodist Women's and Children's Hospital on July 10, 1998. She had been in the hospital since July 6, when she'd gone there to have an abortion performed by Dr. Lillian Jones. Jones performed a suction abortion. During the procedure, she punctured Virginia's uterus and bladder. Virginia suffered massive hemorrhage, losing so much blood that her heart stopped. Doctors repaired her bladder and removed her uterus, but Virginia's brain had already been damaged by the lack of oxygen.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1934: Mystery abortion kills frat boy's sweetheart

    In 1934, pretty Marian Mills, a beauty queen, was the 19-year-old "campus sweetheart" of Neal Myers. Myers, a 21-year-old pharmacy student, was the son of Dr. P.B. Myers of Denver.

    On July 10, Marian died in the apartment of Mrs. Hazel Brown, the cook for Myers' fraternity house and "the only person of mature age in the house during the 24 tragic hours preceding the girl's death."

    Myers was charged with murder in Marian's death, and could have faced life in prison if convicted.

    Dr. Roy Emanuel testified that Myers consulted him about a possible pregnancy but had asked for advise, not for an abortion. Emanuel said that he'd recommended a test to verify the suspected pregnancy, and had also told the young man to consult with his father. "Two or three weeks later he came back ... bringing the report, which showed the girl was not pregnant." Myers had Marian with him, and she said that she wanted an examination, because she didn't think the test was accurate. He did examine her and while he could not definitively say, he didn't think she was pregnant. The couple returned again the Thursday before Marian's death, and this time his examination verified that the girl was pregnant. Again, Emanuel said, he referred the couple to Myers' father.

    Mrs. Brown, for her part, said that Myers had loved Marian and had wanted to marry her. He was opposed to the idea of an abortion. Marian, on the other hand, insisted that her parents would never accept Myers. Brown said that Marian had taken "a harmless drug" and that this was the only attempt that she personally knew of to abort the baby.

    But evidently Marian had found an abortionist, or had done something herself more drastic than just take mild abortifacients, because doctors who examined her said that some sort of instruments had been used in the abortion that had caused her death.

    Myers was supported by Brown, his father, and his fraternity friends during the trial. There were tears of joy in the courtroom when he was acquitted. Marian's father, Professor M. Elbert Mills, "maintained a strict silence."

    I have been unable to find if the perpetrator of Marian's fatal abortion was ever identified.

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

    Wednesday, July 08, 2009

    Anniversary: Mother of four bleeds to death

    Junette Barnes, a 27-year-old mother of four, had a tubal ligation on June 16, 1988.

    One week after this operation, she found out that she had been pregnant at the time of the surgery, and was still pregnant. She saw her family physician, Dr. Ted Shields on July 8, 1988, and he performed a safe, legal abortion on her at Surgicare Outpatient Center in Victoria that day.

    During the abortion, he perforated her uterus and cut an artery and several veins. Junette was transferred to a hospital, where she died of blood loss during emergency surgery.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1929: Mystery abortion leaves woman dead

    On July 8, 1929, 26-year-old Frances Rogers died from a criminal abortion.

    The source summary says that the abortion was done in an unknown location, but the description of the offense says that she died at the scene of the crime.

    The person responsible was never identified.

    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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    Tuesday, July 07, 2009

    The Abortion Party

    My First Abortion Party

    What sticks with me is the "first". He fully expects plenty more abortion parties.

    HT: Jivin J via Jill Stanek

    1982: Fatal abortion at university hospital

    On July 2, 1982, Darlene Wood was put under anesthesia for a second trimester abortion at Temple University Hospital. The abortionist was Renga Rajan; the anesthethesiologist was William Stevenson-Smith.

    Darlene was given nitrous oxide by face mask. She started coughing after the procedure began. After the abortion was completed, she was admitted to the respiratory intensive care unit, where she was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension.

    Over the next several days, Darlene experienced increasing respiratory distress. She was given medication to maintain her blood pressure. But on July 7, Darlene went into cardio-respiratory arrest. She was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m.

    The administratrix of Darlene's estate contended that the lack of appropriate medical and anesthetic clearance was a substantial factor in her death.

    Rajan was also successfully sued for the 1987 abortion death of Iris Velazquez.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Monday, July 06, 2009

    1970: Pre-Roe abortion proves fatal

    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.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1930: Fatal peritonitis from abortion

    On July 6, 1930, Mary Tulis, age 34, died in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed that day. She died at the scene of the crime. Marie La Montagne, who lived at the scene, was fingered in the abortion. Dr. O.W. Sommer of Francis Willard Hospital had been brought to the scene by somebody when it became apparent that Mary had peritonitis. Neither Montagne nor Sommer is mentioned in the coroner's verdict.

    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 1930s.

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

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    Sunday, July 05, 2009

    Join Jars of Clay in saving lives and caring for those in need

    Blood:Water provides HIV education and care, and is striving to dig 1,000 wells to provide clean, safe water.

    HT: Values Voter News

    And though I couldn't find a proper music video, I figured I could still share my favorite Jars of Clay song:

    Saturday, July 04, 2009

    Regina Johnson update: Hodari fined for his role in her death

    I had previously only been able to estimate when Regina Johnson died, based on a brief cite of a lawsuit filed in 2005. But thanks to Jill Stanek, I have details now on when and how Regina Johnson died.

    She was 32 years old and about 5 weeks pregnant when she went to Hodari's Womancare for an abortion. Hodari wasn't present. Click on Regina's name to read the whole story.

    And keep in mind that Womancare was considered good enough to be a member of the National Abortion Federation.

    A 19th Century Abortion Death

    "The community around Oyster Bay are greatly excited over an abortion case that has been brought to light."

    The woman, Miss Bertram, was engaged to a New York man. The wedding was to take place on July 4, 1875. But Miss Bertram became pregnant before the wedding. She purchased an abortifacient which didn't have the effect she desired, so she took some other sort of abortifacient.

    This second abortifacient did the job, leading to the birth of a near-term infant, which was buried in a potato patch.

    Miss Bertram, however, took ill and died a few days later.

    The physician who was attending her declared the cause of death to be the abortion.

    Miss Bertram's fiance denied being the father of the dead baby. "There is a suspicion entertained of another young man". Police began an investigation into who he might be, and into who sold Miss Bertram the fatal drugs.

    I have no information on overall maternal mortality, or abortion mortality, in the 19th century. I imagine it can't be too much different from maternal and abortion mortality at the very beginning of the 20th Century.

    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 on this era, see Abortion Deaths in the 19th Century.

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

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    Friday, July 03, 2009

    In those three days.... What happens to the fetus between killing and expulsion in a late term abortion?

    Somg, under his new screen name "Operation Counterstrike" (Isn't he ever so clever?), has been asserting that late term fetuses don't rot during the three days between being killed by lethal injection and being delivered.

    In his presentation paper on D&X ("Partial Birth Abortion"), Martin Haskell described first how late D&E abortions were done. Because the fetus was so difficult to dismember, abortionists would kill it on Day 1, so that "autolysis" would "soften" the tissues for dismemberment during the days that the cervix was being dilated.

    Autolysis. The first step in the decomposition of a corpse. Decomposition. A fancy word for rotting. The fetus will undergo autolysis -- rotting -- whether the abortionist is planning to dismember it or induce labor so it's expelled whole.

    Let's step away from cases in which the baby is deliberately put to death and look at late miscarriages or stillbirth.

    Maceration and The Timing of Intrauterine Death: "Maceration is the process of tissue degeneration which begins to occur as soon as an undelivered infant dies. It arises secondary to the effects of autolytic enzimes." (Emphasis mine)

    Within hours after death changes occur in the epidermal-dermal junction resulting in what usually is termed ‘skin slippage’. If the skin is rubbed the epidermis will detach from the underlying tissues. Shortly thereafter, fluid begins to accumulate under the skin. Bullae (blisters) may develop (which should not be misinterpreted as being secondary to an abnormality of development such as epidermolysis bullosa). These bullae rupture spontaneously or from delivery resulting in patchy denudation of the skin. Sloughing of skin from larger and greater number of surfaces indicates that the interval between death and delivery is longer. With antenatal death more than a few days prior to delivery other changes begin to occur including generalized hypermobility of joints, change in the color of the fetal skin surfaces to a pale grey-yellow and liquefaction of internal organs.

    Let's look at this page, that has a chart for physicians to estimate from gross examination (looking at the body with the naked eye rather than doing a microscopic examination of tissues).

    By around 8 hours -- after the woman has been sent to the motel, but long before she returns for the first change of laminaria -- the fetus will show "'parboiled' reddened skin".

    At around 12 hours, you'll see some skin slippage. Click here for a picture of skin slippage in a stillborn baby that had been dead about half a day before delivery.

    Within 24 hours -- roughly the time the woman returns for the first change of laminaria -- the skin of the fetus will have begun to blister.

    At about 2 days -- when the woman is returning for the second change of laminaria -- the fetal internal organs will start to show hemoglobin staining.

    Between 8 hours and 2 days -- still during the time the woman is staying in a motel room with a friend or family member, before labor is induced -- the fetus will show "skin slippage and peeling".

    During the time after 2 days -- one or two days before labor is induced -- the dead fetus will start to show more skin slippage, and the internal organs will become even more discolored.

    This commentary on the autopsy findings on Lacy Peterson's unborn baby also describes the decomposition typically seen after death in-utero:

     Gross Feature

    Time from Death to Delivery 

    at least

    Areas of desquamated skin measuring 1 cm
    or more in diameter
    6 hours
    Cord discoloration (brown or red)6 hours
    Desquamation involving the skin of the face, back, or abdomen12 hours
    Desquamation of 5% or more of the body surface18 hours
    Desquamation involving 2 or more of the 11 body zones18 hours
    Brown or tan discoloration of the skin, usually involving the abdomen24 hours
    Moderate or severe desquamation 24 hours
    Mummification (any)2 weeks

    To see this illustrated, you can go to this page and note that the typical third trimester fetus spends 3-4 days in utero, dead, depending on his size, while the abortionist performs daily changes of laminaria in order to dilate the mother's cervix. The degree of maceration that would be seen is illustrated in pictures C and D. If you scroll down you can read that at 72 hours -- when labor would be induced to deliver a smaller third-trimester aborted baby -- about 75% of the baby's skin will be slipping. At 96 hours, when a larger baby would be expelled, the pieces of the baby's skull begin to overlap due to tissue deterioration.

    In other words, the baby is rotting. It's a corpse. That's what corpses do. They rot. In this case, they're rotting inside their mother's wombs for three days in order to make absolutely sure that they aren't born alive.

    I would challenge Somg, and other rotting-baby abortion defenders, what maternal health concern they can think of that would make killing the fetus three days prior to delivery necessary. What maternal health concern will be improved by the maceration of the fetus in her body over a three day period? Her physical health? Her mental health?

    New CDC Abortion Surveillance Report out

    The newest CDC Abortion Surveillance Summary is for 2005. Not that they're dragging their asses or anything.

    The most recent deaths they tally are for 2004. Since then I have found:

  • 2007: Edrica Goode and Laura Hope Smith

  • 2006: Laura Grunas

  • 2005: Christin Gilbert and Oriane Shevin

    Now we can look at where the CDC deigns to count:

    And, more closely, at those since 2000:

  • 2004: They count 7 legal and 1 illegal. I have 2: Chanelle Bryant and Tamiia Russell. That means that the CDC knows of at least 6 abortion deaths I have been unable to learn anything about. The illegal death, since it's not been shouted from the rooftops by abortion advocacy groups, is probably one like Myrta Baptiste, who thought her abortion was legal, and didn't realize that her doctor had a suspended license when he did her abortion. The only detail they provide is that one of the legal abortion deaths was from a chemical abortion; I'm guessing that it was Chanelle.

  • 2003: They count 10. I have 3: Leigh Ann Alford, Holly Patterson, and Vivian Tran. That means there are at least 7 deaths I don't know about. They state in their 2004 Abortion Surveil-lace that four of the deaths were from chemical abortions, which means that two of the three women whose chemical abortion deaths I've been unable to pin down were in 2003; I just have no way of knowing which two.

  • 2002: They count 9. I have 4: Diana Lopez, "Adelle Roe", Brenda Vise, and Stacy Zallie. That means there are at least 5 deaths I don't know about.

  • 2001: They count 6 legal and 1 illegal. I have only 1, "Haley Mason". That means there are at least 5 incuded abortion deaths I don't know about.

  • 2000: They count 11. I have 3: L'Echelle Head, Kimberly Neil, and Nicey Washington. That means there are at least 8 more deaths I don't know about.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

    For more breakdown of abortion deaths by year or decade, see this post.

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  • Search: "an abortion when the baby is fully formed "

    "An abortion when the baby is fully formed" would be any abortion at 8 weeks or later. Eight weeks marks the transition from embryo to fetus -- a developmental milestone in that every essential structure of the human body is now present. There is nothing for the fetus to do now but mature.

    Learn more about prenatal development here.

    Mind you, the embryo doesn't just abruptly coalesce into a fetus at 8 weeks. Development has been going on since Day 1. The heart has been beating for weeks. The brain has formed into forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain, and has already begun to produce measurable brain waves. The kidneys have been producing urine for a week. The tiny chest even sports nipples.

    The most recent data by the Alan Guttmacher Institute indicates that of 1.21 million abortions done in the United States in 2005. AGI lumps 8 week abortions on fully-formed fetuses in with abortions at 7 weeks or less, which destroy embryos. The CDC does this as well, as we can see in this chart in their 2005 Abortion Surveillance Summary. We have to go to another chart entirely to see what percent of abortions before 9 weeks are done on 6 and 7 week embryos, and what percent on 8 week, fully-formed fetuses. It shows that 30.4% are done on 6-week or younger embryos, and 17.1% on 7-week embryos, for a total of 47.5% of abortions, or less than half, being performed on embryos, and 52.5% being performed to destroy approximately 635,000 fully-formed fetuses.

    You can click here to see the results of these abortions.

    1929: House calls for aftercare prove futile for teen

    Dorothy Schultz, 19 years of age, lived with her parents in Tomah, Wisconsin. She had just graduated from high school in June of 1929 and was planning to take a job with the government in Washington.

    In early June, Dorothy had gone to her mother with the news that she was pregnant and had missed two periods. On June 14, she was examined by Dr. Winter to verify that she was pregnant.

    On June 15 or 16, Dorothy's mother brought her to Dr. W. B. Parke in Camp Douglas to arrange an abortion. He examined her and agreed to do an abortion for $150. Dorothy's mother thought this was expensive but Parke assured her that he was competent and this was his usual fee. Dorothy's mother agreed and made plans to return for the actual abortion at a later date.

    The trip was delayed until June 19 due to inclement weather. Dorothy's parents wanted to remain at Parke's home while he did the abortion, but he requested that they leave. Dorothy's parents then offered to stay at a Camp Douglas hotel, but Parke didn't like this plan, either. He assured Dorothy's parents that all would go well, that he'd do the abortion in the morning. He took their $150 in cash and sent them on their way.

    Although Dorothy had suffered a sore throat about two weeks before the abortion, she was in apparent good health when her parents brought her to Parke.

    The next day, Dorothy's mother fetched her daughter home. Dorothy seemed well but went to bed. But that evening she suffered chills. She continued to be ill, so a few days later her parents called Parke and told him of Dorothy's condition. He came to the Schultz home, bringining instruments with him, which he sterilized by boiling. He then performed a procedure to clean out Dorothy's uterus.

    Parke came to Dorothy's home on at least two other occasions. On June 25, he found her condition to be so serious that he wanted to return to Camp Douglas to get medicine for her.

    Dorothy's parents wanted to call another doctor, but Parke told them to wait until after his return. After he left, Dorothy's parents called Dr. Winter. Dr. Winter found Dorothy delirious, with a 105 degree fever, and he suspeced an abortion. Parke returned to the house while Dr. Winter was still there.

    Parke went to Dr. Winter's house after the 25th to ask after Dorothy. Parke said that he'd been very careful and didn't understand how Dorothy could possibly have an infection.

    At first, Dorothy seemed to improve under Dr. Winter's care, but she then developed pneumonia. She died on July 3.

    An autopsy was performed by Dr. Winter and Dr. Beebe. They found an enlarged uterus and dilated cervix, in keeping with a recent pregnancy. They found signs of infection and of instrumentation of abortion. Dorothy's reproductive organs were sent to a pathologist who found necrotic tissue. He concluded that the sepsis that started in Dorothy's uterus brought on the fatal pneumonia.

    Parke went to Dorothy's house after her death to express his sympathy and to refund the $150 abortion fee. He also paid them an additional $850.

    Parke testified in his own behalf, saying that the first visit to his office had been on or about June 8. He said that he'd not examined her at that time, but agreed to examine her to see if she was pregnant and if she could safely give birth. He said that he'd asked for $150 in case he had to hospitalize Dorothy, perform tests, or consult with other doctors. He said that after keeping Dorothy at his home overnight he sent her home without having performed any tests.

    Parke also said that when Dorothy's parents brought her to his home on the 19th, she'd already attempted to perform an abortion on herself. He said that he'd only been providing her aftercare.

    Parke was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in Dorothy's death.

    Dorothy's abortion was typical of illegal 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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    Thursday, July 02, 2009

    One less killer of viable babies

    Praise God! The Florida medical board, which evidently has more balls than the Kansas medical board -- or more brains or a higher price tag -- has suspended the license of the state's highest profile slayer of post-viability fetuses: the infamous James Pendergraft, killer of Baby Rowan and of Ashli's baby.

    Read all about it here, straight from the horse's mouth.

    A few choice (ha!) sections:

    ...Chapter 485 is intended to ensure that every physician practicing in this State meets minimum requirements for safe practice and that any physician who falls below minimum standards of competency or who otherwise presents a danger to the public is prohibited from practicing medicine in this state.


    In her recommended order, the ALJ determined that Dr. Pendergraft's performance of the third trimester abortion in his clinic was contrary to [the law] in several respects. First, ... Pendergraft's conduct violated [Florida law] which prohibits the performance of such a procedure in a location other than a hospital. Second, ... the same conduct violated [Florida law] which prohibits third trimester abortions unless "two physicians certify in writing to the fact that ... the termination of pregnancy is necessary to save the life or preserve the health of the pregnant woman." [A nonsensical idea in the first place, since if the pregnancy is past viability, you deliver the baby alive. It's faster as well as safer for the mother. -- ED] Third, ... Pendergraft failed to comply with [Florida law] because he did not certify in writing "to the medical necessity for legitimate emergency medical procedures for termination of pregnancy in the third trimester, and another physician is not available for consultation." Finally, ... there was clear and convincing evidence that Dr. Pendergraft committed medical malpractice ... by failing to meet the standard of care for performing third trimester abortions.... Based on these findings, the ALJ recommended suspension of Dr. Pendergraft's medical license and imposition of other penalties. ....

    On appeal, Dr. Pendergraft argues that the violations of [Florida law] cannot serve as the basis for any disciplinary action by the Board because he has not been convicted of violating [Florida law]. We disagree.

    The Board disciplined Dr. Pendergraft for "failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation" placed upon him as a licensed physician.... Although the statutes Dr. Pendergfaft is charged with violating may provide penal sanctions, there is no explicit statutory requirement that a licensee be adjudicated guilty of the acts specified in the penal statutes before disciplinary action may be instituted. In fact, [Florida laws] allow disciplinary action, regardless of adjudication, for crimes the licensee may have committed in any jurisdiction relating to the practice of, or the ability to practice, medicine. Further, even an acquittal in a criminal prosecution will not bar a license revocation proceeding based upon the same offense as the criminal prosecution. [A criminal trial is set up to protect the accused; the medical board is set up to protect patients. A conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Disciplinary action by a medical board only requires that the board determine that there is sufficient evidence to convince them that the physician committed the crime or malpractice. The document goes on to explain this. -- ED]

    Note well that Pendergraft was doing almost exactly what Tiller was doing. He was injecting poison into the baby's heart to kill it on Day 1, then keeping the mother in a motel for three days while her cervix dilated, then having her come back to the facility to expel her dead, rotting baby. The babies Tiller killed were just as dead as the babies Pendergraft killed. The mothers in Kanas were placed at just as much risk as the mothers in Florida.


    1. Florida law recognized, as Kansas law doesn't, that if a woman is suffering a major complication in the third trimester of pregnancy, such that continuing the pregnancy is a threat to her life or bodily functions, the safest place for her is a hospital, not a motel. Florida, in short, had a governor who hadn't been paid off with huge campaign contributions by the abortionist in question.

    2. Pendergraft, unlike Tiller, didn't have a cozy arrangement with another doctor who would rubber stamp all his patients for him. Either Pendergraft didn't have a buddy like Larry on the board, who would help him evade the law and would overlook his shenanigans, or Pendergfaft couldn't find an out-of-work ex-abortionist he could subcontract his "second opinions" to, or Pendergraft simply figured he'd been getting away with it for so long that he was never going to be held accountable. Or some combination of the above.

    But hey, he's suspended. Which is a good thing.

    Now if we can just shut down the remaining 31 known and openly-advertising third-trimester abortionists.

    1900: One abortion, two women dead

    On July 2, 1900, Mrs. Sarah Bonda, age 20, died at her home as a result of a criminal abortion performed on her there that day.

    When police went to arrest Mrs. Martha Heisig, a midwife, in connection with the death, she committed suicide.

    Note, please, that with common 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, July 01, 2009

    1981: Fatal embolism after abortion

    Sheryl Cottone was 23 years old when she underwent a safe and legal first trimester abortion in June of 1981.

    She was rushed to Veteran's Memorial Hospital in Waukon, Iowa, on July 1. She was pronounced dead on arrival.

    An autopsy found that she had died from an embolism that lodged in her heart.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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