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:

To email this post to a friend, use the icon below.


Tonal Bliss said...

This sounds like an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE).

From eMedicine: "The initiating event is poorly understood. However, usually during labor or other procedure, amniotic fluid and debris, or some as yet unidentified substance, enters the maternal circulation; this may trigger a massive anaphylactic reaction, activation of the complement cascade, or both." Also states: "Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) usually occurs during labor but has occurred during abortion, after abdominal trauma, and during amnioinfusion."

Thus, it is indeed plausible for AFE to occur during abortion. My guess is that abortion increases the risk only because of the manual manipulation and chance of physical injury to the uterus. However, as the article stated, the incidence is underreported.

Christina Dunigan said...

What was really gross but interesting was listening to an argument between abortionists Warren Hern and Mildred Hanson.

Hern is a proponent of using the "calvarium show" to verify that the structure you've grabbed with the forceps is indeed the skull. He instructs his fellow abortionists to grasp what they believe is the skull, pull it down to the cervix, and squeeze. If you see grey matter oozing out of the cervix, you really do have the skull, and you can crush it and start pulling the chunks out.

Hanson found this appalling. She pointed out that of all fetal tissues, brain tissue is the one that most often causes catastrophic clotting problems if it gets into the mother's blood stream. And sharp pieces of skull are likely to scratch the cervix and provide an avenue for the brain tissue to enter the mother's blood stream. Hanson recommends grabbing what you believe is the skull with forceps, then using a suction canula to suck out the brain (which, evidently, will be grey in the tube so you can tell you've got the right stuff). Then, when all the brain tissue is safely removed, it's time to crush the skull and pull out the chunks.

I'd say that all a CPC would have to do is play a recording of that exchange to any woman considering a second trimester abortion. It's so banal and ghoulish.

Tonal Bliss said...

Yes, that conversation would indeed sway many considering a second trimester abortion.

The harsh reality and truth is what most often will sway the opinion of those who care about defending the lives of other human beings.

Those that care more about the trees than human beings on the other hand...