Sunday, December 20, 2009

1997: patient, taken off monitor, dies after abortion

WAKE-UP has posted state medical board disciplinary documents against Dr. Earl McLeod, regarding the death of an abortion patient on December 21, 1997. WAKE-UP has identified her by name, but do not indicate where they learned her identity. I am therefore still working on verifying her name. But this is what I have learned:

On December 20, 1997, a 27-year-old woman went to Potomac Family Planning for a safe, legal abortion, to be performed by D&C. She was 6 weeks pregnant. She had no significant medical or surgical history, but had undergone a prior abortion performed by McLeod in 1995, under general anesthesia, with no complications.

McLeod's anesthesiologist, identified in records only as Dr. K., started an IV, and the woman was hooked up to a cardiac monitor, blood pressure monitor, and pulse oximeter. Dr. K administered Versed (for sedation and memory impairment), Sublimaze (a short-acting narcotic used for short-duration pain control), Propofol (a sedative for anesthesia), with Lidocaine, a local anesthetic.

The patient breathed on her own during the entire five minutes of the abortion. She was transferred to recovery at 10:10 a.m., still unconscious but breathing on her own. Her blood pressure was charted as 112/60 (normal), but her pulse was 103 (very rapid). A nurse identified only as Nurse W put an oxygen mask on the patient, but she was taken off the cardiac monitor and pulse oximeter when she was moved to recovery.

After the patient's vital signs were documented, another nurse, identified as Nurse H, took the blood pressure cuff off of her and put it on another patient.

Meanwhile, McLeod was in a second procedure room, doing an abortion on another patient.

At around 10:20 a.m., Nurse W noticed that the patient was still unresponsive. She told a nursing assistant to get Zoloft (an antidepressant) from the anesthesiologist, who was still in the second procedure room with McLeod. As the assistant was leaving, Nurse W change the request to one for Zofran (an antiemetic). Then Nurse W went into the procedure room herself to get the Zofran.

Dr. K gave the Zofran to Nurse W without evaluating the patient. There was no record that the patient had suffered any nausea or vomiting to warrant the drug in question. At about 10:25, Nurse W administered Zofran to the patient through her IV. Not surprisingly, administering an antiemetic did nothing to revive her.

Nurse W returned to the procedure room and asked Kr. K for Romazicon, a more appropriate drug, since it is used to reverse the effects of drugs used for anesthesia. Dr. K again provided the drug to Nurse W without examining the patient.

Nurse H went to take the patient's blood pressure, and she realized she couldn't find a pulse, and that the patient's pupils were dilated. She fetched Dr. K to assess the patient immediately. He found her unresponsive, with a blood pressure an alarmingly low 60/40. He stared a second IV and began to perform CPR, using a pediatric-sized bag-valve mask. Nurse H took over ventilating the patient, continuing to use the pediatric-sized bag-valve mask. This device would be unable to pump sufficient air into the lungs of a normal-sized adult.

Meanwhile, McLeod performed two other procedures before finally entering the recovery room and finding his staff performing inadequate CPR on the patient. He administered additional IV medications, and said that the patient was hooked up to an EKG monitor even though there was no documentation whatsoever of her cardiac rhythm. She was also not hooked up to a pulse oximeter that would tell the staff how much oxygen was in her blood. A pulse oximeter is standard monitoring for post-surgical patients and for patients needing emergency care; failure to use it on this patient was inexplicable. Also, despite the presence of two doctors, two nurses, and at least one nurses' assistant, nobody documented respiration, lung sounds, or any neurological evaluation, all standard for treating an unresponsive patient.

Dr. K told somebody to administer Epinephrine, Ephedrine, and Lidocaine -- all appropriate drugs for treating a patient in cardiac arrest.

Finally, at around 10:42 a.m., McLeod told somebody to call 911 -- something that should have been done as soon as she was found to be unresponsive. Paramedics arrived and found the patient in cardiac arrest. The anesthesiologist could not tell them anything about the patient's heart electrical activity, which he should have been noting on the EKG. They noted the use of a pediatric bag-valve mask, and the fact that nobody had put a breathing tube into the patient to ensure that air was being pumped into her lungs and not her stomach.

The medics immediately began appropriate resuscitation, intubating the patient, ventilating her with an adult-sized bag=valve mask, hooking her up to a cardiac monitor, defibrillating her, and administering appropriate drugs.

The medics transported the patient to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, arriving at 11:09 a.m. The ER physician noted that the patient's pupils were fixed and dilated. After aggressive resuscitative efforts by ER staff, the patient's heart was restored to a stable rhythm, and she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. But despite their best efforts, she died at 4:15 a.m. on December 21.

The appalled paramedics reported McLeod to the medical board, which faulted him with failure to provide adequate and readily-available post-operative monitoring equipment, and failure to provide adequate emergency supplies. The board also required him to get his staff properly certified in CPR.

An interesting note is this: The medical board indicates that McLeod told them that when he first opened his abortion clinic, he contacted the state asking for guidelines for a freestanding abortion clinic. He was told, he said, that there were none.

McLeod also ran the Hillcrest abortion mill in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where Kelly Morse had died in 1996 after being inadequately resuscitated. Kelly's husband filed suit, noting, "No respiration rate was recorded, no pulse was checked and no blood pressure was measured. No EKG was applied. No cardiac monitoring was conducted. No pulse oximeter was applied. No intubation or emergency tracheotomy was performed." Evidently McLeod chose not to learn from Kelly's death the lessons that would have saved this Maryland patient's life.

1926: Fatal abortion by Chicago midwife

On December 20, 1926, 23-year-old Mary Paradowski died in a Chicago hospital of complications of a criminal abortion that had been performed on December 13. An investigation lead to the indictment of midwife Josephine Petrova for felony murder in Mary's death.

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

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Abortion advocates block prosecution for killing of born baby

In the state of Virginia, as long as the cord hasn't been cut yet, the mother can "shoot the baby, stab the baby", and she's just performing a late abortion on herself.

Virginia lawmakers refuse to protect fully-born infants whose cords aren't cut yet because to do so would get "too close" to the issue of abortion.

So much for the idea that abortion advocates are only concerned about women's rights to their own bodily integrity. The baby was BORN. And they still say she has a right to kill it.

HT: Parenting Freedom

Though really, couldn't this be prosecuted federally under the Born Alive Infants Protection Act?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A bittersweet anniversary. Happy birthday, Ximena.

At 3:20 a.m. on December 17, 1985, 22-year-old Nadine Bourne gave birth to her baby while seated on a toilet at Vancouver General Hospital. The little girl weighed about three pounds -- consistent with an infant of 30 or 31 weeks gestation, well into the third trimester. The trouble was, Nadine had been admitted to Vancouver General Hospital the day before to be treated for fever and rapid pulse after an abortion she'd undergone four days earlier at a Bellingham, Washington Planned Parenthood. Nadine had told hospital staff that she'd been 14 to 16 weeks pregnant. Dr. Jaroudi, a resident summoned by the Emergency Room physician when Nadine was admitted, examined the young woman but failed to notice that she was still pregnant. The baby came as a complete and very unwelcome surprise to everybody.

A nurse, Vera Wood, did not call a resuscitation team or an infant transport team to take the shivering, whimpering, gasping infant to Children's hospital. Instead, according to court records, "She took the baby into the service room where dead fetuses are stored, and left it there [in a bedpan] for 40 minutes."

Thomas Berger, an attorney representing the child and her adoptive family noted, "We could prove that Vera Wood and other nurses did nothing to suction the baby or to provide warmth or oxygen for the child. Our case was that the baby suffered severe [trauma] as a result of these acts or omissions by VGH and its employees, resulting in brain damage in the form of mental retardation and cerebral palsy." After 40 minutes, nurse Wood called the night nursing supervisor, Joyce Hatherall, who cleared the baby's air passages, provided warmth and called for oxygen.

Mr. Berger also said, "We also had evidence that Dr. Jaroudi, called up to the ward, realized the baby had been delivered by Nadine Bourne, and realized it was viable, but nevertheless told the nurses not to resuscitate the baby ('...let it go')." Which, while not exactly rushing to the child's aid, was an improvement over what William Waddill did while nurses were attempting to resuscitate Baby W. in a California hospital. Jaroudi's attempt to complete the abortion was limited to an order to let the baby die, an order Joyce Hatherall ignored.

But even after Hatherall's intervention, the baby was placed on a metal counter, where she likely suffered further hypothermia. And when Jaroudi finally contacted the transport team for Children's Hospital, he gave them insufficient information, causing an additional half-hour delay in providing care to the baby.

That neglected baby, left to die, has since been adopted. And she has a name: Ximena Renearts. But thanks to the attempts on her life both before and after her birth, she suffered permanent brain damage. She is quadriplegic and has the mental capacity of a three-year-old.

BC police made two abortive (how appropriate!) investigations of the case, with spokesman Sergeant Bob Cooper calling the case "bullshit", comparing it to cases where children die when being delivered by midwives. Which leaves me wondering if BC midwives routinely leave premature infants in metal bedpans in the closet for over half an hour at a time before somebody else comes along and provides care over the midwives' objections.

Part of the reason for the callous attitude of the police may be that the spokesman for the BC Minister of Health's Office, Michelle Stewart, is dismissive of the issue of infants born live during abortions, commenting, "As you know, this Ministry is very much in favor of giving women choices about their reproductive health." British Columbia's Chief Coroner Larry Campbell included a letter in a report on such live births, and dismissed them as to be expected in abortion and therefore outside the purview of BC coroners, who only get involved if a death is "unexpected". In other words, at least in British Columbia, abortion is 100% about achieving the death of the infant, even if the infant is born alive. Which leaves me to wonder if a perpetrator who shot Ximena dead tomorrow would face charges at all. Is she still, legally, only an aborted fetus?

The family filed suit against the hospital, the doctor, and the nurse, settling out of court for over $8 million, which will be used to build an accessible house for Ximena and to provide her with the care she will need for the rest of her life.

The hospital never conducted an internal review of how a live-born infant was treated like a pathology specimen on their premises, in violation of the law forbidding anyone to abandon or expose a child under the age of ten "so that its life is or is likely to be endangered or its health is or is likely to be permanently injured." Under Canadian law, having been born alive, Ximenia was a living human being entitled to full protection under the law. Prolife activists hold that charges of attempted murder might be more appropriate, since nurse Wood's intent in putting the child in the bedpan aside in a room for dead fetuses was to allow the baby to die and be sent to the pathology lab with the other results of recent abortions.

Ximena's adoptive mother, Margaret, says, "How can you ever bring justice when all the damage is done? I guess my big hope that what happened to Ximena won't be in vain. It could be you in the hospital and what if they feel that you're not worthy of life. We have to stop somewhere."

And it must be a sad overtone to every birthday Ximena's family celebrates, to realize that they're also celebrating the day she was stuck in a bedpan and left to die.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The latest PP undercover video catches a "counselor" in some spectacular lies

Planned Parenthood caught in the act again by undercover videographers.

First, familiarize yourself with what these people at Planned Parenthood are talking about. Go to a neutral source. I'll provide what The Visible Embryo has to say. I have italicized some facts for emphasis:

Head and Neck
Basic brain structure of the fetus is complete and now the brain mass rapidly increases. Sockets for all twenty teeth are formed in the gum lines. Face has human appearance - one example is the nasolacrimal grooveforming on the upper lip. Separate folds of the mouth fuse together forming the palate. Early facial hair follicles begin to develop.

Vocal cords form in larynx and fetus can make sounds.

Intestines have migrated into abdomen from the umbilical cord. Digestive tract muscles are functional and practice contraction. Nutrient-extracting villi line the now folded intestines. The liver starts to secrete bile, a thick, brown-green liquid containing bile salts, bile pigments, cholesterol and inorganic salts. The bile is stored in the gall bladder. Development of thyroid and pancreas are complete. Pancreas starts to produce insulin.

Genitalia begin to show female characteristics (labium minus, urogenital groove, labium majoris) and male characteristics (glans penis, urethral groove, scrotum). Neither male nor female genitalia are fully formed.

Fingernails begin to grow from nail beds.

Fetus develops reflexes and the skin is very sensitive.

Now that you have a clear picture of what is being discussed, listen to what the supposedly neutral, fact-based "counseling" at Planned Parenthood tells the patient:

Let's analyze what these "experts" are telling the patient.

The PP "counselor" indicates that the "pregnancy" -- which would include the placenta and amniotic sac -- is "about as wide as my fingernail." According to The Visible Embryo, a 10 week fetus (which is a fetus that is actually 8 weeks old, since gestational age is counted from the woman's last period and thus includes two weeks prior to conception) is about 1.5 inches long. And that's not including the amniotic sac and placenta -- the entire pregnancy. How big are these women's hands, that she could accurately describe a fetus that's an inch and a half long as "as wide as my fingernail"?

The patient asks if her fetus has a heart beat. The PP "counselor" ignores reality. Again, let's turn to The Visible Embryo, where we're told that at about 8 weeks gestation (6 weeks post conception), "The critical period of heart development ends." We're dealing here with a formed and functioning heart that will mature, but is structurally complete. The four chambers of the heart were formed at six weeks gestation (4 weeks after conception). The heart valves have been forming since 25 days gestational age. The heart has been pulsating for several days now. A 10 week fetus has a functioning, beating heart. What this "counselor" means by "heart tones" is a mystery. And to claim that there's no heart beat isn't present until 17 or 18 weeks is a bald faced lie. As is her claim that the fetus doesn't become "active in the uterus" until 17 or 18 weeks. Shall we check what Boston University has to say about Fetal Activity:

The first spontaneous FM has been found to occur between 7 and 8.5 weeks gestation, providing concrete evidence that FM emerges not at quickening, or the time at which the mother first feels FM, but much earlier in gestation. These early movements also show that the behavioral repertoire of the fetus is not solely reflexive in nature because these observed movements (e.g., yawning, stretching, limb movements, etc.) are spontaneous and not elicited. In addition, very early fetal movements are not random, but show systematic organization in that distinct types of movements are regularly observed. This organization of behavior implies that these fetal movements are a directly observable manifestation of central nervous system development.

This site for expectant mothers notes that at 9 weeks the fetus is actively swimming around in the uterus -- fully 8 weeks before this Planned Parenthood "counselor" tells the patient that a fetus "becomes active in the uterus".

The "counselor" then goes on to talk about the ability to survive outside the womb -- which is not what the patient asked. She didn't ask if her baby could survive if it were born at that moment. She asked if her baby's heart was beating. The "counselor" tries to deflect the patient's interest from what matters to her -- Is the heart beating? -- to what she hopes will convince the patient that the unborn entity is too unsophisticated to be worth her concern.

The patient asks for a consult with the doctor. He tries to push for the exam first -- to overcome the inertia that has this patient balking, to get her past her questions. The further you are along in a process, the less willing you are to put on the brakes. And this guy is trying to keep this patient from thinking about what she's about to undergo. If they were interested in giving this patient the information she needed to make her choice before proceeding with the abortion, why would they push for going straight into the exam? After all, if she opts not to abort, the exam isn't necessary. She'd be referred for prenatal care.

Then, he launches into this:

"It's not a baby at this stage, or anything like that."

Well, we can debate the "baby" part, I suppose. If it's wanted, we refer to it as a baby all the time. Nobody asks a happily pregnant woman if she's heard the "fetal heart tones". No happily pregnant woman shows off ultrasounds and says, "I got a picture of my fetus!" But I'm not debating the semantics of using the word "baby" to describe the entity in the womb of a woman who isn't delighted to be pregnant. I want to focus on the "or anything like that." You'd have to be a bit clueless to even try to argue that what's in the womb at 10 weeks (the stage of pregnancy being discussed" is not anything like a baby. It's clearly very much like a baby. It looks very much like a baby. It behaves very much like a baby. Show a five-year-old a picture of a 10-week fetus and he'll say "Baby!" So what this PP doctor was talking about was something that was, if not technically a baby, was nevertheless enough like a baby that it's a deliberate lie. It's an attempt to get her past her uneasiness with destroying the fetus in question.

Notice also that the "counselor" told the patient that the fetus isn't a "baby" until birth. The doctor is telling her it's a "baby" at 6 or 7 months. Hm. Could it be that there's some fuzziness in the concept of "baby" behind the doors of Planned Parenthood?

You can see how clearly he's trying to talk her into aborting right away rather than to take more time to think about it. He seems especially eager to have her abort before their facility's 13-week cut-off!

We'll give him a pass on the spurious claim that abortion at 10 weeks is "safer than having a baby" -- that claim has so much credence in abortion advocacy circles that you can't blame him for lying. He's passing along a lie he's been taught. The truth is that we don't have enough evidence to make comparisons of the safety of aborting a baby versus giving birth to it. Then he tries to go into scaring her. "Women die having babies!" He assures her none of his abortion patients have died.

What we're seeing in this video is two professional abortion salespeople pushing a customer to buy their product despite very clear evidence that she's uncertain that this is what she wants.

New abortion movie: Will it make a difference?

HT: Suzy B:

Los Angeles Time’s Robin Abcarian reported last week on recent test screenings for an upcoming film, South Dakota: A Woman’s Right to Choose. Set in South Dakota and Philadelphia, the film—a “dramumentary”—follows the true stories of two teenage girls faced with unplanned pregnancies. The filmmaker, Bruce Isacson, integrates the dramaticized tales with interviews from scientists, thinkers, and activists from both sides of the debate.

Gotta tell you, there's a point of view being presented, and it's pretty clear in the film's website -- "As the stories unfold on the screen under Isacson’s direction of a talented cast, he simultaneously creates a fascinating mosaic of contradictory truths about the complex issues related to a woman’s right to choose."

Anybody who frames abortion as being about "a woman's right to choose" has made it pretty plain which side he comes down on, just as anybody who speaks of "Second Amendment rights" isn't going to be backing much gun control legislation. For those who oppose abortion, it's not about anybody's right -- it's about responsibility, and about basic human decency being extended to the youngest and most vulnerable among us.

This isn't to say that the film won't present things reasonably fairly. Which, of course, means that abortion advocates will be having apoplectic fits. To even concede that there is an organism whose fate is being decided is anathema to them.

I have cause for hope regarding this film: The Filmmaker's Statement says, "During production I realized how little I knew about this volatile issue. After filming many interviews I concluded that most of the public were as uneducated as I was on this subject." Amen to that.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Disagree with libs, get a price put on your head

Liberal Group Puts Bounty on Head of Chamber of Commerce CEO

Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue is a wanted man -- at least according to the liberal activist group that's put a de facto bounty on his head.

A network of liberal groups known as Velvet Revolution started an ad campaign offering $200,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man whose trade organization has become a thorn in the side of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats.

The group is not leveling any specific charges of criminal behavior. Rather, it is casting a wide net, fishing for any whistleblowers from Donohue's past who might come forward with allegations of wrongdoing. The campaign against the Chamber was launched in response to the group's opposition to climate change legislation and health care reform, and its plan to spend $100 million lobbying against these and other initiatives.

The message is clear: "Oppose us and we will stop at nothing to utterly destroy you."

Not that they have a tyrannical bent or anything.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

1988: Teen bleeds to death after abortion

Life Dynamics lists 16-year-old Katrina Poole on their "Blackmun Wall" of women killed by safe, legal abortions. LDI notes that Katrina's abortion was performed the afternoon of December 5, 1988, in a doctor's office in Jacksonville, Florida. She suffered a perforated cervix and uterus. She died of hemorrhage the following day.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Join with Xerox to say Thanks to our troops

Let's Say Thanks will print out your choice of cards, designed by schoolchildren, and send it to a servicemember.

One more example of the "Feminism" of inferiority

Obamacare: The Emergence of Victoria’s Secret Feminism:

Yes, standing up for the rights of middle-aged women to have access to cosmetic enhancement is part of the work of contemporary feminism, [NOW president Terry] O’Neill told me this week.

First abortion, now cosmetic surgery, with "feminism" saying that women aren't good enough without surgical intervention. How is any of this celebrating the inherent value of women?

"Unlicensed abortion"?

Police: New York Woman Plotted to Kill Husband's Mistress's Unborn Child

Kisha Jones wasn't happy that her husband had gotten another woman pregnant. So, pretending to be from the woman's obstetrician's office, she phoned her to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy and take it. The lover, falling for the ruse, took the drug and went into labor two months prematurely. The baby survived but ended up in the NICU, where Jones again made an attempt on the child's life, this time sending an accomplice with tainted liquid, with instructions to tell the nurses it was breast milk for the baby.

According to Fox News, "Jones, 31, was arraigned Saturday on charges including forgery, possession of stolen property, assault and unlicensed abortion."

Unlicensed abortion. An attempt to kill a viable infant against the mother's wishes. That's what the abortion culture has brought us to -- where trying to kill a woman's loved unborn child is a petty matter of not having a license to do it.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Remembering Suzanne Logan - A lingering death

On December 1, 1992, 35-year-old Suzanne Logan died in a Maryland nursing home. She had been there for three years, mute and paralyzed. Her only memory of how she got there was of going to Hillview abortion clinic in Maryland on September 9, 1989, for a safe, legal abortion. She had been 13 weeks into her pregnancy.

Her abortion was performed by Gideon Kioko.

There was no record of how much intravenous Brevital was administered to Suzanne, or who administered the drug. There was also no record of any examination to determine of this drug was appropriate for Suzanne.

Suzanne was already unconscious on the table when Kioko and his nurse entered the procedure room. Kioko was being assisted by an unlicensed nurse, who noted that Suzanne's lips were turning blue. She told Kioko, who continued with the abortion procedure. There is no record that anybody monitored her vital signs or administered oxygen during the procedure.

The nurse summoned Barbara Lofton, who came into the room with Dr. Raymond Taylor, a doctor Hillview used to provide aftercare. Taylor began to attend to Suzanne. Kioko's only contribution to the efforts to revive his patient was to attach an EKG line to one of her arms.

Eventually somebody summoned emergency medical services (EMS). The EMS personnel reported that the Hillview employees seemed "very confused and did not seem to know what they were doing." EMS staff also noted that Hillview staff had put an oxygen mask on Suzanne upside-down, so that she wasn't getting any oxygen.

Suzanne was cyanotic (she had turned blue from lack of oxygen), her pupils were dilated. She was limp, and had no pulse and was not breathing. EMS workers managed to perform CPR and get Suzanne's heart and lungs working again, and transported her to a hospital.

Suzanne remained comatose and was transferred to a nursing home. Four months after the abortion, she regained consciousness, but was paralyzed and unable to speak. She had no memory of the abortion, but was able to eventually recall having gone to the clinic.

Local prolifers visited Suzanne, and bought her a device that allowed her to communicate. She was interviewed by 60 Minutes, and asked what she wanted. She replied, "To go home."

Suzanne filed suit against Kioko and the clinic. In November of 1992, she finally won her suit, and was awarded $2.6 million and $10,000 a month for life, to cover her expenses. Sadly, Suzanne died on December 1, before she had a chance to fulfill her wish of seeing her father again.

Debra Gray also died after an abortion at Hillview. Hillview's owner, Barbara Lofton, had opened an abortion clinic in the District of Columbia, but had been closed down for operating without a license. So she'd moved two miles over the border into Maryland, where there were no impeding regulations keeping her from running the facility. A former employee interviewed by 60 Minutes thought that Lofton was a doctor because she dressed like a doctor, answered the phone "Dr. Lofton," and performed medical tasks.

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."

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1928: Fatal abortion in Chicago

On December 1, 1928, 23-year-old Esther V. Wahlstrom died in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. Dr. Lou E. Davis was held by the coroner for murder by abortion on December 12. She was indicted for felony murder on December 15.

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

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

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

In Korea, reformed abortionist speaks out

AND the Los Angeles Times covers the story! Fairly! Though the headline writer clearly sticks by the old attitudes: In South Korea, abortion foes gain ground

HT: Big Blue Wave

1939: Abortion proves fatal for teen

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

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

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

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another evil man, stupid woman, dead kid tale.

California Man Charged With Killing Girlfriend, Her Son

Prosecutors say a 38-year-old Oakland man killed his girlfriend's young son, dumped his body in the water, then killed her to stop her from telling anyone.


Police found the body of 17-month-old Jashon Williams floating near the Berkeley Marina on Sunday — two days after the body of his mother, Zoelina Williams, was found in nearby Aquatic Park.


Martin previously was convicted of killing a girlfriend's child. He pleaded guilty in 1994 to voluntary manslaughter in a plea deal that got him 11 years in prison. He was released in six years after getting credit for time served.

First of all, women need to grasp that the number one threat to the children of unmarried women is moms' boyfriends. They're the ones who by and large do the bulk of the molesting, abusing, and murdering. So don't do the Horizontal Bop with somebody you'd not want to stick around and raise the kids with. And if he seemed like Mr. Right at the time and then morphed into a sleezebag, try waiting until your kids are grown before you start bringing strange men into their lives.

Second of all, the guy who murdered this kid HAD ALREADY DONE TIME FOR KILLING ANOTHER GIRLFRIEND'S KID. "This guy's bad news" isn't something you need a PhD to grasp in a situation like that.

In this sad case, the guy also killed the mother so she'd not narc on him for offing the kid, so she's paying the same price her child did for her bad judgment. But it was her bad judgment.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

1901: Doctor's work leaves woman dead

On November 15, 1901, 22-year-old Irma Brown of Garden City, Kansas, died at County Hospital from complications of an abortion performed there that day.

Dr. Robert E. Gray was arrested November 19 and held without bail by Coroner's Jury.

On March 26, 1902, Gray was acquitted by a jury.

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

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.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Innocence is no excuse in the Nanny State

Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun

The man found a trash bag somebody else had tossed over his garden wall. It had a gun in it. So he took it to the police station and turned it in. Now he's facing five years in prison, minimum, for possession of a firearm.

Judge Christopher Critchlow said: "This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

"The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Because there are people who want to bring this nonsensical attitude toward the entire freaking world.

1952: An unusual death

On November 3, 1952, Isabell Cuda went to the home of Mary Murawsky in Rockford, Illinois, for an illegal abortion. Mary was neither licensed nor qualified to practice medicine. Murawsky used some sort of instrument on Isabell. Isabell became ill, and died on November 12, leaving behind a husband and a minor child.

Isabell'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.

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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two pre-Roe anniversaries

On November 11, 1929, 23-year-old Mary L. Kelly died in Chicago from an abortion performed by an unidentified perpetrator.

On November 11, 1909, Marian Lang, age 29, died in Chicago home from an abortion. Dr. Pope was indicted by a grand jury. The source document does not indicate that the case went to trial.

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. And things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future.

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

Monday, November 09, 2009

Obama's priorities: Too busy for Berlin & Ft. Hood

Obama Draws Criticism for Sitting Out Berlin Wall Anniversary

Obama Needs to Go to Ft. Hood

Any other President -- including Clinton -- would have had the decency, the class, and the sense of proportion to hoof it down to Ft. Hood to address the soldiers, and to Berlin to celebrate the fall of the Wall. But Obama, the eternal frat boy, is simply too busy.

Every single leader of the EU, along with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, are attending the celebrations. But not our CoC. Not the POTUS. Not BO.

He's probably have brought tacky gifts anyway.

Conversion story: Hear Abby Johnson say how she went from PP director to PL advocate

MsUnderestimated brings us video of Mike Huckabe interviewing former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson. (HT: NewsBusters.

Here's a transcript of the interview:

MIKE HUCKABEE: Well, she helped numerous women get abortions, but she’s now a strong pro-life advocate who helps lead protests at the very clinic she once worked for. Please welcome former director for Planned Parenthood, Abby Johnson, from Bryan College Station, Texas. Abby, it’s so nice to have you here.

ABBY JOHNSON: Thank you.

HUCKABEE: We asked Planned Parenthood to issue a statement. We actually asked would they like to be on and share their side of the story. We got this statement – I want to share it. They said: "Planned Parenthood respects everyone's beliefs on this most personal of medical issues, and Planned Parenthood remains fully committed to ensuring that every woman facing an unintended pregnancy knows all of her options. Planned Parenthood’s focus is on prevention. Nationwide, more than 90 percent of the health care Planned Parenthood affiliates provides is preventative in nature."

Abby, my honest assessment of that statement is they do prevent some things. They prevent birth, not illnesses. There’s no illness involved in a pregnancy. Illness means you're sick. You're not sick when you're having a baby.


HUCKABEE: When you were at Planned Parenthood, did you find that the focus was on health care and prevention of illness?

JOHNSON: No, it's prevention of, I mean, a lot of it is prevention of pregnancy. And that is why I got into it.

HUCKABEE: That's why you first got involved-

JOHNSON: That’s why I first got involved.

HUCKABEE: -to keep people from getting an unintended pregnancy.

JOHNSON: That's right. That’s absolutely why I got involved in it. But I soon found that one of their goals was to make money. And the way they make money is to increase the number of abortions they do.

HUCKABEE: You were working, actually, helping and assisting in an abortion, and you saw on an ultrasound of the abortion process. Tell me what did you see when the ultrasound was running and the abortion was taking place?

JOHNSON: Well, I was called into the room to assist during a procedure. And it was actually an ultrasound-guided abortion procedure, which is not that common in Planned Parenthood health centers because it's a longer type of abortion procedure, and Planned Parenthood centers are trying to do as many procedures a day as they can, and so they’re not going to take a lot of time for each procedure. But for whatever reason, this physician did decide to do an ultrasound-guided procedure on this particular woman. And so, I was called in to help. And my job was to hold the ultrasound probe on this woman's abdomen so that the physician could actually see the uterus on the ultrasound screen. And when I looked at the screen, I saw a baby on the screen. And she was about 13 weeks pregnant at the time. And I saw a full side profile. So I saw face to feet on the ultrasound machine. And I saw the probe going into the woman's uterus. And at that moment, I saw the baby moving and trying to get away from the probe.

HUCKABEE: Moving away from it, oh, my God.

JOHNSON: Yes. And I thought, "It's fighting for its life." And I thought, "It’s life, I mean, it's alive."

HUCKABEE: Until that moment, Abby, had it appeared to you that you were able to use words like "fetus" and "tissue," it's very different than when you saw the form of a child, recognizable.

JOHNSON: That it was alive. Mm-hmm.

HUCKABEE: What did you do? Did you say anything at that moment to the doctor?

JOHNSON: No, I mean, my mind was racing, my heart was beating so fast. And I just was thinking, "Oh, my gosh, make it stop." And then, all of a sudden, I mean, it was just over, just, in the blink of an eye. And I just saw the, I just saw the baby just literally, just crumble, and it was over. And I just, I dropped the ultrasound probe. And then I realized, "Oh, my gosh, I'm not holding the ultrasound probe," so I scrambled and I put the ultrasound probe back in place. And I, so many things were going through my mind, and I was thinking about my daughter who’s three, and I was thinking about the ultrasound I had of her, and I was thinking of just how perfect that ultrasound was when she was 12 weeks in the womb. And I was just thinking, "What am I doing? What am I doing here?" And I could just, I had one hand on this woman's, on this woman's belly, and I was thinking, "There was life in here, and now there's not," and-

HUCKABEE: You literally were holding your hand on top of her, on top of her belly at that point-

JOHNSON: Mm-hmm.

HUCKABEE: -and realized that what was underneath that hand once a moment ago was life and it's gone?

JOHNSON: Mm-hmm.

HUCKABEE My gosh. When you were faced with that – by the way, did the woman see any of this? Did she have access to see the screen at all?

JOHNSON: No, she was sedated.

HUCKABEE: People never see really what’s happening to them.


HUCKABEE: I can't help but believe if they saw that they might be running out of those clinics.

JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. If clinic workers saw what was happening on that screen, they would be running out of those clinics. This is what the abortion industry does not want their workers to see. They don't want their workers to see what’s actually happening during an abortion. That's why Planned Parenthood doesn’t do, that's why so many of these large abortion industries don't do ultrasound-guided abortion procedures. They don't want people to see what’s really happening in the woman's womb.

HUCKABEE: You know, I think about what you've gone through. You must have walked away that day saying, uh-oh, this is not what I want to be spending the rest of my life doing as a career. What was the next step you took? You were the executive director of that Planned Parenthood clinic, and yet, really you didn't know what was going on back in those back rooms in that standpoint.

JOHNSON: Mm-hmm. I went home that day, and I had made the decision that day that that was it, and I went home, and I talked to my husband about it. And, I mean, my husband is a teacher. And we have a daughter, and so we're depending on two incomes, and so, we just decided that I would go back to work, and I would just be really looking for another job. And I knew that I had two weeks until we were going to be doing surgical abortions again. So I had two weeks to find another job. And so I went, the first week was pretty uneventful. And the next weekend came, and that Monday came, and I was just sitting in my office, and I was crying. I had the door closed. And I was just thinking, "Where am I going to go? What am I going to do? I don't want to be here."

HUCKABEE: What did the people at the clinic say when you finally said, "This is it, I'm leaving"?

JOHNSON: Well, nobody really knew what was happening. I couldn't talk to anybody at the clinic because they didn't know what was going on in my heart. They didn't understand what was happening. And now that they do know, Planned Parenthood has put a restraining order out on me now that they know I’m working with the pro-life movement.

HUCKABEE: I wish Planned Parenthood would put a restraining order on themselves and stop the horrible procedures that they're doing every day. Abby Johnson, thank you. You have a lot of courage to share your remarkable story. And I thank you so much, and I hope it's a great reminder that we can't necessarily just listen to words. We need to understand the actions behind them.

JOHNSON: That’s right.

HUCKABEE Thank you. God bless you. What a wonderful story.

JOHNSON: Thank you, thank you.

HUCKABEE: Abby Johnson.

Two tragic anniversaries

"Yvonne" Roe is one of the women Life Dynamics notes on their "Blackmun Wall" of women killed by legalized abortion. Yvonne was a 19-year-old student who died from sepsis on November 9, 1999 in Marrero, Louisiana, after undergoing a safe and legal abortion. She had been an All-American cheerleader and a member of the National Honor Society. Life Dynamics cites the Clarion Ledger, November 11, 1999, and indicates that though they have information giving Yvonne's real name, they can not release it due to a confidentiality agreement.

Demetrice Andrews, age 22, underwent an abortion on October 17, 1988. She became progressively ill, and was finally admitted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Demetrice suffered multiple organ failure. She died on November 9, 1988. It is ironic that Demetrice was admitted to Grady to be treated for abortion complications. Another woman, Jacqueline Reynolds, died just two years earlier, from complications of anesthesia administered for an abortion performed at Grady.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Newborn cries influenced by womb sounds

Babies 'cry in mother's tongue'

Third trimester fetuses evidently are paying attention to their mothers' voices and gauging their cries accordingly after birth.

Friday, November 06, 2009

1923: Death in a Chicago hospital

On November 6, 1923, Mrs. Agnes Wendt died at Chicago's St. Anne's Hospital from complications from an abortion performed there that day.

Dr. Irene Wagoner was exonerated by the coroner, but nevertheless indicted for murder in Agnes' death.

Agnes' 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.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

1977: Abortion quackery kills Texas mom

Louchrisser Jackson, a 23-year-old mother of five, was 12 weeks pregnant when she went to Dr. Robert L. Gardner for a safe and legal abortion at Reproductive Services in Dallas on November 4, 1977.

Louchrisser began hemorrhaging. Gardner said that he ordered blood for a transfusion, but it didn't arrive so about an hour before her death he attempted to give her a transfusion with his own blood -- which turned out to be an incompatable type.

A private ambulance was called but was not informed of the nature of the transport. In that jurisdiction, private ambulances are only permitted to transport stable patients; they are prohibited from responding to emergency calls. Because the ambulance service had no reason to expect an emergency, they did not respond promptly, nor did they refer the transport to the fire deparment's ambulance service.

When the ambulance crew arrived, Louchrisser had gone into cardiac arrest. The crew, upon discovering that they'd been called for an emergency transport, rushed Louchrisser to the hospital immediately rather than calling for a fire department ambulance.

Louchrisser died that day. Gardner requested that the body be released without an inquiry. Another physician at the hospital learned of the case and requested an inquiry.

The autopsy found massive hemmorage of at least two liters of blood, and a "1.8 x 2 cm. ragged perforation in the right lateral wall just above the internal os of the cervical canal. This perforation commonicates freely with the retroperitoneal space on the right side. The endometrial surface of the uterus is ragged and hemorrhagic." Death was attributed to "massive retroperitoneal hemorrhage due to perforation of the uterus during a therapeutic abortion."

1928: Woman dies in doc's office

On November 4, 1928, 22-year-old Anna Borndal died at the office of Dr. Lou E. Davis of Chicago, from complications of an abortion performed there that day.

Davis was held by the coroner for unintentional manslaughter. She was indicted by a grand jury for homicide.

Anna'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.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Law & Order" does balanced show on late abortion

Thanks for the link go to Jill Stanek.

It seems the writers went a bit overboard to make sure to fit in stereotypical and atypical people on both sides, reasonable people on both sides, fanatics on both sides, and the arguments of both sides. But with just one hour, he/she needed to cram it in a bit.

The only fault I can find is the characterization of the abortions as being typically done on babies with horrendous congenital conditions, since this is atypical even of late abortions, but I do appreciate that these children were shown as still having dignity and lives worth living.

So I'd have to rate it high.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another example of "Figures lie, and liars figure"

The Bogus Death Statistic That Won't Die:

Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida has found his calling: death demagogue. First, he accused Republicans of wanting sick patients to "die quickly." Next, he likened health insurance problems to a "holocaust in America." Now, he's unveiled a new website entitled "" in memory of the "more than 44,000 Americans [who] die simply because they have no health insurance."

Just one problem: The statistic is a phantom number. Grayson's memorial, like the Democrats' government health care takeover plan itself, is full of vapor. It comes from a study published this year in the American Journal of Public Health. But the science is infused with left-wing politics.


How did these political doctors come up with the 44,000 figure? They used data from a health survey conducted between 1988 and 1994. The questionnaires asked a sample of 9,000 participants whether they were insured and how they rated their own health. The federal Centers for Disease Control tracked the deaths of people in the sample group through the year 2000. Himmelstein, Woolhandler and company then crunched the numbers and attributed deaths to lack of health insurance for all the participants who initially self-reported that they had no insurance and then died for any reason over the 12-year tracking period.

This is the sort of data massage the CDC uses to inflate "childbirth" deaths -- they count any death of a woman who was pregnant or recently pregnant as a "childbirth" death, even if she just happened to be on the 98th floor of the World Trade Center on 9/11 on her first day back from maternity leave.

It works for the abortion lobby. Why not for the scaremongers trying to take away all our choices in health care?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

1922: Chicago abortion death

On October 25, 1922, 24-year-old Lillian Hulbert died at Chicago's St. Anne's Hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed on her there that day.

The coroner identified a Mrs. M.C. Anderson as responsible for Lillian's death.

Anderson's profession is given as nurse or midwife.

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.

Wow! Law & Order presents some reality of late abortion

Keep in mind, the sort of thing the fictitious nurse describes happens hundreds of times a year in the US -- the main difference being that the babies in real life typically could have lived long, normal lives if carried to term (or even, in many cases, if brought to the NICU at the time of birth instead of being disposed of as medical waste).

For more on the real-life scenarios, see:

  • Obama Comments, I Respond
  • Planned Parenthood Admits to Live Births
  • A Fetus With Attitude
  • A Question About Born-Alive Babies and Criminal Charges
  • Obama, McCain, and "Health"
  • Third Trimester Abortions and the Law
  • Funeral Scheduled for Baby Shanice, Thrown on a Roof to Die
  • Just Why are Abortions Being Done so Late in the Pregnancy That the Babies Can Be Born Alive
  • More Born-Alive Babies
  • Jill Stanek and FactCheck's Faulty "Facts"
  • Saturday, October 24, 2009

    "Mermaid Girl" Shiloh Pepin dies at age 10

    Shiloh Pepin, one of a handful of known sirenomelia survivors, has died. She was 10 years old.

    Sirenomelia is a rare birth defect that causes the legs to be fused. Babies with siernomelia are typically not born without normal pelvic area features such as urethra and anus, and as such typically die shortly after birth. Surgeons can now sometimes correct the abnormalities that are incompatible with life.

    Shiloh wasn't a candidate for leg separation surgery because of issues with how her blood vessels were formed. She used a wheelchair to attend school and dreamed of becoming a jeweler.

    ABC News once arranged for Shiloh to meet with another sirenomelia survivor, Tiffany Yorks of Florida. You can read about it here.

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    1981: One of three deaths for NAF hero

    Nineteen-year-old Diane Boyd lived in a state institution for the mentally disabled. There, she was beaten and raped in July of 1981, and was later discovered to be pregnant. A safe, legal abortion was arranged for Diane at National Abortion Federation member Reproductive Health Services in St. Louis, and Diane's mother signed a consent form. The abortion was performed October 22, 1981. Diane died the next day.

    According to suits later filed by Diane's mother, RHS staff and abortionist Robert Crist did not check for possible drug interactions before giving Diane valium and sublimaze. These drugs evidently reacted with Diane's usual medication, thorazine, causing her to stop breathing. Diane's mother said that the clinic lacked heart monitoring equipment or resuscitation equipment.

    Diane was not the last woman to die after abortion by Crist. Seventeen-year-old Latatchie Veal bled to death after an abortion by Crist in 1991. Twenty-two-year-old Nichole Williams died of DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy) after an abortion by Crist in 1997.

    As for RHS, they'd performed an abortion on fourteen-year-old Sandra Kaiser in 1984 without her mother's knowledge or consent. Sandra's already fragile mental health deteriorated further, and she committed suicide shortly thereafter by throwing herself into traffic.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Doctor fingered in 1936 abortion death

    On October 16, 1936, 26-year-old Katherine DiDonato, mother of two, was admitted to Roosevelt Hospital to be treated for complications of a criminal abortion.

    Katherine's husband reported that the abortion had taken place three days earlier.

    Detectives were told that Katherine had bought pills from drug clerk Hyman Kantor, who had then recommended Dr. Aloysius Mulholland to perform an abortion.

    Katherine died at 2 AM on October 23. Both Mulholland and Kantor were arrested and charged with homicide.

    Katherine's abortion was typical of pre-Roe abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

    An abortion death from the early 20th Century

    Emma Bickel, a 59-year-old midwife, was charged with second-degree manslaugher in the death of 19-year-old Emily Nohavec of St. Louis. Bickel had been a midwife for 28 years, and had a reputation for "uprightness" and honesty.

    Emily, who was single, had been living with her sister in St. Louis, and she worked as a clerk in her sister‘s vegetable store. On October 18, 1913, she first reported feeling ill. On Monday, October 20, a Dr. Reber was summoned to see her. He diagnosed her with septic peritonitis. The next day, her condition was critical and she was admitted to Rebekah Hospital. There, Dr. Garcia was called in for consultation. Drs. Reber and Garcia agreed that an immediate laparotomy was needed to try to save Emily‘s life.

    The doctors found Emily‘s abdominal cavity inflamed. A cyst about the size of a pear surrounded her left ovary, her right ovary was surrounded by pus, and there was pus in her fallopian tubes. The doctors removed these purulent organs and inserted drainage tubes.

    Dr. Reber also curetted Emily‘s uterus and packed it with iodoform gauze. Emily‘s uterus noted an ulceration about the size of a hazelnut inside the cervix. The edges of this ulceration were ragged and torn, and Reber concluded that this was caused by instrumentation. Reber also believed that swelling near where the fallopian tube entered the uterus was caused by instrumentation. Reber believed that an abortion had been performed a week to ten days before he was first called to examine Emily.

    Dr. Garcia, on the other hand, agreed that Emily had recently been pregnant, and that the pregnancy had ended at about two months, but noted &quo;there were no direct punctures or cuts, scratches, or anything of that kind in the uterus, or in the abdomen.&quo; He agreed with Dr. Reber that the sepsis was caused by an abortion, but he disagreed about the abortion having been induced. Dr. Garcia concluded that Emily might merely have miscarried.

    Despite the efforts of both doctors, Emily died the following day, October 23.

    That same day, Dr. Hockdoerfer performed an autopsy. He made the same findings as Drs. Garcia and Reber, except that he also found a section of placental implantation about the size of a quarter. He agreed that retained placental tissue had caused the sepsis, but did not find any signs of damage from instruments. Emily had been in good health prior to her final, fatal illness.

    While Emily was hospitalized, police officer William H. Coates arrested Emma Bickel and brought her to Emily‘s bedside. Coates testified that he asked Bickel if she knew the girl, and Bickel said yes, she did know her. Coates testified that he then said, "You performed an abortion on her, didn‘t you?" To which, he testified, Bickel replied, "Yes." Coates took Bickel to the police station where she made a statement. Coates wrote out the statement as follows:

    Department of Police, City of St. Louis.
    7:16 P. M., Oct. 22, 1913.
    To whom it may concern I herein state that on or about October 13th, 1913, Emily Nohavec came to my house in the evening and said she was in trouble and wanted me to help her out. I told her it was dangerous for to do a thing like that, and she said, ‘You need not be afraid,‘ that ‘I won't tell on you.‘ I then inserted a catheter into the private parts and opened her womb. She then paid me about five or seven dollars; I don‘t remember which. She came back in two days, and I again put the catheter into the womb. She left, and I never saw her until I saw her this evening at the hospital.
    The above statement was made of my own free will, and not by any threats or promises or violence to me.
    [Signed] Emma Bickel.
    Witnesses: Off. W. H. Coates; Off. David J. O‘Connor.

    When called upon to testify in court, however, Bickel denied having performed an abortion on Emily. She said that she never knew Emily until the girl came to her house, saying that she was &quo;in trouble." Bickel said that she asked Emily, "How far along?" To which Emily replied that her period was two weeks late. Bickel said that Emily told her that she was married, and that she had taken some medicine to cause an abortion, and had also taken a box of pills. Bickel said that she told Emily, "Well, if you are only two weeks gone they ought to bring you by your next monthlies." Bickel said that she then sent Emily away.

    Bickel said that about two weeks later Emily, who had still not given her name, returned, saying that she was ill, and willing to pay $7 for an examination. Bickel said that she used a speculum to examine Emily, and found her cervix open and exuding a foul discharge. Bickel testified that she told Emily to consult a doctor. She said that this took place about two weeks prior to Emily‘s death, and that she‘d not seen the girl between the examination and being brought to the hospital by Officer Coates.

    Bickel testified that she had confirmed that she knew Emily, and that the girl had come to her house, but that Coates did not ask her at the hospital if she had performed an abortion. She said that she was taken to the police station, that Coates had written out the statement and told her to sign it, so she‘d complied.

    Bickel said that she‘d never told Coates that she‘d inserted a catheter, that she‘d tried to discourage abortion, telling Emily "that it was a dangerous thing to do a thing like that." She said that she‘d only signed the statement because she was excited and confused and was merely doing what she was told.

    Despite her protestations of innocence, Bickel was convicted. She was sentenced to three years in prison. She unsuccessfully appealed her conviction.

    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 information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Great collection of BO Nobel cartoons

    Dr. Roy's Thoughts

    I particularly like the first and third the most.

    They're from this collection", which just gathered them without evidently taking sides. But the consensus seems to be that the Nobel Peace Prize now means about as much as the prize you get in a box of Cracker Jack.

    2000: Fatal abortion in Dayton

    L’Echelle Head, age 21, died October 11, 2000, after an abortion at Dayton Women's Health Services. Dayton Right to Life said that L'Echelle was pronounced dead at Samaritan Hospital after she'd been sent home from the clinic.

    Police had been called to a private residence to investigate the report of an unresponisve 21-year-old woman shortly after 6 p.m.

    L'Echelle's obituary indicates that she left behind a daughter, her parents, and three sisters.

    Peggy Lehner of Dayton Right to Life said, "The final results of the autopsy are still pending. From early indications it appeas she suffered some sort of blood clot or embolism."

    Dayton Women's Health Services had been caught operating without a license in 1999. It was inspected on October 27, 1999, to see if a license should be granted. Inspectors found rusty instruments, improperly-marked medications, and a failure to follow sterile technique. The clinic administrators were told they'd have to correct the problems to get a license.

    The clinic got the license after getting a waiver regarding follow-up care for patients.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1981: Fatal abortion for teen

    Life Dynamics lists 17-year-old Sharonda Rowe on their "Blackmun Wall" of women killed by safe and legal abortions. According to LDI, Sharonda had an abortion done in a doctor's office in Washington, DC on October 11, 1981. She suffered lacerations in her vagina and uterus, causing a massive, fatal air embolism (air in her bloodstream).

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1926: Another doctor's fatal work in Chicago

    On October 11, 1926, Jeanette Jarrett, a 28-year-old woman, died from complications of a criminal abortion performed on her that day at a Chicago location. A Black, Roy Shell, was held by the coroner on October 29. On November 1, he was indicted for felony murder.

    Jeanette's abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was performed by a doctor.

    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

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

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    NYT Miracle!

    Behind the Scenes: Picturing Fetal Remains

    The photographs are graphic and detailed, showing the fingers or toes of aborted fetuses whose entire frames are no bigger than a cellphone. Since the mid-1990s, they have appeared all over the country — carried as posters by protesters, handed out with pamphlets or, in some cases, mounted like billboards on the sides of trucks.

    Like many others, I often wondered about the source of these images. Who took the pictures? Where did the fetuses come from?

    I had a chance to find some answers while reporting in late September on the death of James Pouillon, the anti-abortion protester who was shot and killed in Owosso, Mich.

    Mr. Pouillon was holding an anti-abortion sign at the time, with a baby on one side and an abortion on the other. At his memorial service, I met Monica Migliorino Miller, who told me she had a lot to share about the use of abortion imagery.

    Of course, the comments start right in with screeds about how wonderful it is to pull babies apart with forceps because it makes their mommies' lives so much better. Why aren't these same people pleading for us to just nuke Darfur and put everybody there out of their misery, if wretched death is such a great solution to problems?

    NAF abortion leads to fatal coma for mom

    October 10, 1989, 27-year-old Catherine Pierce died in a nursing home in Tennessee from abortion complications that had left her comatose since March 11. She left an 11-year-old daughter motherless. The abortion was performed at Atlanta Surgi-Center, which had at one time also done business as "Northside Women's Clinic," and was performed by Daniel McBrayer.

    Catherine had gone into cardiac arrest while left unattended in recovery after her abortion. State officials alleged "serious problems" after Peirce was injured. They cited this National Abortion Federation facility for administering "the same anesthesia dosages" to patients whose weights ranges from 107 to 167 pounds, inadequate record keeping, and inadequate supervision of patients.

    State investigators indicated that they'd been turned away the first time they'd tried to inspect the facility, and were forced to stage a raid in order to obtain the records needed to investigate the mishap that later killed Catherine. The clinic complained that they'd only turned the state investigators away because they'd failed to display badges and a subpoena. They also complained to the press that the raid was "political harassment" due to the fact that an anti-abortion activist had complained to the state about the facility.

    Among the patient care problems cited, the investigators also said that they found discrepancies between the number of fetuses sent to the disposal lab and the number of abortions performed. In 1989 Atlanta Surgi-Center had logged 1,748 abortions, but had only sent 155 fetuses for disposal. In 1988 they had logged 2,774 abortions, but only sent 155 fetuses for disposal. In 1987 they logged 1,104 abortoins but only sent 306 fetuses for disposal. The investigation into fetus disposal was prompted by local prolifers reporting that they had seen hundreds of fetuses in the clinic's dumpsters. Dr. Gay, the clinic director, denied the allegations.

    It is possible that Atlanta Surgi-Center is the same facility as the "Atlanta Northside" facility where Geneva Calton had undergone her fatal abortion in 1979.

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    Thanks for nothing, New York legislature

    Twenty-three-year-old Maria Hernandez Ortega, a citizen of Guatemala, had been living in the United States with her husband, Luis, for eight months in October of 1970. They'd lived in Queens until mid-August, when they had relocated to Boston.

    Maria and Luis traveled back to New York and stayed with a friend so that Maria could take advantage of New York's new law legalizing abortion on demand.

    The abortion, a suction curettage, was performed by Dr. Armida Zepeda in her New York office at about 5 p.m. on October 10. 

    Zepeda had estimated the pregnancy to be two months. After trying for about 20 minutes, she was unable to extract the fetus. She concluded that Maria had not been pregnant after all, and sent her home. Maria and Luis returned to the friend's apartment.

    At 10:00 that night, Maria died in her friend's home. It turned out that she had actually been at least four months pregnant, not two months. Zepeda had pushed the fetus through the uterine wall into Maria's abdominal cavity. Maria had bled to death.

    Maria's death was the tenth known abortion death in New York City since abortion had been legalized on July 1. City officials attributed four of those deaths to criminal abortions, but news coverage did not elaborate on how they distinguished between legal and illegal abortions. Public health officials reviewing the situation decided to forbid any more abortions to be performed in doctors' offices, though they could still be performed in outpatient clinics.


    Thanks for nothing, New York legislature

    Twenty-three-year-old Maria Hernandez Ortega traveled from her home in Massahusetts for a safe and legal abortion by Dr. Armida Zepeta in her New York office on October 10, 1970.

    Zeptea estimated the pregnancy to be two months. She attempted an abortion, but was unable to extract the fetus. She concluded that Maria had not been pregnant after all, and sent her home.

    At 10:00 that night, Maria died in her home. It turned out that she had actually been four months pregnant, not two months. Zepeta had pushed the fetus through the uterine wall into Maria's abdominal cavity.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    "Murdered by human wolves"

    The Seminole County News in Oklahoma reported that Katherine Cross died October 10, 1917, from a "criminal operation" performed by Dr. A. H. Yates and his assistant, a schoolteacher named Frederick O‘Neal. Katherine, who had been born in August of 1899, was 18 years old.

    I learned about Katherine‘s sad end while looking for memorials for the unborn at Find-a-Grave. Evidently Colby Weaver, who is interested in old headstones, was intrigued by the inscription on Katherine‘s headstone: "Murdered by Human Wolves." He gathered the following information.

    Katherine was the second victim Yates was charged with murdering by abortion in as many months. Elise Stone had died in August.

    How common was it for a woman, back before legalization, to find a doctor to do her abortion?
    It was very common -- probably more than 90% of the time.
    It was about as common as finding any other kind of abortionist -- about 50%.
    It was fairly uncommon -- about 10%.
    It was very rare -- less than 2%.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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