Friday, April 30, 2010

Today's anniversaries

1917: One of three known deaths at hands of Chicago doc:

On April 30, 1917, Mrs. Ruth Lemaire, age 24, died at West Side Hospital in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. In her deathbed statement she implicated Dr. Lillian Hobbs. However, the coroner's jury did not place blame on Hobbs, and the case came to naught.

Hobbs was also convicted of murder in the abortion deaths of Alda Christopherson and Ellen Matson.

These fatal abortions were typical of pre-legalization abortions in that they were 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 information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

1923: Back-alley death in Chicago

On April 30, 1923, 29-year-old Emma Herod died in her home from an abortion performed there that day. Dr. Emma J. Warren was arrested for the death. On July 15, Warren was indicted for felony murder in Emma Herod's death.

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

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

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

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The abortion survivor: Who did wrong? UPDATED

Baby boy survives for nearly two days after abortion

A woman in Italy decided that since her baby had a cleft palate, he needed to be aborted.

But oops. He survived the abortion.

He was wrapped in a sheet and stuck in a utility room.

Roughly 20 hours later, enter the hospital chaplain, who got wind of the aborted (but supposedly dead) baby and went to pray over the child's body. When he discovered that the baby wasn't as dead as he was supposed to be, he got immediate help for the little boy, who was transported to the NICU of another hospital, where he subsequently died.

Now there is an outcry and an investigation, and possible homicide charges.

Who did wrong here?

The mother, for failing to love her baby unconditionally?

The abortion doctor, for sticking a live baby in a closet to die?

The chaplain, and everybody else who got involved after he raised the alarm, for tramping on the mother's reproductive rights? Were their actions "simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion"?

For more on babies that survive abortions, read:

  • Obama Comments, I Respond: How unreasonable is it to seek a second opinion after a baby survives an abortion?
  • Planned Parenthood Admits to Live Births: What's the chances that the baby will live longer than a few hours?
  • A Fetus with Attitude: An abortion survivor speaks out
  • A Question About Born Alive Babies and Criminal Charges: What happens to the doctor?
  • Third Trimester Abortions and the Law: When and why are these abortions permitted?
  • Nothing Posting Abortion Clinic Ads Won't Fix: Yeah, they're legal. But does anybody really do them?
  • Obama and the Born Alive Babies: Real life examples.
  • Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    1871: Abortion patient dies under doctor's care

    Dr. Charles P. Wood admitted that Elvira Woodward had come to his house in Manchester, new Hampshire, on April 1 and remained there until her death. He said that she'd expelled a dead fetus on April 3, and that she suffered from puerperal fever. Elvira took ill, languishing and finally dying on April 27, 1871, at about 2:30 PM, at Wood's house.

    Dr. Wood said that on the morning of the 27th, Elvira had told him that she had a sense of impending death. A Daniel K. White testified on Wood's behalf, saying, "I knew Elvira Woodward; saw her at Dr. Wood's house the morning of the day she died; found very large gash in her throat; Dr. Wood stepped to the bed and removed a towel from her throat. I saw Dr. Ferguson there; Dr. Wood went for him about ten minutes after I got there; she looked pale, quite so; apparently recognized me by a nod of the head; I observed nothing else, except that her throat was cut, and there was a good deal of blood upon her bed-clothes; she said she did not expect to live till noon; that she was sorry she didn't do the deed at once, and go where her mother was; that she would be glad to die; that she didn't expect to live till noon, and probably shouldn't."

    White said that only he was present when Elvira made that statement, because Dr. Wood had gone to fetch Dr. Ferguson.

    Elvira's sister, Florence Woodward, testified in a deposition that she'd seen Elvira at Dr. Wood's house twice on the day she died. She made the first visit at around 10 or 11 in the morning. Dr. Wood and his wife were there, and a Mrs. Eaton had accompanied Florence. They stayed with Elvira about an hour, but Elvira didn't speak to them, but seemed to recognize her visitors. A man who Florence believed to be Dr. Ferguson passed through Elvira's room briefly.

    Florence visited her sister again between 2 and 3 in the afternoon, at which time her Elvira was unconscious and clearly dying. Florence said that she'd never seen Elvira at Dr. Wood's house before that day. Florence also indicated that it wasn't until after Elvira's death that she knew her sister died from any cause other than fever.

    Dr. Ferguson was called in Dr. Wood's defense. He testified that Dr. Wood had summoned him and he found Elvira looking "very pale, worn, emaciated, and desponding." He removed a cloth from her throat and found it wounded. "I asked her why she had attempted to hasten death by suicide. Told her that her condition was so low already that a few hours would extinguish life. I said to others in her presence and hearing that she would possibly die in the morning, or in the early part of the afternoon. She said she did not much care; that she had no desire to live."

    On cross-examination, Dr. Ferguson said that the cut on Elvira's throat was superficial. Nevertheless, he didn't expect her to survive the day. He sutured Elvira's throat at Dr. Wood's request. He aslo noted that Elvira was frequently vomiting.

    One of Dr. Wood's defense witnesses said that on the morning of her death, Elvira said that she'd been operated on previously by a Dr. McCooms for an abortion. Dr. McCooms had operated on her three times at a place in Manchester and once at Suncook. She also reportedly told the witness that Dr. McCoombs had prescribed oil of savin for her, which she ingested. She said that she'd expelled a fetus on April 3.

    Mrs. Merrill, Elvira's landlady, testified that she'd accompanied Elvira to Dr. McCoomb's rooms at the Manchester House on February 8. Elvira spent about an hour with Dr. McCoomb in an inner room. Mrs. Merrill said that she herself only briefly been in the inner room herself, at which time she saw Dr. McCoomb performing an abortion on Elvira.

    A man named Joseph Ferrin testified that he'd lent Elvira a shawl on March 29. She told him that she was going to Lowell. When she returned the shawl, Ferrin testfied, she said that she'd gone to have an operation performed.

    Dr. Ferguson testified that all he knew of oil of savin is what he'd elarned from reading, and that it was supposed to be capable of causing abortion. He thought that oil of savin might be responsible for Elvira's condition when he saw her.

    Dr. Webb of Boston testified that at the request of an attorny, he'd examined Elvira on March 20, 1871. He said her uterus was enlarged and he could feel movement in the womb and he heard a fetal heartbeat. He estimated that she was four or five months pregnant.

    Dr. Buck testified that he performed a post-mortem examination of Elvira's body at North Troy, Vermont, on May 2. He said that there was no fetus, but that there was evidence that she'd been "delivered by artificial means." Dr. Buck said that he saw no signs that Elvira's kidneys or stomach had been damaged by any kind of poison, and that any drug that would cause an abortion that far advanced into a pregnancy would also damage the mother's organs. A Dr. Gilman Kimball concurred in his testimony.

    A Mr. Ober testified that he'd heard reports prior to the trial that Dr. Wood had once had an office or lying-in hospital in Hollis, and that it was reported that Dr. Wood performed abortions there.

    Dr. Wood was convicted of performing the fatal abortion on Elvira. It is unclear how the prosecutor or the jury identified him, from among all the doctors who had attended Elvira, as the guilty party. Still, Elvira's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

    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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    1990: Mom bleeds to death in front of children

    On April 27, 1990, 23-year-old Sandra Milton underwent an abortion, performed by Dr. Carl Armstrong at Toledo Medical Services in Ohio. (Armstrong is John Roe 67 in Lime 5.)

    Sandra's abortion was performed at 10 a.m., and she was discharged shortly thereafter for the 90-minute drive home.

    The babysitter stayed with Sandra and her three children for three hours as the young mother slipped in and out of consciousness and suffered pain and abdominal swelling. Twice the alarmed babysitter called the clinic, but was told that the symptoms were normal. The third time the babysitter called the clinic, she got no response at all, and summoned an ambulance.

    Sandra was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Three pre-legalization anniversaries

    On April 26, 1908, 32-year-old Mrs. Cora Johnson died in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Dietrich, whose profession was only given as "abortion provider", was arrested, but acquitted for reasons not given in the source document.

    On April 26, 1914, eighteen-year-old Florence S. Lindquist died in a Chicago home where an abortion had been performed on her. Dr. Arthur Schulz, who lived at the home in question, was arrested for her death. Florence's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

    On April 26, 1926, Mrs. Fern Strecker, age 26, died at West Suburban Hospital from an abortion performed that day. The coroner fingered Elizabeth Schade, who was operating an illegal abortion business at a Chicago location. Aside from her abortion work, Schade's profession is not given.

    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 and Abortion Deaths 1910-1919, and The Bad Old Days of Abortion.

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    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    1899: Fatal abortion in Chicago

    On April 25, 1899, Sarah Messinger died in St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago from an abortion performed by Marie Kampfer. Sarah died at the crime scene on the day the abortion was performed. Kampfer was held for $5,000 bond by Coroner's Jury. Kampfer's profession is not listed.

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

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    1902: Renege on marriage, fatal abortion

    In January of 1902, Abraham Conheim promised marriage to 19-year-old Harriet Larocque. According to her father, Harriet was "previously chaste and of good reputation." With the promise of marriage, Harriet became sexually involved with Conheim.

    In April of 1902, Harriet discovered that she was pregnant. Conheim reneged on his promise of marriage, and instead arranged a criminal abortion for her.

    Harriet took ill after the abortion, dying on April 25.

    Harriet's father sued Conheim for seducing and debauching his daughter, impregnanting her, and causing her death.

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

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

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    1932: Fatal abortion reveals secret marriage

    Dr. Richard E. Thacker, an osteopath, maintained an office and operating rooms in the Terminal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    Thacker testified that he met Frank Lee, a University of Oklahoma football player, some time about noon Saturday, April 23, 1932. Frank, Thacker said, reported that his wife, Nancy Joe, had chronic appendicitis, and had had it for a long time; he brought his wife to the office about 2 o'clock that afternoon.

    Frank and Nancy were keeping the marriage secret, which might have been at least part of why they sought an abortion.

    I treated her by putting a sedative into the vagina and had her take a laxative; I directed him to take her some place for observation, a hospital or a nurse; the purpose of this suppository or sedative tampon was intended to relieve the pain, and I followed it up with gauze, as it was literally necessary for something to retain it in the vagina; I did not examine her uterus; I never saw her after that time; I gave him the number of a place he could take her where the expense would be reasonable. I did not perform an abortion on Mrs. Lee.

    But 17-year-old Nancy was taken to Oklahoma City General Hospital, near death. Before dying, Nancy said that Thacker had performed an abortion on her.

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

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    1997: Third victim of NAF member Robert Crist

    Twenty-two-year-old Nicole Williams was the third patient known to have died of safe and legal abortion complications under the dubious care of Dr. Robert Crist. The others were Latachie Veal and Diane Boyd.

    Nichole submitted to a first-trimester abortion at Reproductive Health Services in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 25, 1997.

    Reproductive Health Services, a National Abortion Federation member facility, is operated by Planned Parenthood of St. Louis. Crist serves as medical director.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    A 19th century abortion death

    An article on the death of 19-year-old Emma Hub underscores the racism of the time. It begins, "Uncle Billy Nickens, a well-known colored character of Hannibal, was arrested there yesterday charged with causing the death of Emmy Hub by a criminal operation."

    Emma was the daughter of Jacob Hub, a German shoemaker living just south of the Hannibal city limits. Jacob had expelled his daughter from the house due to "her wild habits", so she had moved in with a painter named Mathew Seoville.

    Around April 15 of 1893, Emma took ill, and was tended by a Dr. Ebbits. Ebbits suspected an abortion and refused to treat Emma until she admitted to it. "She continued to grow worse until death relieved her suffering at 1 a.m. yesterday" -- that being April 24.

    Emma had told Mathew Seoville and his wife that she had gone to Nickens' house, where he had used instruments on her to cause an abortion. She said that a girl from Illinois was also there for an abortion. Mathew had pressed Emma to write up a declaration.

    The fatal abortion was reportedly Emma's second; the first had been performed the previous October. She also had given birth to a child about two years earlier.

    The article notes that Nickens was arrested, adding, "The negro has been brought up on similar charges before, but always managed to clear himself."

    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 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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    A string of deaths in the 1930s attributed to Oklahoma doc

    Dr. Richard E. Thacker maintained an office and operating rooms in the Terminal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His trial for the abortion death of Ruth Hall brough out testimony concerning the deaths of other patients, including Robbie Lou Thompson, Nancy Lee, and Lennis May Roach, who died April 24, 1932.

    Mrs. Roach had come to Thacker's office several times, he admitted. Thacker said that Mrs. Roach was in poor health and emaciated, and had a white discharge, indicative of infection, from her vagina. She also, Thacker said, had pains in her abdomen.

    Thacker said that he treated her with a tonic and with antiseptic tampons.

    He adamently denied that he had performed an abortion on her. However, other witnessed testified during Thacker's trial for the abortion/murder of Ruth Hall, that Thacker had indeed performed an abortion on Mrs. Roach, causing her death. More specifically, Lennis May's husband, F.S. Roach, told the county attorney that Thacker had performed an abortion on her.

    The same day that Lennis May died under Thacker's care, Virginia Wyckoff, a University of Oklahoma student, age 21, died from complications of an abortion under the care of Dr. J.W. Eisiminger.

    Eisiminger, an osteopath, was tried and convicted of murder in Virginia's death. He admitted to having treated her in his office on April 3, but said that he didn't believe she was pregnant. Nevertheless, Virginia spent several days in a privat home where Eisiminger kept recovering aboriton patients under the care of Mrs. Luther Bryant Price. Dr. Thacker also used Mrs. Price's home as a recovery center for his abortion patients.

    Virginia was transferred from Mrs. Prices's home to a hospital, where she died, first having told doctors there taht Eisiminger had performed the fatal abortion.. A deathbed statement absolving Eisiminger was proven to be a forgery.

    Eisiminger was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder in her abortion death. The sentence was later reduced to 15 years.

    Eisiminger also got in trouble when allegations arose that his wife, Marie, paid a bribe to try to secure his release.

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

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    1939: Oklahoma midwife's fatal work

    On April 24, 1937, Miss Merl Williams of Watonga, Oklahoma, died of peritonitis. She was 21 years old. Her death was attributed to a botched abortion.

    A midwife, Mrs. Cordelia Moore, was charged with abortion murder. An investigation found evidence that Moore had performed hundreds of abortions. W. C. Mouse, a railroad engineer, testified that he had taken Merl to Moore's home on April 11, not knowing the reason for the visit. He had heard Merl ask Moore, "Will it be dangerous?"

    After her arrest, Moore "unworriedly set her glasses on the end of her nose and continued her quilting in the county jail." She was tried for the crime; her husband, John, was arrested but released.

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

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    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    1923: Chicago doc's deadly work

    On April 22, 1923, 30-year-old Daisy Singerland died at Chicago's Robert Burns hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed earlier that day.

    On June 1, Dr. J.W. Lipscomb was indicted for felony murder in Daisy's death.

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

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

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

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    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Pill Pushers forget the reality of risk compensation

    The Birth-Control Riddle.

    Gosh! With all those contraceptive options available, Americans manage to make babies they didn't intend to make! How could such a thing happen!

    Two words: Risk Compensation.

    Risk Compensation is why people will behave more recklessly the safer they believe they are. When people perceive sexual activity as risk-free, they engage in much more of it.

    Back to WSJ:

    And many young people are in "the fog zone" in which their beliefs about pregnancy don't match their behaviors, according to a 2009 report by the National Campaign to End Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. In a survey conducted by the Guttmacher Institute of 1,800 single men and women aged 18 to 29, more than 80% of both sexes said it was important to them to avoid pregnancy right now, yet 43% of those who are sexually active said they used no contraception or used it inconsistently.

    See also Taking Chances: Abortion and the Decision not to Contracept, by Kristin Luker.

    The true deformity (A father's plea)

    Father of Down Syndrome Child: "it is the soul of our nation that is 'deformed'"

    Currently 90%+ of children diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome are "excluded" from ever shining their bright light in a lost world that has become obsessed with perfection and unrealistic traits. If the proper practice of medicine in our culture includes the skill of identifying and eliminating a prenatal twin who fails to meet the criteria of "normal", then we truly do need a massive overhaul of the "health care" system, and it is the soul of our nation that is "deformed".

    Our society's war on children with Down syndrome has at least 13 times the level of collateral damage of combat bombing missions in Afghanistan. For every 100 terrorists, suicide bombers, and IED-planting "insurgents" that we kill, we accidentally kill no more than 22 non-targeted civilians. But for every 100 kids with Down syndrome that we detect in-utero and abort, we cause the deaths of 300 genetically standard "civilian" babies.

    What are we so afraid of, that this is an acceptable level of collateral damage?

    Where is our supposed love of "diversity" when we're willing as a society to kill three normal babies in order to weed out one that looks different, thinks differently?

    Who can look at a child like Chloe and decide that she's a greater threat to our way of life than a dozen armed and aggressive terrorists hell-bent on jihad?

    See also:

  • Stop Aborting Down Syndrome Individuals Now
  • Chloe's Message
  • 1987: A safe, legal lingering death

    Brenda Benton's survivors sued Chicago's notorious Biogenetics abortion mill after her death, claiming that Dusan Zivkovic and/or V. Perez had performed a safe and legal abortion on her on March 13, 1987. She was placed under general anesthesia for the abortion.

    After she was discharged, Brenda developed fever, chills, and back pain.

    The suit says that 35-year-old Brenda returned to Biogenetics to report these symptoms on March 27, and that Zivkovic examined Brenda and performed a D&C before transferring her to Martha Washington Hospital.

    There, Brenda's survivors say, Zivkovic called in other doctors for a consult. They then transferred Brenda to Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's hospital on April 6. She died there on April 20.

    Her death was due to infection and "overwhelming septicemia." Brenda's family said that Zivkovic failed to failed to determine that Brenda had had an adverse reaction to drugs he'd given her, and failed to detect and respond to her medical emergency. An expert opinion on the case attributes Brenda's death to inappropriate follow-up, and septicemia leading to fatal complications. Brenda's death certificate attributed death to hepatic necrosis due to toxicity reaction to abortion anesthesia.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Monday, April 19, 2010

    A Rose for Christi

    A Rose for Christi:

    Little girls dream of finding true love, marrying and living happily ever after.

    Christi Hockel was no exception.

    The youngest of six, she watched her older siblings find mates. She caught bouquets at their weddings and yearned for the day when she would have her own magnificent ceremony.

    "I kept saying, 'Boy, I wish I had a husband who loves me,' " said Christi, 31.

    Her family and friends were not so sure her dreams would come true because Christi has Down syndrome, a condition that delays mental and physical development. Christi's mother, a devout Catholic, prayed to St. Thérèse of Liseux to find out if her daughter's romantic longings would be fulfilled.

    "I opened my eyes and there on the floor was a single wrapped rose," Judie Hockel said.

    Christi's mother saved the tiny fabric flower, believing it to be an answer to her prayer.

    Christi carried that rose down the aisle in her bridal bouquet.

    HT: Reflections of a Paralytic

    Coming soon to health care near you!

    VA Claims Office Takes SNAFU to a New Level

    The thread of the story is a male veteran that's getting paperwork from the VA about his gynecological problems. But take heed of this:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is notorious for bungling health care benefits, and its Roanoke regional office, which handled McBride's claim, has long been considered among the worst.

    In September 2009 a surprise inspection found the office was collapsing under the weight of its own bureaucratic incompetence. Literally.

    Its filing system — floor-to-ceiling stacks of overfilled file cabinets and loose claims folders — weighed twice as much as the building's structure allowed, threatening the lives of everyone inside. Inspectors also found missing and improperly filed, stored and processed claims, among other problems. The regional office was ordered to overhaul the health care processing center completely.

    This is bureaucracy in action. But somehow the government that can't even handle the health care of our veterans will manage to effectively and efficiently manage EVERYBODY'S health care?

    If so, Weird Al is right:

    Black is white, up is down, and short is long ....
    All you need to understand is -
    Everything you know is wrong

    1986: The cream of the crop?

    Twenty-year-old Gloria Aponte went to National Abortion Federation member Hanan Rotem in Stamford, Connecticut, for a safe and legal abortion on April 19, 1986. A few hours after the abortion, Gloria was declared dead from hemorrhage at a nearby hospital.

    Rotem claimed that Gloria had died from an amniotic fluid embolism. An investigation by health officials found that Rotem had failed to perform necessary blood tests, and had permitted a receptionist with no medical training to administer anesthesia.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1898: Doctor's fatal intervention

    Hughretta "Etta" Binkley was an unmarried woman about 34 years old. She worked as a stenographer and typist at Patee Bicycle Company in Peoria. She lived in a boardinghouse owned by George H. Lilly, where she shared a room with Lilly's daughter.

    At lunchtime on April 1, 1898, she went to the residence/office of Dr.Belle Howard, aka Belle Shotwell, about four blocks from the boarding house. After work the following day, at about 6:30 PM, she returned to Dr. Howard's house and was sent to a room on the second floor. Etta had a bag packed with a nightgown, robe, fountain syringe, and a bottle containing about two ounces of ergot.

    According to Ida Kennedy, Dr. Howard's nurse, at about 10:00 the next morning, Etta went into the doctor's office where she remained about 20 to 30 minutes. She then went upstairs to her room, in Ida's care.

    Etta was in pain, and bleeding heavily vaginally. At around 4 or 5 in the afternoon, Dr. Howard visited her in her room, then had her come back downstairs to his office where she again remained alone with her for between 20 and 30 minutes. Again, Ida took Etta to her room.

    Soon after returning to her room, Etta suffered from rapid pulse and a copious discharge of blood and clear fluid. Etta remained at Dr. Howard's house, attended by the doctor and nurse, until the evening of Saturday, April 9. At that time, Dr. Howard drove Etta in her buggy back to the boarding house, where she left her alone on the porch. Mr. Lilly found her there as he was locking up for the night. He described her as being in "a very helpless and distressed condition."

    Mr. Lilly brought her into the house, where she went to her room and retired to her usual bed with Lilly's daughter. (It was not uncommon at that time for adults to share a bed in a boarding house, purely as roommates.)

    The following morning, at about 9:00, Etta went to the nearby Cottage Hospital, where she was immediately admitted. Staff physician Otho B. Will was immediately summoned to care for her.

    Dr. Will found Etta to be trembling, breathing rapidly, suffering a pulse of 140 and a fever of just over 102 degrees. She was frequently vomiting. Dr. Will examined her and performed surgery to remove decaying and fetid retained portions of placenta.

    Etta remained hospitalized under Dr. Will's care until April 19, when she died of septicemia. Her body was sent to her parents in Dublin, Indiana, for burial, but then exhumed on the 23rd for an autopsy. It was then confirmed that the septicemia had been caused by an abortion. Experts estimated that Etta had been four to five months pregnant.

    Immediately after Etta's death, Dr. Howard fled the state and had to be captured and returned for face trial. Dr. Howard maintained her innocence and insisted that she was merely treating Etta for complications of an abortion performed either by Etta herself or by some other party. The prosecution said that up until her arrival at Dr. Howard's house, Etta had been in good health and had performed her duties at work. However, Miss Lilly reported that Etta had not seemed to be in her usual health just prior to the 2nd of April, and that she had observed bleeding that she took to be Etta's period. Ida Kennedy, the nurse, also testified that on her way to her room on the 2nd, Etta left drops of blood on the floor.

    Dr. Howard was convicted of manslaughter in Etta's death. A Fred Patee was also charged in the death, but my documents do not make it clear what his role was.

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

    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 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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    1977: Unsafe and legal

    Mary Paredez was 26 years old when she underwent an abortion at San Jose Hospital on April 19, 1977. During the procedure, Mary's uterus was perforated. She began to hemorrhage. Less than seven hours later, she was dead. The autopsy found 2500 cc of blood in Mary's abdomen.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1940: Fatal help

    On April 17, 1940, Mrs. Josephine Williams and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Adele H. Sassen, were sentenced to prison for an illegal abortion resulting in the death of a Long Beach woman. The abortion had been performed on April 16, 1939, and the woman died three days later.

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

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    1933: Fatal abortion

    In February of 1933, a 22-year-old unmarried store clerk discovered that she was pregnant. I've been unable to determine her name, so I'll call her "Nina" Roe.

    Nina informed her boyfriend of the pregnancy, and he got her some pills supposed to cause an abortion, but they didn't work. In March, the boyfriend got a drug called duray. Nina took some in March and the rest on April 3 or 4, but this still didn't produce the desired abortion.

    Nina's co-workers and friends didn't know that she was pregnant, and they later testified that she'd been in good health except for a headache and indigestion some time between April 7 and 10.

    On April 8, Nina went to a nursing home operated by a nurse to ask about an abortion. The nurse informed the woman and her lover that Dr. E. T. Martin or another doctor would be able to perform an abortion.

    On April 11, Nina's boyfriend went to Dr. Martin's office and consulted with him. On Dr. Martin's instructions, Nina's boyfriend brought her back the next morning, a Wednseday, for an examination. Nina was in Dr. Martin's office for about half an hour.

    Dr. Martin then told Nina's boyfriend that the total fee, including a stay at the nursing home until Saturday night, would be $75. He then instructed the boyfriend to take Nina to the nursing home, which he did that afternoon.

    On Friday the 14th, Dr. Martin performed a curettage on Nina to remove the fetus. The nurse claimed that she had no idea what Dr. Martin was planning to do. She testified, "I understood he was going to use a hot antiseptic wash. I didn't understand he was going to remove the fetus of a child. I would not have permitted Dr. Martin to remove the fetus of a child without calling in another physician to certify or find the necessity of it. Dr. Martin did not tell me what he was doing. If I knew that the girl had been pregnant and there was a fetus in the uterus, and there was to have been a curettement, I would have insisted on calling another doctor before I allowed a curettement to be done in my place."

    After the D&C, Nina became alarmingly ill. Dr. Martin said that he himself was not in proper physical condition to care for the patient, so he summoned a Dr. Templeton.

    Dr. Templeton evidently cared for Nina at the nursing home until April 19, a Wednesday, when he advised staff to transfer Nina to Virginia Mason hospital. She died the following morning.

    It was alleged that Dr. Martin and the nurse told Nina's boyfriend to say that Nina had been suffering from cramps, had fallen, and had begun to hemorrhage.

    Dr. Martin, with some corroboration from the nurse, said that Nina already had a rapid pulse and fever when she first consulted with him. He also said that she was bleeding vaginally already. Dr. Martin said that Nina had told him she'd missed three periods, taken abortifacients, had fallen, and had a chronic bowel condition.

    Dr. Martin testified that he'd recommended hospitalization, but that Nina wanted to avoid the possible publicity surrounding a hospitalization. It was then that he'd decided to send her to the nursing home instead.

    He also testified that she'd been bleeding from the 12th until the 14th, when he'd performed a curretage. He said that this curretage was necessary to treat her fever and bleeding.

    Dr. Martin was convicted of manslaughter in Nina's death, but the nurse was acquitted.

    Nina'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, April 18, 2010

    This is outrageous

    Greene v. County of Sonoma et al.

    I'll just let the FARK headline sum it up:

    You're a county dealing with an eldery gay couple who are hospitalized. Do you c.) refuse visitation, disregard their wills, call them "roomates", sell their belongings, and allow one to die alone in a hospital without his partner?

    I don't give a happy shit if they were gay or straight, sexually involved or chaste -- this isn't a sexuality issue. This is a freedom of association issue and a property rights issue and a due process issue.

    Reflections on a happy ending that almost wasn't

    Inside the Abortion Industry

    The story of how one young woman overcame the pressure to abort, and in doing so started her climb out of a sordid past into a brighter future.

    RealChoice on FaceBook

    So many of you who visit here pop up on FaceBook, and while I'd like to friend you, I use FaceBook to keep track of family and friends from meatspace.

    But I've decided to create a RealChoice group on FaceBook. You can find it here. I'll put a permanent link in the sidebar.

    Newsweek author asks wrong question

    Sarah Kliff asks, How can the next generation defend abortion rights when they don't think abortion rights need defending?

    Aside from the obvious question -- How can there even be a "next generation" when you're aborting them? -- there's the question Kliff ought to ask: Why would the youth generation defend abortion rights when they recognize abortion as a wrong?

    Just a few points to raise about the article itself:

    The Democratic Party has, since 1980, supported a woman's right to an abortion.

    1. Who is this woman?

    2. At least Kliff is admitting that it's about a right to abortion, not some amorphous "choice".

    Anti-abortion Democrats, most notably the now retiring Rep. Bart Stupak, pressed for stringent abortion restrictions.

    This shows a lot about Kliff's attitude -- that she thinks refusing to take people's money by force of law and use it to pay for other people's abortions is somehow a "stringent abortion restriction".

    And what worries [NARAL president Nancy] Keenan is that she just doesn't see a passion among the post-Roe generation—at least, not among those on her side.

    Perhaps because her generation aborted so many of the post-Roe generation.

    This past January, when Keenan's train pulled into Washington's Union Station, a few blocks from the Capitol, she was greeted by a swarm of anti-abortion-rights activists. It was the 37th annual March for Life, organized every year on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe. "I just thought, my gosh, they are so young," Keenan recalled. "There are so many of them, and they are so young."

    I remember when I attended a Feminists for Life board meeting in DC. The representative of the FFL college outreach was crying, saying to us, the older women, "This is my generation that's been attacked. It's not the same for you." And she's right.

    The younger generation of prolife activists sees a nation in which 1/3 of their peers were killed before birth. That's 1/3 of their siblings, prospective classmates, friends, romantic interests, co-workers. And they feel this absence acutely.

    Not that there aren't abortion supporters among the young. But for all the keening about "access" and "restrictions" among the abortion shills, young abortion supporters look around their communities and hardly see a lack of "access":

    As one young mother in a focus group told NARAL, it seemed to her that abortion was easily accessible. How did she know? The parking lot at her local clinic, she told them, was always full.

    And even among young supporters of legal abortion, there's not the enthusiasm for abortion that the oldsters embrace:

    In the NARAL focus groups, young voters flat-out disapproved of a woman's abortion, called her actions immoral, yet maintained that the government had absolutely no right to intervene.

    These aren't young women likely to encourage their friends to abort, not likely to do their part to see to it that the parking lots stay full (along with the NARAL coffers that abortion money flows into through the hands of clinic owners).

    Millennials also came of age as ultrasounds provided increasingly clear pictures of fetal development.

    They're no longer so ignorant and likely to get suckered into the "blob of tissue" lie as previous generations.

    Yet, despite this trend, Americans are still largely on NARAL's side

    Only if you define "NARAL's side" as "not banning all abortions". If you look at things NARAL supports, such as lack of informed consent, lack of parental involvement, abortions through all nine months of pregnancy, etc., you find minority support, even among people who self-identify as "prochoice". And Kliff obliquely admits this:

    Since 1975 yearly Gallup polls have found that public support for legal abortion in at least some circumstances hovers between 75 and 85 percent.

    "At least some circumstances" -- meaning that you have to count people who only want abortion legal in a "life of the mother" scenario to be able to come up with 75-85% support. What percent, pray tell, support abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, with no waiting periods, no informed consent, no parental involvement for underage girls, and no safety or consumer protection measures in place? I dare say it's gonna be way less than 75%.

    [To generate youth support], within the abortion-rights community there's a growing consensus on a promising path forward: start an open discussion about the moral, ethical, and emotional complexity of abortion that would be more likely to resonate with young Americans.

    Play the "It's so sad; just look away" card. But with prolifers saying, "It's so sad -- how can you just look away?" this might backfire and lead young people to support the prolife centers that are helping women avoid abortions, rather than channeling them, weeping, into abortion mills.

    And perhaps, having seen mothers, aunts, and sisters weeping in the night has left this generation of women unwilling to pass the anguish on to their own daughters.

    Searches: Abortion history and more

  • Abortion in 1927, the 1930s, and the 1950s

  • Teen abortion stories

  • Abortion at 6 weeks, 18 weeks, 20 weeks, 23 weeks, and in the third trimester

  • Abortion videos

  • Collateral damage

  • Abortions gone wrong

  • Abortionist Andre Nehorayoff

  • Susan Hamilton murder

  • Maternal mortality

  • Down syndrome abortions and adoptions

  • Hydatidiform mole (when the POC really is just tissue)

  • Failed abortion (baby survives -- See example here; also Ana Rosa Rodriguez, subject of another search)

  • Lysol ads for douching

  • Hyperemesis abortion

  • Back alley abortions

  • Abortions used as birth control?

    and finally

  • How many women die from abortions? We don't know. Except to say that however many it is, it's too many, if you ask me. (I don't take the "Well, you're bound to lose a few here and there! It's all in a good cause!" attitude many prochoicers seem to take.) For stories on abortion deaths, see the Cemetery of Choice. For more on the impact of changes in abortion law, see The unmistakable, undeniable, clear impact of legalized abortion on maternal mortality. You can also check out my December, 2008, summary of my abortion mortality research.
  • Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Remember the "crack baby" hysteria?

    ‘Crack babies’ defy mother’s curse: Despite dire predictions, most are now thriving adults, or, as FARK put it, "Remember the EVERYBODY PANIC about crack babies? Turns out they have not grown into super-predators. They're not even permanently inferior deviants mired in a life of perpetual suffering"

    Moral: Don't be so ready to write off a kid just because he got off to a rocky start.

    Weird Abortion Tales Part II

    I started Weird Abortion Tales by looking at just one patient of an abortion worker.

    Now it's time to look at the rest of her odd post.

    Our writer strives to be poetic in her prose, but ends up saying things that I, at least, find mystifying:

    I was outraged when I met abortion, yet fascinated.

    WTF? The rest of the paragraph doesn't explain what the hell she means. What exactly was she outraged by? What does she mean by "I met abortion"?

    Actually, the rest of the paragraph is one rambling sentence that leaves me wondering if she was under the influence of a mind-altering substance when she wrote it:

    Mostly, I wanted to tell everyone why my job was a refreshing and insightful entryway into the professional world and why everyone should take the time to care for reproductive justice, but in the comforting presence of my own mother, I wanted to weep the injustices out like screaming underwater, how I could see that life wasn’t fair and how women struggled silently, valiantly, gracefully, and I might not be able to do anything about it even in my entire lifetime.

    I get the feeling that at some level this woman almost sees abortion as a form of performance art, and herself as a spectator.

    It gets weirder:

    I wanted to weep-out how strange and frightening folks harassed me and my doctor and my colleagues and our patients and our patient’s families and the mailman, how they took our most sacral life, and how they covered it in jelly then blew it up on posters.

    Okay, I get that she's ranting and raving about the mean prolifers who dare to exist within eyeshot and earshot of the women whose babies are about to be shredded. But what the hell is "our most sacral life"? "Sacral" means of or pertaining to the pelvis, specifically the large bones of the pelvis. But she seems to be referring to aborted fetus pictures. She's degenerated into something of a cross between a Rod McKuen poem and a schizophrenic word salad.

    Ignorance is expensive.

    Which seems to be a jarringly lucid thing for her to say. But then she rushes headlong into a melodramatic and overblown gush of impotent fury at prolifers. So it's us -- the ones who are accurate about what abortion is, what it does, when it's legal, how often it takes place, etc. -- that she's screaming about. Whereas the prochoicers who think that abortion's only legal in the first three months, and think that the fetus is entirely unformed and just a blob, are somehow not ignorant.

    In turn, women, mothers will quietly move this world until it swallows us all whole.

    What the hell is she moking? I can't even hazard a guess as to what she's trying to say.

    Yet, I cannot leave abortion because in the deep recesses of my most essential being, in the private conversations I cannot share because self-righteous fools are wretched wolves in their sleep, because not everyone can understand a love so deep it will sell its grandmother’s pearls to preserve maternal agency and the however blessed plight of offspring, as costly as abortion may sometimes be, I know abortion is sacred.

    I can understand that she's trying to express her patient's actions as heroic and noble, but beyond that -- well, it's like an Elton John song, where I don't know if Bernie Taupin is too deep for me or just full of shit. Here, I think she's just drunk or stoned off her ass and not making any sense.

    She goes straight from her declaration that abortion is sacred to this closing zinger:

    I see daily that it is profound and puzzling joy.

    A joy? For whom? Certainly not for the weeping patient on the table.

    I'm back to having to conclude that the only way this woman copes with working in an abortion clinic is to view it all as a melodramatic piece of ongoing performance art performed for her benefit, so that she can go home deeply moved by the experience.

    This is some seriously f-ed up shit.

    What's even more f-ed up is the supportive comments she gets from people whose thought processes are so muddled that it terrifies me to think that they probably all have drivers licenses:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This made me tear up.

    That one reinforces my idea that there's a subset of "prochoicers" who view the whole thing as some sort of melodramatic performance art done for their benefit

    It is so unfortunate that you cannot share such things with your family.

    If she tried, they'd probably be trying to get her back on her Haldol.

    The next one is lucid in that the ordinary reader can understand what she's trying to say:

    Your sharing the painful story of your client ... should certainly open some minds about the unbearable suffering that many women endure. I hope that by sharing your story, you move many to open their wallets for those who have little to nothing. I also hope that your story enlightens the black souls of those anti-choicers who feel they have a right to moralize and legislate women’s sexuality.

    I'm very unclear as to why so many prochoicers think that the compassionate response to such suffering is to take the woman's money, kill her baby, and send her home to be abused some more. We do care about these women, which is why we want better for them than what an abortion mill offers.

    More of the same from Mom:

    Don't keep the stories inside of you. Let them out and let them be heard so that others might understand women and the agonizing decisions they must make in life, especially regarding an abortion.

    Why do they think that wallowing in how ugly it is will make people more likely to embrace it? It's as if the agony is what attracts them, as if they somehow get off on seeing how wretched, lost, trapped, and despairing other women are. It's as if they embrace abortion for the same reasons people watch Jerry Springer -- to see people whose lives are even more wretched than their own. But rather than being mere spectators, they become Saviors, who...

    And there it all runs aground. The patient ended up in the same swirling eddy of abuse and despair, along with her siblings. No joy of any sort, much less "profound and puzzling joy". The patient left their dubious care minus her heirlooms, her baby, a chunk of her self-respect, having gained nothing but one more reason to cry herself to sleep at night. Yet these people view the whole thing as some sort of triumph.

    It's like these people view abortion as an endless production of new episodes of "The Vagina Monologues" which they then critique -- feeling superior to both the prolifers (who want to cancel the whole production and replace it with wholesome family entertainment, like the uncultured plebeians we are) and the women whose suffering they relish from a comfortable distance.

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Interview With an Abortionist

    Q & A: Austin abortion doctor responds to protests, abortion, religion, and euthanasia

    The following is an interview with local abortion provider Dr. Peter Kopf, who responds to the Austin chapter of the '40 Days for Life' protest outside his abortion clinic, International Healthcare Solutions, in north Austin.

    I'm just going to go over the highlights:

    As long as humans have recreational sex they will need abortion.

    Thank you for making my point that for a large number of "prochoice" people, abortion is all about facilitating recreational sex.

    Well, as long as you have an early abortion, that's birth control. If you have a late-term abortion, that's euthanasia. I mean c'mon, let's face it. You do an abortion at 30 weeks, you know, you could do a C-section and you have a little baby in your hands. That's euthanasia.

    So much for nobody being casual abortion abortion. And so much for abortion not killing a baby. But this guy manages to embrace two ideas at once -- that abortion is casual birth control that, late in pregnancy, kills a baby.

    He also sees euthanasia as the wave of the future and welcomes it with open arms.

    Scary stuff.

    Weird abortion tales

    The Kiss of Death is But a Peck is a rambling post by an abortion worker. It's bizarre.

    The patient was my peer--beautiful, intelligent, on birth control. She had gotten her period throughout the pregnancy and had a hidden, violent history of sexual abuse from her vocally anti-choice father, but she chose to live at home to influence and protect her young brothers.

    So this beautiful and intelligent young woman -- we know she's beautiful and intelligent because she's on birth control -- chose to remain in an abusive situation, and to keep her brothers in that abusive situation.

    So she's already making choices that are self-destructive and destructive for her younger siblings. First order of business with this woman should have been getting her and her siblings some help with the domestic violence situation. But never mind all that! Abortion fixes everything!

    I was accompanying her through her surgical process for pregnancy termination at 24 weeks, and she felt like she was pregnant with an alien, even a monster.

    The belief that you are pregnant with something non-human -- an alien or a monster -- is psychotic. This woman needed psychiatric care.

    So we have the second failure to address the patient's real needs. No help with the domestic violence, no help with the mental health issues. Abortion fixes everything!

    She slept on her side so her boyfriend couldn’t see as she waited for one more paycheck.

    How can sleeping on your side prevent somebody from noticing that you're six months pregnant? And how come her boyfriend is living at home with her, the abused siblings, and the abusive father? How FUBAR can one situation be? This woman needed a lot of intervention. None of her problems is anything an abortion will fix.

    During her surgery, she cried-out the entire time, just sobbed.

    It doesn't seem like she wanted the abortion all that much. It sounds like she was doing it out of desperation, out of feeling trapped. And she certainly comes across as a very demoralized young woman. How is this helping her?

    She wept poignantly with the tender guidance of our immaculate doctor and well-versed doula, and I stood frozen and heart-broken with her pain to the side.

    WTF? Yeah, I get that the doctor at this clinic is nice and clean, not like the filthy drunks you find at this clinic's competitors. (What other medical facility needs to gratuitously assert that their doctors are CLEAN, because otherwise you'll assume they smell like hobos?) And he offers "tender guidance" for you to cry by. Um... not sure what to make of that. A doula is a childbirth assistant, so she's not very well-versed if she's attending abortions. And I'm not clear on how helping a woman to force herself through something so agonizing is seen as virtuous.

    Two weeks later she returned to fulfill her IOU, and she had a black eye.

    Yeah, the abortion just cleared up that domestic violence situation, didn't it?

    Had this woman gone to a prolife center, such as our local Gabriel Project here in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, they'd have addressed her real issues, starting with the domestic violence and the mental health issues. Then they'd have gone to work on decision making skills. Practical nuts and bolts skills that would enable this woman to move out on her own -- perhaps taking her siblings with her to remove them from the abuse. They'd have been working with her on a weekly basis for improving her overall situation, with more intensive intervention for crises. They'd have helped her find housing, helped her pull together security deposits, helped her to get furniture and household stuff. They'd have helped her with financial management. They'd have hooked her up with whatever she needed to address the many problems in her life. They'd have done a hell of a lot more useful stuff than taking her money, killing her baby while she wept piteously, and sending her home to get punched out.

    And the wretched excuse for care that our abortion worker provided to this desperate young woman was all just a prequel to the point the abortion worker is trying to make. I'll cover that in another post.

    (Can anybody isolate a clip for me from "The Bell Boy" with Buster Keaton? I can't get the image out of my mind of when Buster is scrubbing his fingernails with the scrub brush from the floor-cleaning bucket. That'd be a lovely illustration of what, evidently, you'd expect from an abortion clinic if you weren't reassured in advance that their doctors were clean.)

    1972: A preview of things to come

    On April 16, 1972, 14-year-old "Julie" Roe lost her battle with post-abortion peritonitis and septicemia, dying in a New York hospital.

    She had undergone the safe, legal abortion on March 26, but the doctor had failed to remove all of the fetus. Doctors performed a procedure to remove the retained tissue, but during one of these attempts to complete the abortion, a doctor perforated Julie's uterus and bowel. Doctors tried to correct the damage by draining an abscess and performing a partial resection of Julie's bowel, to no avail.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    In a nutshell

    Planned Parenthood up to its usual lies

    HT: Pro Life Wisconsin

    An undercover video shows a counselor at a Planned Parenthood in Milwaukee lying to a woman about a 6 to 8 week baby she was discussing the possibility of aborting. The counselor lied brazenly, telling the woman that her baby had "no arms, no legs, no heart, no head, no brain." The counselor encouraged the woman to abort -- so much for the ads promising "non-directive counseling" about options. She tried to paint parenting and childbirth as negatively as possible, and pressed the woman to choose abortion quickly.

    All of this is in violation of Wisconsin law, that required abortion practitioners to give women accurate information before selling them an abortion. And these lying lawbreakers get over a million dollars a year in tax funding.

    Aborting "wrong baby" leaves doc suicidal

    NewsNote: Aborting the “Wrong” Baby?

    The patient was pregnant with twins. One of them was one of those yucky babies with Down syndrome and (common for DS) a heart defect. The other was a healthy girl. The mother asked Dr. Matthew Kachina to do a "selective reduction" -- a nice way of saying, "Kill the yucky baby and leave the cute one."

    He accidentally killed the standard baby, leaving the genetically "defective" baby untouched. The mother got the yucky baby snuffed and sued the doctor, who was involuntarily hospitalized and put on suicide watch.


    If unborn babies are disposable, accidentally snuffing "the wrong one" is no bigger a deal than accidentally towing the junk Chevy to the wrecking yard when you were supposed to tow the junk Ford. If killing one of the babies was something worth getting suicidal about, why was it a good thing to try to kill the other one?

    It reminds me of that exchange in Huckleberry Finn:

    "We blowed out a cylinder-head."

    "Good gracious! anybody hurt?"

    "No'm. Killed a nigger."

    "Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt."

    Now it's "retards" rather than "niggers" who aren't people. It's as if some people just have to have somebody they can dehumanize.

    If Leftist prevention policies are so effective, why do red states have lower abortion rates?

    How Red States Reduce the Abortion Rate: A Response to Andrew Koppelman:

    In recent years the pro-life position has made impressive gains in the court of public opinion. Because of this, a number of political liberals have come to the realization that support for legal abortion is a losing issue politically. As such, many have attempted a clever switch in strategy. Instead of trying to defend abortion rights, they have attempted to seize the moral high ground by claiming that 1) pro-life efforts have been ineffective and that 2) their preferred policy goals offer the best hope for reducing abortion rates. ....


    This argument occurs once again in a widely circulated essay entitled “How the Religious Right Promotes Abortion” by Northwestern University Law Professor Andrew Koppelman. Koppelman favorably cites Naomi Cahn and June Carbone’s book Red Families vs. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture. According to Koppelman, the hostility in red states to both contraception and comprehensive sex education leads to a greater incidence of abortion. Conversely, even though blue states are more tolerant of premarital sex, their support for comprehensive sex education and contraception actually lowers abortion rates. Koppelman spends much of the rest of the essay criticizing the religious right for their opposition to both sex education and government funding of contraception.

    Unfortunately, Koppelman’s claims are based on rhetorical sleights of hand and a faulty analysis of data. What is unique about this essay is that all three of Koppelman’s arguments are incorrect. First, there is little evidence that more federal funding for contraceptives will reduce abortion rates. Second, there is some evidence that abstinence-only sex education is effective at reducing sexual activity among minors. Finally, red states actually have lower abortion rates, in part because they have placed more legal restrictions on abortion.

    We've seen it again and again and again and again. Throwing contraceptives at women doesn't reduce abortion rates. Public funding of abortion doesn't reduce abortion rates. Planned Parenthood in an area doesn't reduce abortion rates. Anything that promotes having sex in untenable situations will raise abortion rates. Duh.

    HT: JJ

    Another ringing endorsement!

    HT: Jivin' J

    An anonymous writer in Salon hopes to keep other women in the dark so that they, too, can experience firsthand how much abortion sucks.

    My abortion, their political ploy:

    Last month, while President Obama quietly signed an executive order reaffirming that no federal funds can be used for abortion, I was alone in bed, waking from a fitful, 18-hour sleep, if you can even call it that. There were dried and fresh tears on my face. I was wearing a Maxi-pad that felt like a diaper and was spotted with blood. My breasts were swollen, painful to the touch. The sharp cramps in my uterus were crippling and unrelenting. I was nauseated, dry-heaving despite an empty stomach, nearly incapable of taking the medication and antibiotics necessary to quell the pain and stave off infection.

    The day before, on Tuesday, March 23, I had an abortion.

    After sniping at Barack Obama for not making federal funding available to pay for more women to suffer what she'd just endured, she started sniping at others lower on the totem pole:

    Not long ago, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced that April was "Abortion Recovery" month. Abortion recovery: What the hell does he know about that?

    Enough to know, evidently, that you don't always just bounce back.

    She describes her situation -- 34 years old, always having wanted a child, a doting aunt, and pregnant via comfort sex with an ex-lover.

    It just wasn't the right time, she viscerally decided:

    I'd recently been on a hefty dose of pregnancy-unfriendly antibiotics and had taken a series of pain meds for my back. I'd been drinking too much and smoking cigarettes. Although both had magically lost their appeal a few days before I received "the news," the damage had been done.

    Yup. One of those "fetal indications" abortions the Alan Guttmacher Institute counted. She was afraid that these things had possibly damaged the baby. Never mind checking with a doctor to find out if the baby was healthy. She was afraid that it wasn't. Good enough for an informed choice by a "prochoice" woman.

    She also had some nasty morning sickness. Ah! A "maternal indications" abortion as well! Her doctor was treating her. Was this going to clear up? Who knows? Who cares? She was in a swirling eddy of emotions and just mostly hid.

    She was also worried about parenting alone, even though the child's father offered to move in and co-parent. She didn't think his reasons for setting up a family with her were good enough.

    She was pissed off that the state of Texas required her to know beforehand what she was going to kill:

    "The lungs are beginning to form. Brain activity can be recorded. Eyes are present, but no eyelids yet. The heart is more developed and is beating. Early reflexes develop. The hands and feet have fingers and toes, but may still be webbed. The length is less than one quarter-inch."

    Ignorance, she feels, is definitely bliss when you're already decided on an abortion. It's so much easier if you can pretend that there's not a human being in there that you're planning to kill. It's much easier if you can pretend it's just amorphous tissue.

    Then the intake nurse performed a vaginal sonogram. She was sympathetic and nurturing, assuring me that, if I wanted, I would have kids one day, when it was the right time. She didn't make me look at the sonogram image, though I forced myself to glance up at the photos during my pre-procedure mandated counseling session. It was heartbreaking. Still is. I was five weeks and five days pregnant.

    How can she reassure a 34-year-old woman of that? How many women in their mid-30s and later find out, to their dismay and anguish, that they frittered away their reproductive years and can no longer have children? But hey, let's pretend. It's easier that way.

    Even with the drugs and the gas the pain was agonizing. My friend stayed with me, holding my hand and wiping away my tears. Then the nurse dressed me and helped me up and into the recovery room. My blood pressure was low. The nurse in the room gave me water, prescriptions and a list of dos and don'ts -- do take your meds, don't exercise, lift anything more than 15 pounds, use tampons, have sex, take baths until your follow-up appointment. She sat me in a comfortable chair, gave me a heating pad and kept asking me where my pain was on a scale of 1 to 10. First a 7, then a 5, then a 3, then she let me go. I was too bleary, too sad to respond to the women accosting me in the parking lot. I wouldn't even wish this predicament on them.

    But she wants federal funding of it so that other women can go through it.

    Then it was Wednesday. I woke up feeling damaged, empty, scared, guilty and in pain. The terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" were emanating from the TV screen. They sounded reductive, glaringly inadequate. The word "abortion," fraught with shame and accusation, was being bandied about for pieces of political theater. The words "baby killer" were omnipresent, too. Although I didn't feel like a baby killer, like I'd killed my baby, I did feel partially dead.

    But she had killed what she referred to as a baby. Without feeling like a baby killer.

    Now, weeks into my recovery process -- I’m still bleeding, cramping, underweight, emotional, grappling with my need for children and a partner with whom to raise them -- I see my experience grossly manipulated by Pawlenty, a man who doesn’t, can’t, know how I feel.

    A man who listened to other suffering women and responded to them with sympathy and compassion. What is he supposed to to? We all know -- he's supposed to join the ranks of the "supportive" "prochoicers" who leave women to suffer their anguish alone and pretend it's not real, that abortion is a pure relief.

    She's basically claiming that abortion is such a wretched, miserable thing that the best thing to do is sponsor more of it, while keeping women as much in the dark as possible about how wretched and miserable it is. So that they, like her, can go into it blindly, thinking that it's like hitting a "reset" button and going back to before you were pregnant.

    Misery loves company.

    This ought to get 'em talking

    Measure would ban ‘skull crushing’

    Prolifers in North Dakota have asked Secretary of State Al Jaeger for a ballot measure banning the crushing of a fetus's skull "in a life-endangering manner."

    The proposal seeks to stop procedures that its sponsors say happen during some types of abortions.

    If the author had done any research, she would have found out it's not a matter of what sponsors say. In second trimester D&E abortions, part of the procedure is to grab and crush the fetal skull, which they refer to as the calvarium. I listened to a National Abortion Federation tape from a Risk Management Seminar in which Warren Hern and Mildred Hanson had a very lively debate about the best way to remove the fetal skull.

    Hern held that the practitioner should use forceps to squeeze what he thinks is the fetal skull, and watch for the "calvarium show" -- fetal brains oozing out through the mother's cervix. If calvarium show is present, the abortionist can be confident that the structure he has in his forceps is indeed the skull, and he can crush and extract it with confidence, knowing that he's not crushing and pulling out a part of the mother's body. (In his book, he explains it thus: "As the calvaria is grasped, a sensation that it is collapsing is almost always accompanied by the extrusion of white cerebral material from the external os. ....Grasping and collapsing the calvaria are often difficult. Stripping the calvaria of soft tissue [tearing off the baby's face and scalp] is sometimes the first step in successful delivery of this part, followed by dislocation of parietal bones [crushing the baby's skull]."

    Hanson found this appalling. She pointed out that of all fetal tissues that can get into the mother's bloodstream during an abortion, brain tissue is most likely to cause disseminated intravascular coagulopathy -- an often fatal clotting disorder. Hanson argued that pulling out sharp pieces of fetal skull, which can scrape and cut the cervix, is something you shouldn't do when you've just introduced brain tissue to the area. To prevent fetal brain tissue from getting into the mother's bloodstream, Hanson advocated first suctioning the brains out of the fetal skull, then crushing and removing the skull.

    And it looks like now Hanson's method will be the winner in North Dakota, since if you follow her advice and vacuum the brains out first, you're not crushing the skull in a way that endangers the fetus' life -- the fetus will already be quite dead, with his or her brain in the collection jar of the suction machine.

    HT: JJ via Jill Stanek

    UPDATE: Here's more from Life Site News:

    Daniel Woodard, head of North Dakota's Stop Decapitation Network, .... said that he was inspired to pursue the ballot initiative after reading the quotes of abortion doctors who, in federal court hearings regarding the partial-birth abortion ban, testified to decapitating and crushing the skulls of unborn infants in other types of abortions. Woodard's measure would apply not only to partial-birth abortions, but also to abortions inside the mother's womb.

    Hern specifically recommends the use of decapitation scissors
    (see example, right) to cut the baby's head off. Let that sink in a moment: somebody created a medical instrument, the sole purpose of which is to decapitate a fetus.

    According to Woodard, the initiated measure would provide a class A felony penalty to physicians participating in skull-crushing or decapitation abortions. That penalty would become a class AA felony if a skull fragment from the unborn child were to cause serious bodily injury to the mother during or following a decapitation or skull crushing abortion.

    We get back to the calvarium show versus vacuum out the brain debate between Warnie and Millie at that NAF seminar.

    Red River Women's Clinic (RRWC) of Fargo declined to comment to (LSN) on the legislation because they had not yet seen the initiative. RRWC, North Dakota's lone abortuary, only provides abortion until the 15th week of pregnancy - at which point the child's head is too small to purposefully crush or decapitate.

    I'm not sure about that last part. I recall abortionists discussing abortions between 12 and 15 weeks in which they crushed the skull.

    Frankly, though, the greatest benefit of the proposal is that it will get people talking about how abortions are actually done, just as the PBA bans did. They didn't prohibit any babies from being killed, but they made the public examine what abortion is and what it does, and that was a huge blow to the abortion advocacy side. ANYTHING that gets people talking about the reality of what abortion is and what it does is a good thing.

    Let's look at some testimony by abortionists on how they do their jobs.

    Martin Haskell, who popularized what he called "D&X", more widely known as "partial birth abortion", testified about how he performs second-trimester D&E abortions in sworn testimony in US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S):

    And typically when the abortion procedure is started we typically know that the fetus is still alive because either we can feel it move as we're making our initial grasps or if we're using some ultrasound visualization when we actually see a heartbeat as we're starting the procedure. It's not unusual at the start of D&E procedures that a limb is acquired first and that that limb is brought through the cervix and even out of the vagina prior to disarticulation and prior to anything having been done that would have caused the fetal demise up to that point.

    When you're doing a dismemberment D&E, usually the last part to be removed is the skull itself and it's floating free inside the uterine cavity...So it's rather like a ping-pong ball floating around and the surgeon is using his forceps to reach up to try to grasp something that's freely floating around and is quite large relative to the forceps we're using.

    So typically there's several mis-directions, mis-attempts to grasp. Finally at some point either the instruments are managed to be place around the skull or a nip is made out of some area of the skull that allows it to start to decompress. And then once that happens typically the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece...

    Here's some testimony of LeRoy Carhart, who assumed George Tiller's mantle as the late abortionist of the midwest:

    Carhart: We remove the feet and continue pulling on the feet until the abdomen and the thorax came through the cavity. At that point, I would try ... you have to bring the shoulders down, but you can get enough of them outside, you can do this with your finger outside of the uterus, and then at that point the fetal ... the base of the fetal skull is usually in the cervical canal.

    Question: What do you do next?

    Carhart: And you can reach that, and that's where you would rupture the fetal skull to some extent and aspirate the contents out. [I'm not sure if this would count as "crushing" the skull under the proposed law.]

    Question: At what point in that process does fetal death occur between initial...removal of the feet or legs and the crushing of the skull, or I'm sorry, the decompressing of the skull?

    Carhart: Well, you know, again, this is where I'm not sure what fetal death is. I mean, I honestly have to share your concern, your Honor. You can remove the cranial contents and the fetus will still have a heartbeat for several seconds or several minutes, so is the fetus alive? I would have to say probably, although I don't think it has any brain function, so it's brain dead at that point.

    Question: So the brain death might occur when you begin suctioning out the cranium?

    Carhart: I think brain death would occur because the suctioning to remove contents is only two or three seconds, so somewhere in that period of time, obviously not when you penetrate the skull, because people get shot in the head and the don't die immediately from that, if they are going to die at all, so that probably is not sufficient to kill the fetus, but I think removing the brain contents eventually will.

    RELATED: Nebraska Law Prohibiting Abortion After 20 Weeks is the New Frontier. It challenges Roe's trimester system, in which they simply, by fiat, decided that you're only allowed to limit abortions after 24 weeks. (And the limitations have to have a "health" loophole broad enough that "I don't want to have to get up so often to pee" would suffice.) Abortion advocates will, of course, challenge the law, for several reason:

    1. Any limit on abortion is purely unacceptable to them. You could draft a law banning the use of Drano for abortions and they'd fight it purely on principle.

    2. Late second trimester abortions are very expensive, and thus big money makers.

    3. Banning late second trimester abortions would reduce the incidence of aborting babies that eugenecists disapprove of, such as kids with club foot, Down syndrome, cleft palate, heart defects, dwarfism, etc. Call it the "Get that unsightly kid out of my face!" reflex. They can't see beauty in anybody who isn't just like them.