Friday, October 15, 2010

Four anniversaries

  • 1854: Oil of Tansy Leads to Abortion Death: Mary L. Stone, a 26-year-old native of England, was living in New York City with her husband, George, in 1854. Some time in late August, she left her husband and went to live with William Mills in New Haven, Connecticut. White at Mills' home, Mary took oil of tansy as an abortifacient. She stated that she had done this at the recommendation of Mrs. Britton, who denied the charge. After taking the oil of tansy, Mary became very ill. About five weeks later, she returned to New York, going to stay with a friend. She sent for her husband. After seeing his wife's condition, Mr. Stone had her taken to New York Hospital. There, she died the night of Sunday, October 15. Her death was attributed to "exhaustion produced by abortion."

  • 1915: Who Killed Anna Anderson?: On October 15, 1915, Anna Anderson, a 25-year-old unmarried woman, died in the office of Dr. A. A. Ausplund. Auspland treated Anna, assisted by a female physician practicing in the same building and another doctor from elsewhere. The autopsy found signs of recent pregnancy of about three months duration, as well as trauma to the interior of the uterus. It was estimated that the injuries were sustained about five to eight hours before death. The undertake who embalmed Anna said that there was almost no blood in her body.

  • 1926: Woman Dead at Chicago Hospital: On October 15, 1926, 23-year-old Ethel Horner died at Chicago's Jackson park Hospital from an abortion performed earlier that day. Dr. Albert Peacock was arrested the following day. On November 15, 1926, he was indicted for felony murder.

    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%.

  • 1990: Abortion Doc Fails to Diagnose Ectopic, Sends Patient Home to Die: On October 15, 1990, 23-year-old Angela Satterfield underwent a safe, legal abortion. The abortionist did not diagnose Angela's ectopic pregnancy. He simply performed an abortion procedure and sent her home. That evening, the undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy ruptured. Angela was found dead in her home. She had hemorrhaged. Her death certificate only mentions the ectopic pregnancy and the hemorrhage, but her autopsy notes the failure of the abortionist to diagnose the ectopic pregnancy.

    In theory, women who choose abortion should be less likely to die from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, because the doctor is examining the woman to verify where the embryo has implanted before proceeding with an abortion. This should enable him to provide prompt, appropriate treatment, saving women's lives. In practice, does this hold true?
    Yes. Women who choose abortion have lower rates of death from undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies.
    No. Women who choose abortions are more likely to die from undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies.

    Lynette is one of many deaths currently attributed to Inglewood Women's Hospital (aka Inglewood Women's Clinic) in Los Angeles County. The others are Yvonne Tanner, Kathy Murphy, Belinda Byrd, Cora Lewis, and Elizabeth Tsuji.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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