Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Legal? Yes. Safe? Not so much for these three women.

Today's deaths are all of the safe, legal kind.

Angel Dardie, age 22, left two children motherless when she died on August 3, 1982, of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (a clotting disorder) after a safe, legal saline abortion performed by Youl Choi at Plymouth General Hospital. Angel's mother sued, but was awarded a meager settlement of $6000 from Choi and $2500 from the hospital, roughly half of which was eaten up by legal fees and funeral expenses.

Dawn Marie Mack had an abortion performed at National Abortion Federation member facility Eastern Women's Center August 2, 1991. She went into cardiorespiratory arrest. Her family's suit said that Eastern's staff failed to adequately respond, and cited many shortcomings in how the facility was run and staff were trained. Dawn was transported to a hospital by ambulance, where staff tried to resuscitate Dawn to no avail. She died August 3. Eastern Women's Center also provided fatal abortion care to Dawn Ravenelle and Venus Ortiz.

On July 28, 2009, 30-year-old Ying Chen, who did not speak English, went to Andrew Rutland's abortion facility in San Gabriel, California, for a safe, legal abortion. Rutland's records for Ying were paltry and inadequate. He administered medications that he was not authorized to dispense. She began to have a clear adverse reaction to the drugs, and Rutland asked an accupuncturist who shared his office to call 911. According to the paramedics who responded, nobody at the facility was providing any care to Ying when they arrived, although she was in cardiorespiratory arrest. Though there was a crash cart in the clinic -- albeit one with expired medications -- and another in Rutland's car, nobody at the clinic used either one to treat the dying patient. Rutland had been in previous trouble with the medical board, and was in violation of many of their stipulations when he provided the lethal care to Ying. For the sordid details, follow the link on Ying's name.

Together, these tragic stories make it difficult to believe the claims of prochoice activists that post-legalization deaths are all just ordinary risks of surgery.

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