Friday, September 30, 2011

Legalization = Professionalism?

On September 30, 1904, Stanislawa Zagonski died in Chicago from an illegal abortion performed that day. Mrs. Alexander Wojtanowski, whose profession is not given, was arrested and held by Coroner's Jury on October 5.

Even if Mrs. Wojanowski wasn't a doctor, she was probably far more professional than the killer of 21-year-old Gaylene Golden.

Gaylene's abortionist, Dr. Joe Bills Reynolds (pictured), was a jack of all trades, doing a variety of elective surgeries, including safe and legal abortions, in his filthy clinic.

Reynolds' anesthetist, age 60, had originally been hired as a janitor, and an untrained orderly was acting as his nurse. The operating room was littered with dirty cups and papers. Reynolds tried to collect $500,000 on his wife's life insurance after she bled to death after he opened 25-inch incision, ostensibly for liposuction, on September 7, 1989. Reynolds was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter. He voluntarily surrendered his Oklahoma license.

Reynolds performed the abortion on Gaylene in his Oklahoma City office on September 30, 1985. Due to a cervical laceration, Gaylene developed an embolism -- both air and amniotic fluid in her bloodstream. This embolism killed her. Gaylene left one child, a son, orphaned.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two deaths, and looking at the data

On September 28, 1929, 29-year-old Barbara Auer died in Chicago from complications of an illegal abortion performed at an unknown place. The person or persons responsible were never identified or prosecuted.

Fast forward to 1982, when 20-year-old Rhonda Hess underwent a safe, legal abortion. After the procedure, she developed an infection. The infection led to problems with clotting of the blood. Rhonda was taken to Moss Regional Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she died on September 28, 1982.

Yes, such deaths were rarer in 1982 than they were in 1929. Before concluding that it was abortion's legal status that caused Barbara's death and killed many other women like her, consider that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. In fact, during the first two thirds of the 20th Century, while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality, including mortality from abortion. Most researches attribute this plunge to improvements in public health and hygiene, the development of blood transfusion techniques, and the introduction of antibiotics. Learn more here.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

Look at that graph. Consider that abortion-on-demand wasn't legalized until 1970 in some states, and 1973 nationwide. Does it REALLY look like legalization was the big lifesaver?

Monday, September 26, 2011

1989: Who can the prochoicers blame?

Debra Walton was 35 years old when she underwent an abortion in the fall of 1989. On September 24, 1989, about three weeks after the abortion, she was admitted to University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. She was in septic shock. Despite efforts to save her, she died the next day, September 25, 1989. Her death certificate does not say where the abortion took place or who performed it.

Had Debra died fifty years earlier, in 1939 instead of 1989, abortion advocates would have blamed her death on laws against abortion -- laws against doing the thing that killed her. Who can they blame now?

Two doctors, two deaths. What do we know?

Mrs. Annie Heaney, age 50, died at Post Graduate Hospital in Chicago on September 26, 1906, from complications of a criminal abortion performed there that day. Physician Jonathan L. Miller was arrested in the death.

Let's for the sake of argument assume that abortion is a legitimate medical procedure. We have no way of knowing if Dr. Miller committed malpractice, if he did anything stupid or irresponsible or inexcusable to cause Annie's death, or if it was just a flukey thing, an infection in the days before antibiotics, an accidental nick to a vital artery in the days before blood transfusions. We can't know if Annie had any way of judging Miller's skill before entrusting her life to him. But let's flash forward to different cases where we have more information.

On September 17, 1990, 17-year-old Sophie McCoy went to the office of National Abortion Federation member Abu Hayat (pictured). The National Abortion Federation is an organization that puts out standards that its members are supposed to adhere to. We don't know if Sophie and her mother chose Hayat because of his NAF membership. We do know, though, that if Sophie and her mother had called a hotline asking for a referral to a safe facility with the highest standards of care, Hayat's facility would be on the list.

You can contrast what NAF promised in members with the care Sophie actually received by clicking her name and reading her story. You can also read contemporary New York Times coverage here.

Hayat's name might seem vaguely familiar. That's because he made headlines about a year after he killed Sophie, after he started an illegal third-trimester abortion on a woman named Rosa Rodriguez. Hayat told Rosa that he would have to finish the abortion the next day and sent her home with very specific instructions not to go to a hospital or to any other doctor if she suffered any complications. Unable to get Hayat to help here with the severe pain she was experiencing, Rosa went to a hospital, where she delivered her baby girl, 32 weeks of gestational age and missing her right arm, which Hayat had pulled off during the abortion attempt.

Keep in mind that both Sophie's death and the maiming of Rosa's baby happened while Hayat was a member in good standing of the National Abortion Federation.

Unlike in Annie Heaney's case, where we have no information on the reputation of her doctor, or of whether he behaved in such a way as to callously endanger her, we do have information about Sophie's situation. It seems a stretch to try to blame Annie's death on laws telling doctors not to do to patients what Miller did to her. It seems a bit less of a stretch to blame the death of Sophie McCoy, and the maiming of little Ana Rosa Rodriguez (pictured), on a reputable and respected prochoice organization that promised safety and high standards, but delivers the likes of Abu Hayat.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One needless tragedy and two total flukes. Right?

On September 25, 1925, Faye McGinnis, age 23, died at her home in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed that day. The coroner identified two physicians, Walter Penningdorf and Walter Voight, as being responsible. They were arrested on September 25. Faye's husband, Roy McGinnis, was also arrested as an accomplice in his wife's death. The doctors were indicted for felony murder on October 15. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

Moving on from the death we're to presume was caused entirely by abortion laws and not because there were no antibiotics or blood banks, we come to the deaths that happened because, after all, "all surgery has risks."

Minnie Lathan was 41 when she had a safe and legal abortion and tubal ligation performed some time in September of 1978. Her uterus was perforated and her colon damaged during the procedure. She developed an infection and was hospitalized at Cleveland Clinic Hospital. She died there on September 25.

Twenty-two-year-old Liliana Cortez underwent a safe and legal abortion by Leo Kenneally at his Her Medical Clinic in Los Angeles on September 20, 1986. Other than having asthma, Liliana was in good health when she went for her abortion. After the procedure, she went into cardiac arrest. There was a 40-minute delay until the paramedics arrived to transport Liliana to a hospital. She died five days later. Liliana's death was ruled a "therapeutic misadventure," which a coroner's spokesman called, "a nice medical term for a mistake." An attorney for Her Medical Clinic said, "If something like this happened at a hospital ... people would just say it was bad luck, one of those flukey things. But ... all of a sudden they make it seem like these (abortion clinics) are terrible places where terrible things happen." When you consider that Donna Heim and Michelle Thames also died "one of those flukey" deaths at Her Medical Clinic, maybe Her, at least,was a terrible place where terrible things happen.

Unless, of course, it can't be, because abortion is safe and legal.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

1927: The fatal work of a Chicago nurse

On September 24, 1927, 35-year-old Martha Kohnke died in Chicago from a criminal abortion performed that day. Nurse Emma Schultz was held by the coroner on October 5.

Schultz had also killed Mary Bambrick on October 5, 1911, but that case never went to trial.

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.
external image Illegals.png

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Amy" attack on CPCs is indictment of prochoice thought

The Time I Tried To Get An Abortion From A Crisis Pregnancy Center

I'm going to deconstruct this as I encounter comment-worthy bits. I recommend reading the entire thing. It's the story of "Amy," and how the mean old right to lifers made her feel so bad about exercising her right to have her three-month fetus pureed at an abortion facility.
I was sure all the men in suits in the lobby knew what I was doing. .... Still, I took a deep breath and pushed the button that would take me to the floor where I would have an abortion. Or so I thought.
Note the guilt and shame here long before she steps through the pregnancy center door. She already knew she was doing something she should feel guilty for, should be ashamed of. But instead of listening to her conscience, she went ahead.
I'd always been pro-choice, but I'd also always said I'd never get an abortion myself.
I'll have to credit Ashli McCall for describing this attitude -- one that used to be her own -- so vividly:
Abortion was good enough for all the uncaring faceless women of the world, but not for me, and not for anyone I cared about. ..... Abortion was just a solution for people who, outside of my own little world of acquaintances, existed to me as much as individuals that pass by in cars on the interstate.
Let's get back to Amy, shall we:
Still, once I was actually pregnant, I was pretty sure from the beginning what I would do.
Note that she doesn't "explore her options." She doesn't bring any information into the mix. Is this how rational adults make important life decisions?
And I felt better knowing that I could take a couple of pills and stop being pregnant that way....
Note the naive perception of chemical abortion as just taking a couple of pills and not being pregnant any more. Didn't she even follow AntithiestAngie's Twitter abortion?

We'll move on to something vital:
First she handed me some pamphlets. I opened one and it was a graphic illustration of an abortion, a cutaway of a fetus being pulled apart. I snapped it closed, saying to myself, that's not what I'm doing. A medication abortion, what I wanted to have, wouldn't look like that.
Interesting. She doesn't want her fetus to look like a gory mess when the abortionist is done with it. It's very important to remember this for later: Amy herself did not want what the pamphlet depicted.

Amy has a very uneasy relationship with reality. No, let me rephrase that. Amy finds reality, as seen on ultrasound, far too painful to contemplate:
"It looks like you're about three and a half months pregnant," the older woman announced cheerfully.

Then she turned the monitor to me. I have so many little brothers and sisters. I was with my mother the first time she heard my younger siblings heartbeat. There was a heartbeat now, too.

By that point, I was crying hysterically.

Where is the strong, confident woman of prochoice mythology? The reality becomes even clearer as the ultrasound proceeds:

I clutched my hand to my stomach and in the sonogram screen, an arm lifted. I took my arm away and the arm went back down. "Put your hand back up!" the older woman said. I did, and the tiny hand went up again. That's the moment that I can't get out of my head, to this day.

The pregnancy center also offers reassurance:

After a few minutes, she left the room and a girl about my age returned, an intern from Utah. For what felt like about an hour, she told me why I should have the baby, and how her sister had had an unplanned pregnancy and had the baby, and how much they all loved it. She was so young and so honest. I told her everything. I was still crying.

And the final insult:

The older woman returned and printed out the sonogram. "I want you to keep this and take it with you everywhere," she instructed. She told me to make a follow up appointment with my boyfriend, but I just ran out.
Amy was totally freaked out by being treated like a human being, like somebody important, with relationships and a capacity to be a good mother. She ran in terror from genuine concern. That's sad. And it reminds me of the line from an Alan Parsons Project song: "People that I've never seen are kind to me. Is it any wonder I'm confused?"

Moving right along:

Back at my boyfriend's apartment, I was crying too much to explain what happened, so I just showed him the sonogram. It didn't take long for him to realize that I'd been at a crisis pregnancy center and not Planned Parenthood at all. ....

He was furious.... He took the sonogram from me, and said he'd take care of it. I never saw it again, though a few months later I remember looking in one of his drawers and seeing something that looked like it could be it, upside down. But I didn't turn it over.
There's so much interesting here. Why is the boyfriend furious? Because they made her cry (by being kind, gentle, and informative with her), or because they were mucking up his plans to just flush the baby out of their lives? It's also interesting that he evidently didn't throw the ultrasound away, and that when she found it, she didn't throw it away either. Why did they find it easier to throw away the real baby than to trash a mere photograph?
For me, the real anger didn't come until later when I actually went through with the abortion. I'm not saying it's ever easy for anyone, but all I could think about that day was the sonogram and that hand. There were tears streaming down my face when I was going under. I remember the anesthesiologist telling me, "Don't worry, it won't hurt," and I remember thinking, That's not what I'm crying about.
Why the anger? Why was she angry with the people who were kind, honest, forthright, and trying to treat her like a complete human being with real needs and capabilities? Why was she not angry with the people never even cared enough to find out why she was crying?
For me, there was a difference between being sure what I wanted and being sure how I felt about it. I knew that I did not want to have a child right then.
This strikes me as very simplistic thinking.

First of all, was she really that sure what she wanted? You can think that you want something, right up until you get a vital piece of information that changes your mind. You want to marry Joe, right up until you find out he's been cheating on you. You want to buy that beautiful house, until you find out that it has severe dry rot. You want an abortion, right up until you find out _____. Fill in the blank. Eighty percent of abortion-minded women who go to pregnancy centers change their minds. For 80% of women who walk into places like Amy went to, the blank gets filled in. They get the one piece of information that makes them realize that they don't want abortions after all. Amy didn't go back for her follow-up, so we (and she) will never know what might have filled that blank in.

Second, isn't how you feel afterward relevant to the choice? After all, it's not pregnancy per se that sends women to abortion clinics. Lots of them go to a lot of trouble and expense to achieve pregnancy. It's how you feel about the pregnancy, not the pregnancy itself, that you're seeking to treat with an abortion. If you feel worse afterward, then the treatment was a miserable failure. It's winning a battle but losing the war. Yeah, you're not pregnant any more, but you're more distraught over the dead baby than you ever would have been over the live one.

Third, and most importantly, not wanting to have a child right now is not the same as wanting the child you just saw on the ultrasound to die a violent death that you bought and paid for. I think a lot of what Amy hates the CPC for is that they showed her the difference. She wanted to believe that she could avoid giving birth to a child without the child in question being killed. But once she was pregnant, that was the only way to avoid birth. By killing the existing child, a very specific child, the child waving its little hand on the ultrasound screen.

Amy engages in some more ill-considered thought:
If you think you want an abortion, you probably shouldn't be having a kid anyway.
Actually, no. It might be comforting for her to tell herself this, but it's demonstrably not the case. This is one of the abortion lobby's most dirty little secrets -- that if you reassure the woman and give her some time to get over the shock, she'll totally reject abortion and welcome her new baby. (This one piece of information alone is enough to virtually collapse the entire house of prochoice cards.)

Amy speaks again:
And if you know you want an abortion, someone misrepresenting themselves shouldn't make it harder on you.
Who, Amy, misrepresents themselves? The prolifers, who provide exactly what they say they do, or the abortion facilities that feed you comfortable lies until they have your money, and then lose all interest in you?

As for the accusation that reality will "make it harder on you" -- I find that interesting. Amy's visit to the CPC started with her looking away from a brochure that showed an "after" picture of an abortion. It ended with her learning that she could not get what she wanted -- to just take a pill and not be pregnant any more. To reach the goal of not having a baby right now without killing the waving baby on the ultrasound screen.
It's taken me the two years since then not to break down every time I think about it. Now, I read about states trying to force women to look at the sonogram and I want to talk about it. But first I want to go back to that building and put a sign that says, "Here's the right floor. Here's the wrong one."
Amy, your abortion doesn't hurt because some prolifers showed you an ultrasound. It hurts because you signed on the dotted line and turned the waving baby into a bloody mess. What the CPC did was try to offer you a way to avoid doing that. You chose to run like hell and try to run back into comfortable ignorance. And you're trying to choose ignorance on behalf of other women, simply because you think that ignorance would have made it less painful for you to kill your baby.

Amy, the fact that it hurts shows that you're not the monster you seem to somehow wish you were -- the kind of woman who could kill her own child and feel nothing but relief.

The clincher is tacked on at the end by the editors:
Amy's ordeal was in New York City
The "ordeal" was being treated with respect, kindness, and honesty by a CPC, when what Amy actually wanted was to be patronized, processed, and lied to by Planned Parenthood. Well, Amy, be careful what you wish for. In your case, you got it. And then you blame somebody else for the fact that it hurt.

1899, 1907, and 1971.

On September 23, 1899, Mary Kakacek died in her Chicago home from complications of an abortion performed that day by midwife Annie Stonek. Stonek was held without bail by the Coroner's Jury.

On September 23, 1907, Mrs. Mabel Brock of Lake Station, Indiana, died in Chicago's John Streeter Hospital. The coroner's jury determined that she had died from an abortion performed by midwife Mrs. Lobbie from Hobart, Indiana. I've been unable to learn if the abortion was performed in Chicago or somewhere in Indiana.

"Barbara" was 35 years old when she traveled from Michigan to New York for a safe and legal abortion in 1971. She was 20 weeks pregnant. Within 24 hours of being injected with saline for the abortion, she went into convulsions, then her heart stopped. Efforts to save her failed. She died on September 23, 1971, leaving behind five children. The autopsy could find no anatomical cause of death.

Of course, abortion supporters claim that though Barbara's death was tragic, it was simply a matter of all surgery having risks rather than a matter of an abortionist irresponsibly killing a patient. If you believe that, click on the word "saline" and read about how inexcusable it was for American abortionists to adopt a method that was handy for them but known to be excessively dangerous for women.

Abortion supporters will also claim that again, though Barbara's death was tragic, it was a total fluke because legalization made abortion so much less risky, and deaths so much less common. This claim isn't supported by reality.

During the first two thirds of the 20th Century, while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality, including mortality from abortion. Most researches attribute this plunge to improvements in public health and hygiene, the development of blood transfusion techniques, and the introduction of antibiotics. For the abortion lobby to claim credit for other people's success is deceitful and inexcusable. Learn more here.

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

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1970: One of the first victims of New York abortion law

"Amanda" is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a safe and legal abortion. Amanda was 19 years old when she traveled from Indiana to New York for a legal abortion in 1970. She was 12 weeks pregnant.

The doctor performed the abortion on September 3. He was unable to remove any of the fetus or placenta. For some reason, he did not suspect a problem. He discharged Amanda and she returned home. Upon her return home, she suffered from pain, nausea, and vomiting, so she sought care from a physician in her community. She was admitted to the hospital with a perforated uterus.

Her doctor performed a lapartotomy, and found that the fetus was still inside Amanda's perforated uterus. The abortion was completed and the hole in her uterus was repaired.

After the surgery, she had a series of complications beginning with difficulty breathing. On September 10, doctors performed a hysterectomy. She continued to be treated in the hospital, but despite all their efforts she died on September 22.
I believe that Dr. Paul Jarrett was one of the doctors who tried to save her life. His story is here.

Advocates of legalized abortion will argue that deaths like Amanda's, while still tragic, were significantly reduced by the legalization of abortion. But as you can see from the graph below, abortion deaths had already been falling dramatically before legalization. This steep fall had been in place for decades. To argue that legalization lowered abortion mortality simply isn't supported by the data. Less abortion-enamored minds credit the drop to improved medical care.

external image Abortion+Deaths+Since+1960.jpg

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1930: Death at the doctor's office

On September 9, 1930, 20-year-old Matilda Kleinschmidt underwent a criminal abortion, believed to have been performed in the office of Dr. J. Murney Nicholson. Matilda died on September 21.

On September 22, Nicholson was held by the coroner for murder. John C. Ross was held as an accessory. Nicholson was indicted for felony murder in Matilda's death.

Matilda's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.
external image Illegals.png

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 1930s.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1922: The tragic intersection of two Marys

Mary Gresky took ill, dying of blood poisoning on September 20, 1922, from a criminal abortion performed with some sort of instrument on September 16.

On her deathbed, she named Mary Vargo as the perpetrator who used some sort of instrument on her.

Mary Vargo was found guilty of criminal malpractice, but won an appeal on the grounds of of improper instructions to the jury, irregularities of the admission of the deathbed statement, and failure to prove that the abortion had been part of a prior pattern of criminal activity by Mary Vargo.

I have been unable to determine Mary Vargo's profession. However, given the charge of criminal malpractice, she was likely some sort of medical professional, perhaps a nurse or a 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.

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

Friday, September 16, 2011

1994: Fetal indications abortion turns deadly for mother

Alerte Desanges had been informed that her fetus was deformed, so she went for a safe, legal abortion at Choices Women's Medical Center in Queens on September 16, 1994. She was 36 years old and 19 weeks pregnant.

The abortion was performed by David Gluck. Staff said that after her abortion, Alerte was "feisty, telling nurses she wanted to go home. Then all of a sudden, she coded, she went into cardiac arrest." This "feisty" condition, wanting to go home, is a sign of shock. The next sign of shock was when Alerte's blood pressure fell. Staff attempted to revive her, then transported her to a hospital. Her death was tentatively attributed to amniotic fluid embolism by staff -- the abortionists' equivalent of "The dog ate my homework."

Desanges' 66-year-old mother, who speaks only French, was described as throwing her hands in the air and sobbing, "What are we going to do? What are we going to do? We can't go back to Haiti." Desanges supported her mother and three daughters working as a caretaker for an elderly woman, and had just bought a small house in Brooklyn.

Gluck's license had been revoked for three years after selling controlled substances to finance his gambling addiction. Gluck had also been Medical Director at C.R.A.S.H. when abortion patient "K.B." died. The Choices clinic director said "We are firmly committed to helping people who are skilled medical professionals who have had a fall from grace."

Evidently they are not equally committed to helping women to survive their abortions.

I have been unable to learn if the baby Alerte died aborting really did have a disabling condition. Other women how have died during "fetal indications" abortions include:

1999: Mother of five finally succumbs in nursing home after catastropic abortion injury

Shelby A. Moran, a 39-year-old mother of five, was given Prostaglandin F2 Alpha for a safe, legal abortion at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in January of 1978.

Immediately after the drug was injected, Shelby experienced grossly abnormal elevation of her blood pressure. The abortionist, Dr. John J. Barton, thought that the elevation would be transient, and left the facility.

Half an hour later, Shelby went into cardiopulmonary arrest. She suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen, causing dementia and speech aphasia.

Shelby was no longer able to care for herself, much less her five children. She required 24-hour care in a nursing home until her death on September 16, 1999. This is the longest time I've seen elapse between catastrophic abortion injury and death. Other lingering deaths include:
  • Carolina Gutierrez, who endured multiple amputations during the two months that doctors spent trying to save her
  • Suzanne Logan, who spent three years mute and paralyzed until her death
  • Deborah Lozinski, who spent two months in a coma before she died
  • Catherine Pierce, who lingered for seven months in a nursing home until her death
  • Venus Ortiz, who spent nearly six years in a coma before her death
  • Suzanne Logan, who spent three years mute and paralyzed until her death
  • Deloris Smith, whose 15th birthday came and went during the nearly five months she languished in a coma
Christi Stile remains in a vegetative state, mute and incapacitated, 18 years after her life-altering abortion on July 1, 1993.

A bizarre case from 1941

One of the few cases I've found in which a criminal abortionist wasn't a doctor is also one of the strangest cases I've found. The abortionist, Sarah Howe, age 57, had been blind since she was three years old. Howe was charged with abortion and with manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Helen Clark. Helen died September 16, 1941. Howe was convicted of abortion, but was found not guilty of manslaughter. She was sentenced to two to four years in prison.

In spite of the occasional Sarah Howe, during the 1940s, while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality from abortion. The death toll fell from 1,407 in 1940, to 744 in 1945, to 263 in 1950. Most researches attribute this plunge to the development of blood transfusion techniques and the introduction of antibiotics. Learn more here.
external image Abortion+Deaths+Since+1940.jpg

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Two illegal and a surprise post-legalization situation

What's remarkable about today's anniversaries is that the abortionist whose "safe" legal quackery killed a teen actually was tried for his crime.

On September 15, 1925, Mary Williams, a 25-year-old Black woman, died at Chicago's County Hospital from an abortion performed on her that day at an undisclosed location. The person responsible for Mary's death was never identified.

On September 15, 1926, 23-year-old Mary Bailek died at Chicago's Lutheran Deaconnes Hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed at her home that day. Rozalia Ossowska, alias Olszewski, was arrested for the death on October 7. Her profession is not given. On March 15, 1927, she was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury.

Eighteen-year-old Janet Foster underwent a safe and legal abortion at the hands of Richard Neal at Valley Doctors' Hospital in North Hollywood, California on September 11, 1971. Janet's abortion had been a "therapeutic" abortion approved by the hospital committee, as was required at the time. Neal reported that he'd estimated the pregnancy at 12-weeks and performed what he thought was an uneventful suction abortion.
Janet's brother-in-law reported that she was very weak and sleepy when he picked her up at the hospital. After returning home, Janet suffered abdominal pain after returning home, and called Neal on September 14. He told her he'd see her the next day. Janet felt ill, so she went to bed early. In the early morning hours, Janet went into convulsions.

Her brother-in-law and paramedics attempted to revive her, to no avail; Janet was pronounced dead at 3:55 am. The autopsy found that in Janet's uterus was a "macerated, lacerated and purulent male fetus of about 19 weeks gestation. This fetus measures 14.5 cm. in crown-rump length, shows lacerations in the shoulder area, evisceration of the bowel through an abdominal laceration, and destruction of the skull and facila structures." Janet's uterus also contained "approximately 20 cc. of red-brown purulent and foul-smelling liquid with similar odor and color to an exudate on the endometrial surface." Janet's death attrubuted to septicemia due to "incomplete abortion, therapeutic, septic."

An LA County grand jury indicted Neal on a felony manlsaughter charge in Janet's death. The 1976 trial ended with a hung jury.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More LOC again

I'm continuing my review of historic abortion deaths from the Library of Congress online archives.

The snippets from news roundups: Anna Gold, age 18, Russian immigrant, death being investigated as possible abortion death. Mrs. Alma Roos, age 39, died just before January 14, 1914; Mrs. Johanna Gratz held. Mrs. Mary Alton, age 22, reported to coroner as blood poisoning death due to illegal abortion. Ethel Garrity, age 19, police investigating suspected abortion death. Also Mary Boers, age 28. Mrs. Josephine Sutter, suspected fatal abortion at the hands of midwife Matthilde Minhke. Mrs. Marie Lucas, Dr. E. A. Ludwig acquitted in her apparent abortion death. Mrs. Mary Plewa, suspected abortion death being investigated. Mrs. Stella Cams, three of four indicted physicians were still in jail. Mrs. Christina Ortag, self-induced (?) in somebody else's home. Mrs. Stella Sams, coroner's finding of abortion, not pneumonia, will investigate. Mrs. Regina Nelson, suspected abortion death being investigated. Mrs. Lillie Groveneo, suspected illegal abortion death.

And a very interesting discovery. I already had some sketchy information on Mary Stefen, Mary Pichman, and Anna Hunt, who all died in Chicago's Rhodes Avenue Hospital. Evidently Rhodes Avenue wasn't just someplace they took women who were already dying. This little snippet in The Day Book (Chicago, IL) from April 1, 1914, reads, "Judge Gemmell insists that conditions at Rhodes Avenue Hospital are bad. Say it is the third case of an illegal operation against institution." So I started an archive search on Rhodes Avenue Hospital. We have two unlicensed nurses caught practicing there, and a doctor there sued for collecting $100 abortion fee then reneging. It's starting to sound like a modern abortion facility.

A melodramatic account of an unnamed girl's shame is here.

1992: Slow collapse and death

Rhonda Rollinson underwent a safe, legal abortion by Dr. Jay I. Levin at Malcom Polis's Philadelphia Women's Center September 3, 1992. The abortion attempt was unsuccessful. Rhonda was then sent home, with instructions to return on September 12 to try again. 

Rhonda experienced such severe pain, dizziness, fever, and discharge that on September 10 she sought emergency care at a hospital. She was suffering "severe non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema consistent with adult respiratory distress syndrome." 

Doctors did a laparoscopy, dilation and evacuation, abdominal hysterectomy, and splenectomy, to no avail. Rhonda died on September 14. 

The autopsy revealed a perforation from her vagina into the uterine cavity, sepsis, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (a severe and often fatal clotting disorder), non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis, pulmonary infarctions, and dysplastic kidney. The suit filed by Rhonda's survivors also charged the facility and Polis with hiring Levin despite his lack of competence, failure to properly supervise his work, violation of applicable laws and regulations, lack of informed consent, failure to give proper post-operative instructions, and failure "to respond to the requests of [Rhonda] and her family for post-operative medical advice."

A 1928 Chicago abortion

On September 14, 1928, 20-year-old Stella Wallenberg died from a criminal abortion performed in Chicago. Loretta Rybicki, identified as a "massaguer", was held by the coroner for murder by abortion. Dr. Nicholas Kalinowski was held as an accessory. Rybicki was indicted for felony murder on November 15.

Stella'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.
external image Illegals.png
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.

1925: More of Lucy Hagenow's handiwork

On September 14, 1925, 19-year-old Miss Elizabeth Welter died in the Chicago office of Dr. Lucy Hagenow from complications of an abortion performed that day.
Lawrence Vail or Vaily was identified by the coroner as responsible for the pregnancy, and the coroner recommended his arrest.

Though the coroner also recommended the arrest of Dr. Hagenow. However, because Vail refused to give a statement, police were unable to gather enough evidence to arrest her.

Chicago abortion deaths attributed to Dr. Lucy Hagenow, aka Dr. Louise Hagenow, aka Dr. Ida Von Schultz, include:

Hagenow was typical of criminal abortionists in that she was a physician.

A tragic case from Colonial America

Today's anniversaries begin with the 1742 death of Sarah Grosvenor. Her story is recounted extensively in public records, but begins, predictably, with a lover who didn't love her enough to marry her once she was pregnant with his child. Sarah's family rallied around her, trying to save both her life and her reputation, but by the time they realized that she was pregnant and in the middle of an herbal abortion, the die was cast. Sarah breathed her last on September 14.

Her death-dealing abortionist, Dr. Hallowell, had always been a marginal practitioner who lived a lot of his life on the wrong side of the law. Her faithless lover had been a high-standing member of the community. Sarah was buried, and life in the little town went on.

Suddenly, about a year after Sarah's death, warrants were issued for the arrests of the culpable parties, and a hearing held, determining that Hallowell was guilty of murder, and that Sarah's lover, Amasa Sessions, was an accessory. This was a preliminary finding, and called for prosecution. At first the case -- against Hallowell, at least -- was pushed vigorously. Hallowell was found guilty and sentenced to be shamed, whipped, and imprisoned. He escaped before this sentence could be carried out, and vanished from public view. Nobody went to any trouble to find him.

As for Amassa Sessions, he regained his fine standing in the community, married, and fathered a house full of children before dying at a ripe old age. Reading the laudatory inscription on his headstone, one can almost hear the weeping of the mourners, the family and distinguished persons of the town, as they lay Amasa Sessions, pilar of the community, to rest. Less than 25 feet away lay Sarah Grosvenor, nearly 50 years dead -- evidently forgotten.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2007: Out of the blue - Laura Hope Smith

  • It was 7pm, we had just finished dinner and settled down to watch the evening news. My husband's cell phone rang with Laura's name on the ID. We always loved hearing from her. Laura was so full of life, your spirits were lifted just by talking to her. Except this time it wasn't her voice. There was guttural screaming and sobbing on the other end by a voice I did not immediately recognize. I heard the words "Laura", "Hospital" and the worst one, "Not Breathing," and then "abortion". My brain tilted, my heart sank, and life as I knew it ceased. It was Laura's friend Karen on the phone. She told me what happened, that Laura was having an abortion and something went terribly wrong. Karen was at the ER and the Doctor needed to talk to me. What Karen didn't know was that Laura had arrived at the ER already deceased. The EMT's found her this way at the abortion mill. The hospital was looking for next of kin to give the news to first, and Karen wasn't kin. "Laura's gone" the doctor told me. I wanted to hear "50-50 chance"...I would even accept "90-10 chance." But the word "chance" was not in the doctor's statement. All hope was gone, along with my daughter.
That call came on September 13, 2007 to Eileen and Tom Smith. Laura had died on a Hyannis, Massachusetts abortion table.
Laura Hope Smith

The bewildered couple hadn't even known that their daughter was pregnant.
Karen and Laura had arrived at Women Health Center in the morning for preparatory steps to abort Laura's 13-week baby. The two young women were to return in the afternoon for the actual procedure. Laura wasn't supposed to drive, so Karen drove and the two ran errands. Because Laura wasn't supposed to eat, Karen fasted with her friend.

They returned to the facility at about 4 in the afternoon and waited. Laura was called in at about 5, back to where Dr. Rapin Osathanondh and his instruments waited for her. Karen stepped out briefly, expecting her friend to be out of surgery in about fifteen minutes. But Laura didn't emerge from the bowels of the clinic. A worried Karen grew increasingly distressed.

"And then all of a sudden [an assistant] comes out and says she's not breathing. And I was like, what do you mean she's not breathing," Karen told the Cape Cod Times.

Fire department rescuers were dispatched to the clinic at 5:49 p.m., and found an unresponsive patient. They initiated CPR and took her to the hospital. Karen followed, but was not permitted to see her friend. She asked about Laura's condition. "It doesn't look good," she was told. Because next of kin hadn't been notified yet, the doctor couldn't tell Karen the truth: Laura was already dead on arrival. It was 6:22 p.m.
  • I met with the doctor who aborted my grandchild, and who saw my daughter take her last breath. He would only meet me in a public place, without my husband. We talked for an hour and a half. Based on that meeting I believe I know what happened to Laura. He denies doing anything that caused her death. When we were done talking about Laura, I prayed, and asked God if there was anything He would have me say to the doctor. This is what I said next.... "The blood of my daughter is on your hands; the blood of my grandchild is on your hands; the blood of every life you have ever taken is on your hands," and I went on from there. He was silent with his head hung low. When I was ready to leave, I asked him if he would think about my daughter, and consider not doing any more abortions”he said he would think about it. When I left there I was praying, and said to God, "Can You stop this man from doing abortions? Is this what You have in mind, that he might even stop doing them?" I was thinking too small. I thought if one girl changed her mind [about having an abortion], I could find some comfort. I then realized that the Lord had much bigger plans. I have never experienced in my life, such tragedy, nor such grace.
OR also reports that Eileen Smith said she was "appalled and sickened" by her daughter's death, but can not give more details due to a pending lawsuit against the abortionist. What has come out afterward is just what prolifers have come to expect from abortionists: an untrained "hand holder" was assisting with general anesthesia, nobody in the clinic knew CPR, and there was no emergency resuscitation equipment. Osathanondh had been playing Russian roulette with his patients' lives. Laura paid for his callous carelessness with her life.

"My daughter was 22, healthy, and alive when she walked into that clinic," OR quotes Eileen Smith. "She didn't even have a cold. There is no reason for her to be dead."

OR says, "Laura was born into abject poverty in Hondurus on May 25, 1985, and was abandoned at an orphanage. An American couple that adopted Laura abused her terribly and gave her up. Laura was then adopted by Tom and Eileen Smith, a Christian family that lovingly raised Laura in the Cape Cod community of Sandwich." She graduated from Upper Cape Tech in 2004, trained as a cosmetologist, but she left that field to work in retail management.

It's particularly sad to me that Laura resorted to abortion despite being a Christian active in her local church. Her mother also reported that Laura was strongly opposed to abortion. Which goes to show that anybody can panic, and our churches need to be teaching young women how to get past the panic that too often leads to the abortion table. Laura's mother has now devoted her life to that mission.

OR reports that over 600 people attended Laura's funeral, and at least one young woman decided to reject abortion after learning of Laura's needless death. National Catholic Register reports that the young woman was being pressured by her parents to abort, and was about to capitulate when she learned of Laura's fate.
  • I know that God is going to bring good out of my daughter's death. What a horrible thing; for my daughter to be associated with abortion. But, if God's going to use it for good and for His glory, then so be it. We're going very public with a very shameful, private thing because I believe God wants to use it to save lives. I believe the truth will come out, and the light of God will shine on this. Laura's death has had tremendous impact around the country, and even into Canada, without the local news mentioning it. It just came out in the secular media this week, 5 weeks after Laura's death. I now believe it is my calling to keep telling Laura's story to the Church, and the world. I naively believed that abortion was not a choice for a Christian girl. A Pastor had even apologized to me and the Lord, for not speaking about this from his pulpit. We both had false assumptions. This is a problem in the Church, and one that needs to be spoken about from the pulpits. We have to take the "A" word out of the closet, put it out in the open, and discuss it. And maybe, possibly, hopefully, we'll even become active against it. Please keep our family in your prayers, and please tell someone Laura's story.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Illegal in 1917, legal in 2001

I don't know much about today's illegal abortion death. On September 12, 1917, 20-year-old Genevieve Popjoy of Momence, Illinois, died at Chicago's Northwest Side Hospital from a criminal abortion perpetrated by an unknown suspect on about August 30. My source doesn't have any more information than that.

I've found a lot more about our safe, legal abortion death. Brenda Vise, a 38-year-old pharmaceutical representative, died on September 12, 2002, of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy after her abortion at Volunteer Women's Clinic in Tennessee. Her survivors filed suit against the facility, as well as Dr. Edgar Perry and Dr. Richard Manning. Despite having been shut down by the state in 1999 for legal violations, VMC continued to do business and to advertise in the yellow pages for abortions, including chemical abortions.

Brenda made an appointment for Friday, September 7, 2001. VMC staff did a pregnancy test and did an ultrasound, and told Brenda that the ultrasound showed no fetus in the uterus. They told her that this was because the fetus was "too small to be seen." Instead of doing further tests to verify what was most likely an ectopic pregnancy, VMC just started a chemical abortion on Brenda. She was sent home with a dose Cytotec that she was to self-administer to complete her abortion. She did not have a follow-up appointment scheduled, and was told not to go to a local doctor or hospital, but rather return to VMC, if she suffered any complications.

Brenda repeatedly called VMC over the next few days, and was told that her symptoms of paleness, intense abdominal pain, and nausea were "normal and routine." Finally, on September 10, they made an appointment for a follow-up later that afternoon and again told her not to go to a hospital because they would not know how to care for her.

Later that day, before he could take her to her appointment, Brenda's boyfriend called an ambulance, which rushed Brenda to a Chattanooga hospital. She was in critical condition with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. She lapsed into a coma and died on September 12. Even though, in theory, women who choose abortion should be less likely to die of ectopic pregnancy complications, experiences shows that they're actually //more// likely to die, due to sloppy practices by abortion practitioners.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

1918, 1962, and 1976. All equally dead.

On September 11, 1918, 35-year-old Gertrude Herrington died in Chicago's Wesley Hospital from an abortion perpetrated by Helen Dugdale, whose profession is given as "abortion provider." Although Dugdale was arrested, the case never went to trial.

Dr. Mandel M. Friedman was charged with homicide in the September 11, 1962 death of Barbara C. Covington, age 35, a Florida socialite. Friedman attributed Barbara's death to a heart attack and tried to get an undertaker to arrange a burial. The undertaker reported the case to authorities. A 31-year-old advertising executive, Franklin Charles Beck, admitted to securing the $1000 abortion fee and driving Barbara to Friedman's office. Friedman was on bail for the death of Vivian Grant at the time of Barbara's death.

Diane Smith, age 23, was one of the women mentioned in the Chicago Sun-Times expose, "The Abortion Profiteers." According to the report, and her death certificate, Diane was admitted to Englewood Hospital in Chicago due to hemorrhaging. She told staff that she'd had a legal abortion in a Chicago-area clinic. Diane was treated for a perforated uterus and sepsis, to no avail. Diane died on September 11, 1976.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

1975: Hospital abortion kills patient

Thirty-one-year-old Mitsue Mohar went to Pacolma Lutheran Hospital in Los Angeles County for a safe and legal abortion on August 5, 1975. Dr. Baca performed the D&C abortion under general anesthesia. After the abortion, Mitsue went into convulsions. She remained 16 days at Pacolma Lutheran without regaining consciousness. On August 21, she was transferred to LA County/USC Medical Center, where she died on September 10 without ever regaining consciousness. The autopsy found that she had suffered hypoxic encephalopathy (brain damage due to not enough oxygen) due to cardiac arrest during the abortion, and had developed pneumonia which eventually killed her.

Of course, advocates of legalized abortion will dismiss Mitsue's death with a casual, "Well, all surgery has risks," then launch into the well-known claim that legalization significantly reduced abortion deaths.

As you can see from the graph below, abortion deaths were falling dramatically before legalization. This steep fall had been in place for decades. To argue that legalization lowered abortion mortality simply isn't supported by the data.

external image Abortion+Deaths+Since+1960.jpg

Friday, September 09, 2011

Latest Life Report "Do prolifers really believe the unborn are human?"

Do prolifers really believe the unborn are human?

1. Josh asks prolifers, especially on FaceBook, to not nitpick absolutely every use of language to make sure they use the utterly most "prolife" language. Example: Josh posted commented that referred to the impending birth of his son as "We're having a baby tomorrow." A guy attacked him for not being overt about the fact that the baby already exists. So please, don't be language police.

This topic goes back to interview he did with David Lee, Executive Director of Justice For All, commented that "Everybody's a little bit prochoice," meaning that prochoicers don't believe that the unborn aren't fully people, just to be able to cope with the reality of so many children being killed every day. We don't have the same gut response to the killing during abortion that we do to other mass killing.

Josh asks, "Do you think that you act as if you really believe that the unborn are persons?"

I'd say, "No, not any more than I act as if I really believe that the people being slaughtered in Darfur are persons."

Our visceral responses are hard wired, depending on how close the person being killed is to us. Those who have a loved one murdered are totally traumatized for life. Those who were friends with, but not close to, the murder victim are shocked and grieved, but they get on with their lives unaltered. Those who might have known the murder victim in passing -- say, she was the sister of an old high school classmate, and you met her once -- will be shocked and dismayed but not really grieved. Those who had no clue who the victim was, they just read about the murder on a news site, register the fact briefly then forget all about it. And the statistic about how many murders there are in a city in a year is just a subject of public policy discussion if it's noticed at all.

None of this means that we don't consider murder victims to be persons. It's just that we're not hard wired to have a gut response to it. If we were, we'd lose our minds. We'd be overcome by the massive ongoing tragedy, and we'd be unable to function.

Liz refers to Schindler's List, and how, after the dust settles, Oskar Schindler is wracked with anguish that he didn't do more to save more Jews. But, she notes, this does not mean that he wasn't recognizing that all Jews were just as much people as the Jews on his list.

Josh restates the question as, "Are we taking our Holocaust as seriously as Oskar Schindler did his?"

The discussion goes around to the natural tendency to become desensitized.

Josh then segued into another topic: A prochoice argument he'd never heard before. "Abortion is just a medical treatment for unwanted pregnancy."

Actually, I've heard that for 20 years. And Josh noted that Warren Hern, major abortionist, classified pregnancy as a disease for which the treatment of choice is abortion.

I would say that it's the distress at the pregnancy, not the pregnancy itself, that is the problem. I've blogged about this. And Liz pointed out that anxiety can lead women to kill their children. Was killing the children a legitimate "treatment" for the woman's disease?

Josh postulated this parallel: What if you'd been a German living in Nazi Germany, and you needed a liver transplant. Would it be an accepted medical treatment to have Dr. Mengele kill a Jew to transplant his liver into you?

Andrew asked if one person's pain is sufficient cause to kill another person.

I would add that lethal injection is done by doctors, and it's done in a medical way. So is that a proper medical treatment for being predisposed to criminal activity?

One little noted death, one spectacular scandal

Anna Adler, a married woman, died in Chicago, on the scene of an abortion performed by Dr. Lou. E. Davis that day. Davis was arrested that day, and he or she was indicted by a Grand Jury on October 15, but the case never went to trial.

Another case -- almost certainly an abortion case -- did go to trial. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, one of the most popular performers in Hollywood, was accused of murder in the death of 25-year-old wanna-be starlet Virginia Rappe (a stage name, pronounced "rap-PAY"). Arbuckle was hosting a weekend party at a San Francisco hotel over the Labor Day weekend of 1921. Virginia Rappe invited herself, as did a lot of people.

The booze-addled party-goers were not very consistent sources of information about exactly what happened. What is agreed upon is that Virginia stumbled into a bathroom at some point on Monday. Arbuckle said that he found her hunched over the toilet, vomiting and in pain. He moved her to his bed, where he hoped she would sleep it off. He then rejoined the party.

Virginia's condition deteriorated. At some point, she became hysterical, screaming that she was dying and tearing her clothes off. The drunken party guests eventually decided to put the nude Virginia into a bathtub of ice water. Of course, this did nothing to help Virginia, who continued to scream. Arbuckle carried her to another room and summoned doctors. The guests, thinking Virginia was just hung over, continued to party. The doctors saw no reason for alarm, so Arbuckle left Virginia to sleep it off.

Finally, on Thursday, September 8, somebody arranged to have her taken for medical care -- not to a hospital, but to Wakefield Sanitorium, a maternity hospital known for performing quasi-legal abortions. Virginia, who had been a repeat abortion patient at Wakefield, died the next day, Friday, September 9.
Her autopsy was performed there, and overseen by a reputed abortionist. Her reproductive organs were removed and never recovered. The cause of death was listed as peritonitis due to a ruptured bladder due to "external force."

Arbuckle was accused of murder by Maude Delmont, aka "Madame Black." Delmont ran a blackmail scam, in which she'd provide young women to entertain men at Hollywood parties. A girl would claim that she was raped by some prominent man, who would then pay off Delmont to keep quiet. Delmont's story was so outrageous -- as was her character -- the prosecutors never called her as a witness.
District Attorney Matthew Brady, along with William Randolph Hearst, pursued Arbuckle relentlessly through three trials -- two with hung juries, and a third that produced not just an acquittal but an apology from the jury:
Acquittal is not enough for Roscoe Arbuckle. We feel that a great injustice has been done him ... there was not the slightest proof adduced to connect him in any way with the commission of a crime. He was manly throughout the case and told a straightforward story which we all believe. We wish him success and hope that the American people will take the judgement of fourteen men and women that Roscoe Arbuckle is entirely innocent and free from all blame.
Speculation continues to this day about why Arbuckle was targeted, when even a cursory look at circumstances should have cast suspicions on Maude Delmont and Wakefield Sanitorium. My guess is that too close a public look at Wakefield would drag some powerful people into the spotlight for unsavory activities. Better to destroy Roscoe Arbuckle, while profiting from the ensuing media circus, than to have certain skeletons spill forth from the closets.

Arbuckle never recovered, either personally, professionally, or physically, from the ordeal. He died of a heart attack in 1933. To my mind he will always be the third victim of the abortionist who killed Virginia Rappe and her unborn baby.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Tale of Two Teens

On September 8, 1923, 16-year-old Madge Bowman died at Chicago's Garfield Park Hospital from an abortion performed there that day. Midwife Kate Seuer and a man named Walter Page were arrested on October 5, but were later cleared by the coroner.

Seventeen-year-old Kathy Murphy was much more fortunate than Madge. After all, abortion was legal, readily available, and perfectly safe when she went to Inglewood Women's Hospital in Los Angeles County on August 24, 1973. During the days after her abortion, Kathy suffered breathing problems and became semi-conscious, so Inglewood staff transferred her by ambulance to Centinela Hospital on September 7. Later that night, Cetinela transferred Kathy back to Inglewood, where John Dupont pronounced her dead at 1:20 on the morning of September 8. The autopsy found that Kathy had died of sepsis from the abortion; her cervix and uterus were infected, and her cervix covered with greenish-black pus. Other women who died after abortions at Inglewood include Belinda Byrd, Cora Lewis, Lynette Wallace, and Elizabeth Tsuji.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

1996: Just one victim of habitual quackery

Tanya Williamson is referred to as "Patient A" in medical board documents pertaining to her abortionist, Moshe Hachamovitch. By cross-matching details with outside sources, I was able to identify her by name.

The Cemetery of Choice page about Tanya's September 7, 1996 death provides all the sordid details: the failure to properly document risky medications, lack of proper monitoring of this anesthetized patient, failure to adequately staff the recovery room, failure to respond promptly and appropriately to signs that the patient was suffering life-threatening complications and to the subsequent cardio-respiratory arrest, use of broken and useless equipment in attempts to resuscitate her, failure to use vital and fully functioning equipment that actually was available, administration of the wrong drugs to address the emergency, and so on.

The board suspended Hachamovitch’s license, and added probationary requirements that he was to be supervised by an anesthesiologist who had no conflict of interest, that Hachamovitch maintain ACLS certification, and that he maintain at least one staffer in recovery who is ACLS certified.

Tanya was not the only victim of Hachamovitch's lackadaisical practices. Other victims I'm aware of are:
  • Luz Rodriguez, allowed to bleed to death in 1986.
  • Jammie Garcia, age 15, died a horrible death after her safe, legal abortion at one of Hachamovitch's facilities in Texas.
  • Christina Goesswein, brought to his office at 4 a.m. to treat grave complications.
  • Lisa Bardsley, bled to death on the way home from her safe, legal abortion at one of Hachamovitch's facilities in Arizona.
  • Lou Anne Herron, pleas for help unheeded as she bled to death in Hachamovitch's Arizona abortion clinic.

Not pregnant? No problem! We'll still abort you!

Twenty-four-year-old Synthia Dennard went to the notorious Biogenetics abortion mill in Chicago for a safe, legal abortion and tubal ligation on September 7, 1989. The surgery was performed by Inno Obasi.

Synthia began to hemorrhage during the surgery. A medical investigation later found that Obasi had "failed to summon help in a timely manner; refused to allow trained and skilled paramedics to attend to Synthia; refused to allow paramedics to transport Synthia to a hospital in a timely manner" and otherwise "allowed Synthia to bleed to death."

Synthia's survivors had to file a court order to keep the facility from destroying her records. An autopsy revealed that instead of removing a section of Synthia's fallopian tube, Obasi had removed a portion of an artery. The autopsy also revealed that Synthia, mother of two, had not been pregnant at the time of her abortion.

Arnold Bickham, one of the most infamous of the Biogenetics abortionists, actually had his medical license revoked at one point for performing abortions on women who falsely believed themselves to be pregnant. One Biogenetics patient told the Chicago Sun-Times that in the middle of performing an agonizing abortion on her, abortionist David Aberman screamed at a nurse, "This lady is not pregnant!"

It makes it a bit difficult for the abortion lobby to insist that women only submit to abortions they "need" when some of the women in question aren't even pregnant.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Another collection from LOC archives

The day book March 24, 1917: "Probes Girl's Death -- Coroner Peter M. Hoffman started investigation today following death of Margaret Connors, 33 Waverly ct., telephone operator for Chicago Telephone Co. Miss Connors died at the County hospital from the effects of an alleged illegal operation."

I got a bit more information on the death of Pauline Hill.

January 6, 1916, notes the abortion death of Mrs. Nancy Hunt, 35, at Rhodes Avenue Hospital. January 6, 1917, notes that 16-year-old Agnes Groja died "supposedly of illegal operation" at St. John's Hospital. September 15, 1915 notes that the inquest into the death of Mrs. Anna Mauch continued, with evidence pointing at midwife Emilie Sarb as the abortionist. February 2, 1916, notes that police were searching for the midwife who performed the fatal abortion on Mrs. Anna Berman.

May 29, 1916, noting an investigation into the suspicious death of Mildred Hoffman of Milwaukee at the Chicago home of Miss Blanche Curley. Drs. W. J. Wick and W. D. Pennington were called before the inquest. June 12, 1916, noting the suspicious death of Jennie Aablinien. December 16, 1914, noting the suspicious death of Mrs. E. Hilliger. December 19, 1914, suspicious death of Mrs. Agnes Schaffner at Washington Park Hospital from blood poisoning.

November 28, 1913, notes the suspicious death of Mrs. Henry Bloug, with Mrs. Anna Kleckner suspected of performing the fatal abortion, and Miss Anna Gold at Englewood Hospital. The very next day, Anna's name is changed to Rose (unless sisters named Anna and Rose, living at the same address, died at the same time of illegal abortions), and Dr. C. S. Salmon is being held for manslaughter in her death. (See how much of a pain it can be to sort these things out?)

"Chance for Abortion Body to Do Some Work," September 30, 1915, wants a committee of aldermen to get to work on stamping out the abortion scourge. It also notes:

Yesterday the coroner's jury decided to continue the inquest over the body of Roselle Rockhill, an Indiana schoolgirl, who died in the Ravenswood hospital from an illegal operation. Roselle was deserted by her lover when she came to Chicago to be married. She could not face the disgrace. A midwife finished the job and the coroner's office holds the records of another tragedy.

The police are hunting for the mysterious midwife who accomplished a double murder for $35.

The man who ran away is Wilbur Swank of Bremen, Ind.
This case in the December 5, 1914 issue, is about an abortion-and-betrayal case I want to look into some more.

December 9, 1914, holds a sordid story about a doctor who arranged or performed a fatal abortion for Ruth Merriweather (apparently in Denver) while he was secretly married to a woman in Watseka, Illinois.

While we're weaving tangled webs -- December 24, 1914, George Hall was arrested on charges of extortion when Dr. W. M. Burroughs reported him for threatening to "state publicly that Burroughs caused death of wife by illegal operation."

Okay, folks. I think that's enough for one day.

Verbatim from 1915

I think this just provides such a contrast -- the way botched abortions were taken seriously then, as compared to the "Meh" they provoke today.

Another Abortion Case is Added to Long List?

"A woman is dying from an abortion in room 301, Lake Shore hospital," a voice over the phone informed Serg't G. F. Scrivner.

Police got to the hospital in time to see an auto with a patient and two nurses roll away. They took the superintendent up to the station house. She said the woman in the auto was "Miss Smith of Kankakee," entered at the hospital by Dr. C W. Klinetop, 177 N. State.

Dr. Klinetop is awaiting trial on charge of performing criminal operation on Mrs. Minnie Miller, 1031 N. Paulina, January, 1912.

The Lake Shore hospital is where Mrs. Stella cams died from an illegal operation. In this case Drs. Meinhardt, J. Balhatchett, G. A. Stetler and C. W. Clark are held.

More quick takes from LOC newspaper archives

I'm still going through a search of LOC's online newspaper archives. I'm putting snippets and links here, both so that you can follow the process, and because that's an easy way to have everything I need just a click away.

Let's start with a really weird one:

New "Love Cult" Tangle -- The Day Book March 26, 1915

Alliance, O., March 26.--Mysterious rites believed to have been performed at the "Brotherhood Home" of the Kingdom of God, a religious "new love" cult of 12 members, 7 of them women, are under investigation following the death of Amy G. Tanner, 23, a convert, under circumstances that indiate an illegal operation had been performed. "Apostle" P. A. George, leader of the cult, is in jail and other members are under surveillance.

George in his cell declared: "The voice of God speaks to me and tells me I am innocent of the charge. I do not believe in free love, but the laws of men are not the laws of God and every man has a real wife, though she may not the the one the law united him to."
As Bull would say, "Oh-KAY!"

News roundup page from February 26, 1913, notes that a midwife named Carolina Sunberg, and a man named Daniel Ringstrom, were held to the grand jury for the abortion death of Miss Elizabeth Spaulding. As a completely off-topic bit of "Huh?" -- the item immediately above notes that a woman was "arrested for selling imitation lace as real." Oh-KAY!

Here's one for you:

Doctors and Nurses Mixed Up In Race Suicide Deal? (The Day Book, August 25, 1913)

Philadelphia, Pa., Aug. 25.--It is alleged that a conspiracy exists here between three local physicians and two trained nurses to connive at race suicide. Estimates, only partially completed because of insufficient evidence, place the number of babies killed at 1,000.

One of the nurses is said to be a Miss Simmons, and it was asserted that she has made a partial confession. Her arrest followed the finding of the body of Miss Meredith Dukes, daughter of John L. Dukes, a prominent Maryland farmer, in an Arch street house. Investigation showed the girl died after an illegal operation.
This one goes back to the Pittsburgh abortion ring I'll have to dig into later. Here is another one. Ya know, if people had given women women real help, instead of just referring them to an abortion ring, that would have been a significant improvement. Instead, they just legalized the abortion rings. Sigh.

I'm confused about this page, from August 9, 1913. It notes that Dr. Jack J. Moses and Dr. Paul Ackerman, along with Spiros Gianbadakis, were held by the grand jury in connection with the abortion death of Mrs Catherine Madelopodo. I have the victim's name as Catherine Sartelopoulos, with Dr. Moses identified as "Jacques" Moses. I'll have to sort that out. I'm going to guess that one source has the woman's name wrong, rather than think that these three characters were going around killing Greek woman named Catherine by botching their abortions.

This page from April 28, 1914, notes the self-induced abortion death of "Mrs. G. W. Williams." It'd be nice if they treated the woman as if she still had her given name. It just adds insult to injury, the way the papers act as if the woman is no longer Alice or Harriet or Matilda, but is just Mrs. G. W.

Another woman is denied her name in death. According to the August 7, 1913 The Day Book, Mrs Robert S. Lucas died in Chicago, and Dr. A. E. Ludwig was held on $10,000 bond under allegations that he performed a fatal abortion on her. "In a statement purporting to be signed by Mrs. Lucas, and witnessed by Dr. Edward L. Webb and Dr. Irving H. Eddy," Mrs. Lucas named Ludwig as the guilty abortionist. Ludwig said he was the victim of spite, having had trouble with one of the doctors. He said he'd never seen Mrs. Lucas nor been to her home.

Of passing interest -- Dr. Eva Shaver was released on $30,000 bond awaiting trial for the murder of Anna Johnson. (July 1, 1915) More on the Johnson case here. While we're on the topic of Dr. Shaver, this page has an opinion piece, by Dwight McKay, Assistant State's Attorney, about the death of Lillian "Lillie" Gevenco, providing more information than I'd had available:

Lillian Gevenco ... was a young girl ... who had shortly before been married to a young man employed as a peddler or coal teamster. Her husband appeared in court in the clothes which he wears when occupied in earning a living. He testified under oath of the facts and circumstances concerning the death of his wife from an illegal operation.

Lillian Gevenco, before her death, made a dying statement, and in this statement stated the circumstances and cause of her death .... This statement was signed and witnessed upon her deathbed.

Numerous witnesses testified with regard to the condition of the patient prior and up to the time of her death.

[The writer notes that Shaver, "notwithstanding so serious a charge," did not take the stand in her own defense, and add that "the evidence of the young husband was so serious, clear, concise and truthful that numerous lawyers representing the defendant only asked a few questions of him and refused to further cross-examine him." He notes that Shaver was found guilty of manslaughter, carrying a 1 year to life sentence, and castigate a woman who had written an opinion letter sympathetic to Dr. Shaver. ]

Here we have midwife Mrs. K. Marchewazuk being arrested for performing an abortion on Mrs. Bertha Ziemba, who is reported as "dying."

The July 3, 1915 issue notes that an unnamed physician was exonerated in the abortion death of 32-year-old Mrs. Anna Vovy.

This is all just creepy and I'll have to look into it later.