Thursday, May 31, 2012

1986: Safe and Legal Abortion Kills Texas Woman

The survivors of Dorothy Bryant filed suit against Dr. Robert Prince (pictured) in her death. The suit says that Prince failed to perform a proper pre-operative evaluation before performing a safe and legal abortion on 22-year-old Dorothy at Dallas Medical Ladies Clinic on May 27, 1986. Dorothy hemorrhaged during the procedure. In the lawsuit, her family said that Prince was negligent in his administration of drugs, anesthesia, and in his administration of a blood transfusion. Dorothy was transferred to a hospital, where she died four days later of pulmonary fibrosis.

Prince is currently under investigation in Texas for failing to report possible sexual abuse of a 13-year old girl who called seeking an abortion.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bizarre Circumstances in 1915

Anna Johnson was found dead with a bullet hole in her head on May 26, 1915, in the Chicago home of Dr. Eva Shaver. Shaver told police that she had hired Johnson as a maid, and that the girl had committed suicide. But investigators concluded that Anna had died after Shaver had botched an abortion on her. They tore up the floorboards in the house, searching for the remains of aborted babies. Anna's "sweetheart", Marshall Hostetler, told the coroner that he had known Anna for a year, since they'd met at a dance hall. They'd planned to marry. When she discovered that she was pregnant, Hostetler had purchased abortifactient pills for her from Shaver's son, Clarence. The fetus survived this chemical assault, so Hostetler arranged for Shaver to perform a surgical abortion. Hostetler reportedly "sobbed" and "collapsed" at the inquest into Anna's death. New coverage painted him has having been misled by Dr. Shaver and her son, though he had gone into hiding upon the girl's death at one point been a suspect. Shaver was tried for Johnson's death and the abortion death of another patient, Lillie Giovenco, in 1914.

On May 26, 1950, Annis Whitlow Brown performed an abortion on Joy M. Joy, the unmarried mother of a six-year-old daughter. Brown botched the job, causing hemorrhage and failing to properly treat the patient. Joy died quickly from blood loss. I have not determined what Brown's profession was.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Unusual Abortion: Chicago, 1912

On May 24, 1912, 24-year-old Margaret Dwyer died at Englewood Union Hospital in Chicago, the day after an abortion perpetrated by Paulina Lindenson. Lindenson's profession is listed only as "abortion provider" so it is likely that she was a lay abortionist. She was held by the Coroner on May 24, and indicted by a Grand Jury on July 19, but the case never went to trial.

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Docters' Work Pre and Post Roe

On May 10, 1929, 24-year-old homemaker Elizabeth Palumbo submitted to an abortion, evidently performed by Dr. Amante (or Amenti) Rongetti. She was taken to West End Hospital afterward, and she died there on May 23. Rongetti was held by the coroner on June 12. On June 20, he was acquitted. I was amazed to see Rongetti tied up in this case, because only the previous year he had been sentenced to die in the electric chair for the abortion death of Loretta Enders. Rongetti's attorney clearly had been successful in his bid for a new trial.

Life Dynamics lists 29-year-old divorcee Rhonda Ruggiero on their "Blackmun Wallsafe and legal abortions. According to the information LDI put together, and from genealogical research, Rhonda underwent an abortion in May of 1982. She suddenly died in her home of an abortion-related pulmonary embolism on May 23. No autopsy was performed.

Josefina Garcia, age 37, mother of 2, died after abortion at a Family Planning Associates Medical Group (FPA) facility. Josefina's survivors filed suit against FPA owner Edward Campbell Allred, and 5 other doctors. The family said that staff failed to determine that Josefina had an ectopic pregnancy before proceeding with a routinesafe and legal abortion procedure by D&C on May 23, 1985. After her abortion, Josefina was left unattended in a recovery room, where she hemorrhaged. She died the day of her abortion. Other patients known to have died after FPA abortions include Denise Holmes, Patricia Chacon, Mary Pena, Lanice Dorsey, Joyce Ortenzio, Tami Suematsu, Deanna Bell, Susan Levy, Christina Mora, Nakia Jorden, Maria Leho, Kimberly Neil, Maria Rodriguez, and Chanelle Bryant.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Friends Don't Help Freinds Arrange Abortions

According to her husband, Baptist, 26-year-old homemaker Mary Jane Douds had not been well for four years. When he'd come home from work on the morning of Monday, May 18, 1900, he found her sick in bed. He wanted to call a doctor, but “she would not have it.” Baptist figured that his wife must be menstruating, since she always had difficult periods. Three different doctors treated her over the next several days. She got weaker and finally lost consciousness a few minutes before her death at around 9:00 a.m. On May 21.

Mary Schwartz asked Marie Hansen, a coworker at the Illinois Meat Company in Chicago, to help her arrange an abortion. That same day, a Monday in May of 1934, Marie took Mary to Dr. Justin L. Mitchell's office south of Chicago's meatpacking district. Marie had undergone an abortion at Mitchell's hands three years earlier, and, telling him that her friend “wants to get fixed up,” she negotiated a discount from the usual price of $50 to $30. Marie co-signed on a $25 loan, and lent Mary $5 “in dimes” from her own money. The next morning, the two women again went to Mitchell's office. Marie waited outside during the abortion, then took Mary home with her to recover. That evening, Mary took ill, so Marie called Mitchell and told him that Mary “was bad sick.” Mitchell told Marie to give Mary castor oil, and place warm towels on her abdomen to help with the pain. This did not alleviate Mary's pain, so on Marie took her back to Mitchell's office on Thursday evening and Friday morning. Marie told Mitchell, "Don't forget to scrape her. . . . and do a good job." At 4:00 Saturday morning, Marie was very concerned and called Mary's lover, Joe Henja, who was a foreman at the meat plant. Joe complied with Marie's request that he come right away and get Mary. He called his own doctor then rushed Mary to a hospital, where Mary died, likely on or slightly before May 21, 1934.

Little is available about Sharon L. Margrove, but on May 21, 1970, she died following a safe and legal abortion in Los Angeles County, California. She was 25 years old, a native of Oregon.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Three Criminal Deaths

On May 20, 1870, Mrs Matilda Henningsen, aka Matilda Hunt, died at No. 182 East Seventh Street in Brooklyn. Mr. A. A. Wolff, from Denmark, purported to be a physician, but is not identified as such in the source document. Six fetuses, along with various instruments, were found in his office. The jury determined that Wolff had performed the fatal abortion.

Dr. Claude C. Long ran a rather fishy medical practice in San Francisco. He, his wife Isabel, and a relative named Ann Fisher, were charged with the May 20, 1937 murder of 26-year-old Genevieve Arganbright. Long admitted -- once he'd been caught -- that Genevieve had died while he'd been performing an abortion on her. The jury acquitted Mrs. Long and Ann Fisher, but found Dr. Long guilty of manslaughter.

On May 20, 1939, 37-year-old Hilja Johnson of Butte, Montana, died from complications of an incomplete abortion, leaving behind a widower. GertrudePitkanen.jpgA surgical nurse, Gertrude Pitkanen (pictured), admitted at the coroner's inquest that Hilja had come to her office, and that she had later visited Hilja at her home and advised her to go to a hospital. Pitkanen was charged with murder in Hilja's death. Pitkanen, born in 1878 in Lincoln, Nebraska, completed her nurse's training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She moved to Butte in 1907, and was one of the first surgical nurses at St. James Community Hospital, assisting her husband, Dr. Gustavus Pitkanen. Dr. Pitkanen was an abortionist until he was jailed for sedition in 1917, whereupon his wife took up the curette

Saturday, May 19, 2012

From 1858 to 1992, Death Marches On

On May 19, 1858, Mrs. Amelia Weber died at the home of Dr. Charles Cobel in Brooklyn. "[F]rom the privacy of the burial and other mysterious circumstances surrounding the case, the body, six days after interment, was ordered by the Coroner to be exhumed for medical examination." Testimony at the inquest indicated that Amelia had left her home in Warrenville a few days before her death, supposedly to visit friends in Brooklyn and to do some shopping. Instead, Amelia went directly to Cobel's house. The medical evidence indicated that Amelia had died of complications of an abortion, which the coroner's jury concluded had been performed by Cobel, a known abortionist, who was also implicated in the deaths of Antoinette Fennor and Emma Wolfer.

In May of 1934, 19-year-old actress Annette Camoratto, stage name Toni Morgan, died of abortion complications. Dr. Harry A Felice was charged with homicide in Annette's death. Felice, who was Annette's brother-in-law, was later released due to lack of evidence.

The autopsy report for 22-year-old Joan Camp attributed her death to "complications apparently as a result of a recent termination of pregnancy." Joan had been found unconscious in the morning on May 18, 1985. She was rushed to Memorial Hospital in San Leandro, California, where doctors tried to save her life. Their efforts were futile. Joan died the next morning, May 19, 1985, from clots in her lungs.

Susan Levy was 30 years old when she underwent a safe and legal abortion at the Family Planning Associates in Mission Hills, California on April 9, 1992. FPA is a member of the National Abortion Federation. Susan, originally from Florida, was homeless and was living in a car owned by a friend. On May 19, 1992, she was found dead in that car. The cause of death was determined to be from an infection that developed from fetal tissue that was not removed during her abortion. Other women known to have died after abortion at FPA facilities include:Denise Holmes, age 24, 1970; Patricia Chacon, age 16, 1984; Mary Pena, age 43, 1984; Josefina Garcia, age 37, 1985; Lanice Dorsey, age 17, 1986; Joyce Ortenzio, age 32, 1988; Tami Suematsu, age 19, 1988; Deanna Bell, age 13, 1992; Christina Mora, age 18, 1994; Nakia Jorden, 1998; Maria Leho, 1999; Kimberly Neil, 2000; Maria Rodriguez, age 22, 2000; and Chanelle Bryant, age 22, 2004.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Unknown Perp in 1925, a Doctor's Work in 1958

I know little of the May 18, 1925 death of Della Davis, a 25-year-old Black woman. Della died in Chicago from an illegal abortion performed that day, leaving behind her husband, Huston. The person responsible for her death was never caught.

Far more information is available about th 1958 death of 20-year-old Janice Easterbrook. She lived with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Easterbrook in Arcadia, Nebraska. Two doctors in Nebraska had already told them that Janice was pregnant, and the family traveled to Kansas City for a third opinion from Dr. William M. Korth. With lab tests and an exam, he confirmed that Janice was about 3 to 3 1/2 months pregnant. Korth later testified that there had been no signs of either health problems that would prevent Janice from carrying to term, or that anybody had tried to tamper with the pregnancy.

With this confirmation of pregnancy, the Easterbrooks went to Dr. Harry Werbin's office to try to arrange an abortion. He was closed for the day so they returned the next morning, May 16, 1958.

The receptionist greeted them and made an appointment for them to meet with Werbin at 11:30 that morning. The Easterbrooks told Werbin that they wanted the baby aborted. Werbin took Janice into his office to examine her, then consulted with her parents, explaining that he charged $100 per month of pregnancy, so the charge for Janice's abortion would be $300.

The parents asked Werbin if the abortion would be dangerous, but he assured them that he wasn't having any "bad luck," and that a day or two after the abortion Janice would be able to continue on a trip through the Ozarks with her family. Mr. Easterbrook handed $300 to his wife, who handed the $300 to their daughter, who handed it to the doctor.

Werbin asked when they wanted the abortion done, and Janice said, "Now is as good a time as any." Werbin took her back into his private office. About ten or fifteen minutes later, Janice emerged, no seeming ill, but with some blood drops on her shoes. Werbin took her back into his office, and instructed her mother to go down to the drug store and buy some Kotex.

When Mrs. Easterbrook returned with the Kotex, the parents asked Werbin if Janice should go to the hospital, and he said, "No. Let's leave the hospitals out of it. I know how to take care of it, and what to do." He gave Janice some medication, and gave her parents one of his cards, on which he'd written the name of the U-Smile Motel on Highway 40.

Janice returned with her family on Saturday morning, May 17, per Werbin's instructions. Werbin took her back into his office for about fifteen minutes. When Janice emerged, she was crying and told her parents, "He hurt me."

That evening at the motel, Janice began to vomit violently. Her mother called Werbin, who demurred at first, but came to check on his patient once her mother insisted. He came back and forth to the motel several times, spending more and more time on each visit, staying there most of Saturday night. Janice was sick and in a lot of pain, and Mrs. Easterbrook again suggested taking Janice to a hospital. Werbin reassured the parents that it was not uncommon for women to be in Janice's condition after an abortion. He used a curved instrument about ten inches long to remove some tissue from her vagina.

On Sunday morning, Janice got up to use the toilet, where she passed a mutilated fetus about six inches long. Her parents summoned Werbin, who summoned Dr. Richard Mucie to assist him at about 11:00 a.m. Janice's parents were alarmed that she appeared blue and was breathing rapidly. Werbin and Mucie held a quiet conversation that the parents couldn't overhear, then Mucie picked Janice up and carried her out to Werbin's car, telling her parents to caravan with them to Independence Hospital.

After driving about six miles east, Werbin did a U-turn, and the Easterbrooks lost him in traffic. Werbin went to General Hospital, where he met Joseph L. Connors, a non-physician and deputy coroner, at about 3:10 p.m., telling him that the dead woman in his car was a patient he'd been called to treat at the U-Smile for hemorrhage.

Mucie testified that Werbin had called him in to assist in treating a botched self-induced abortion at the motel, and that Werbin had performed a curretage to remove tissue, while Mucie had given her medications to stimulate circulation. Mucie concluded that Janice had died from an embolism, possibly air or a clot lodged in the heart or lungs. He said that the reason they'd not taken Janice to Independence Sanitarium was that Independence wasn't friendly to osteopaths.

The Jackson County Coroner, Dr. Hugh H. Owens, performed the autopsy that afternoon, May 18, and found ample evidence of a pregnancy and an abortion performed with instruments. Janice's uterus had been perforated, and Owens concluded that she had bled to death.

Werbin was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to two years. His sentence was upheld on appeal.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Illegal and Legal and All Just as Dead

Ad for Plenz's abortion business
On May 17, 1904, Miss Margaret McCarthy died in Chicago's Mary Thompson Hospital from an illegal abortion performed some days earlier at an unknown location. Mrs. Gertrude Plenz was arrested on May 21 for the death, and Benjamin Frederick, a boiler inspector, arrested for complicity. Both Plenz and Frederick were held by Coroner's Jury. Plenz, a midwife, is listed as an unskilled laborer in this arrest. She was later arrested for the abortion deaths of Sarah Cushing and Mary Kissell. She advertised in the Chicago newspapers, very thinly veiling the true nature of her deadly business.

On May 17, 1919, 27-year-old nurse Gertrude Schaefer, a widow, died at Chicago's Wesley Hospital (pictured) from an abortion perpetrated by an unidentified person.

On April 2, 1924, 26-year-old homemaker Mary Whitney underwent an abortion at the Chicago office of Dr. Lou E. Davis. On May 17, Mary died at St. Mary's Hospital of complications of that abortion. Dr. Davis was held by the coroner on May 19.

"Danielle," age 18, had decided to take advantage of the liberalized law, and traveled from Massachusetts to New York for a safe and legal abortion. On May 17, 1972, the abortion was performed. Minutes after it was completed, Danielle was dead. She'd developed arterial and venous air emboli (air bubbles in the blood stream).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Did Dr. Albers Kill Lucile Bersworth?

Dr. Anna Albers

On May 16, 1916, 25-year-old Lucile Bersworth died at the Chicago office of Dr. Anna Albers (pictured) from complications of an abortion perpetrated that day. Though Albers was held by the coroner and indicted by a Grand Jury, the case never went to trial.

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.

In fact, due to improvements in addressing these problems, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

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

external image MaternalMortality.gif

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

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Safe and Legal in 1972

"Roxanne" was 17 years old when she decided to take advantage of New York's new abortion law, and traveled there from Michigan to have a first-trimester abortion in a doctor's office.

The doctor gave her sedatives and local anesthesia to begin the abortion on May 13, 1972. But before the abortion could be started, Roxanne started to have convulsions and went into cardiac arrest.

Roxanne was taken to an area hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival.

An investigation into the case revealed that the doctor had exceeded the recommended dose of the local anesthesetic.

As you can see from the graph below, abortion deaths were falling dramatically before legalization. If you look closely you can see the points where New York and California legalized abortion on demand, as well as the point where Roe v Wade was handed down. Though annual abortion deaths did indeed fall after legalization, this 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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Deadly Abortions Continue After Legalization

On May 12, 1919, 38-year-old homemaker Susie Airey died at her Chicago home from an abortion perpetrated by Martha Richter, whose profession is not listed. She went to trial on November 10, but the case was stricken off.

"Anita" was a 23-year-old mother of two when she traveled from Massachusetts to New York to take advantage of the law legalizing abortion. She was 22 weeks pregnant. On May 11, 1971 the doctor initiated a saline abortion, then sent Anita home to expel the fetus. The next day, Anita was found unresponsive at her home. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. She had bled to death.

On May 12, 1989, Gladyss Estanislao, 28-year-old mother of one, was found unresponsive on the floor of the rest room near her college classroom. A doctor who was in the vicinity performed CPR while awaiting an ambulance. Gladyss was taken to a hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival from cardiac arrest due to blood loss from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that her abortionist, Alan J. Ross, had failed to diagnose before, during, or after the suction abortion he had performed at Women's Health Care Center on April 25. The fact that the abortion specimen did not contain fetal parts should have indicated that Gladyss had an ectopic pregnancy. Because of the sloppiness of abortionists like Ross, women who choose abortion are more likely to die from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy than are women intending to carry to term.

The family of 34-year-old Colleen Chambers had become concerned about her after her safe, legal abortion in 1991. They called an employee of the place Colleen lived, and asked him to check on her. He found her dead in her room. The autopsy showed that she had died from blood clots in her lungs and legs, and gave her date of death as May 12, 1991.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

One Illegal Abortion and Extensive Legal Quackery

On May 8, 1928, 27-year-old Margaret Barnts died from a criminal abortion perpetrated by Pauline Zickerman or Nickelman. (The name is given two different ways in the source, perhaps due to illegible handwriting on their original source documents.) The defendant was indicted for felony murder on May 15, 1928. Her profession is not mentioned.

Twenty-four-year-old Maura Morales was eight weeks pregnant when she went to Woman's Care Center for a safe and legal abortion on May 8, 1981. When she was in the recovery room, her heart went into spontaneous ventricular fibrillation -- irregular heartbeats not capable of effectively pumping blood. Maura was taken to a hospital, but died that day.Maura was the fourth woman to die from abortions perpetrated at that facility. The others were Shirley Payne, Myrta Baptiste, and Ruth Montero.

Claudia Caventou, age 33, underwent a safe, legal first-trimester abortion at Mercy Medical Clinic in Los Angeles on May 8, 1986, performed by H. N. Fahmy. Claudia's boyfriend was in the waiting room during the procedure. Staff told him that everything was okay, and suggested that he leave and get something to eat. Since he'd heard Claudia screaming earlier, he decided to stay. Several hours later, he heard the doctor come out and tell his staff to call 911. Claudia was taken to a hospital where she underwent emergency surgery for what doctors thought was a perforated uterus. It turned out that Claudia's pregnancy had been in her fallopian tube, which had ruptured during the abortion. Efforts to save Claudia were futile, and she died later that day. 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.

On May 2, 2009, 18-year-old Antonesha L. Ross went to Women's Aid Clinic of Lincolnwood, Illinois. She had an ultrasound performed that showed that she was 13 weeks pregnant. Her abortion was scheduled for May 8. Dr. Josephine Kamper performed the abortion, while CRNA Lawrence Hill administered anesthesia. During the abortion, Antonesha's blood oxygen saturation fell to between 80% and 90%, and she began to cough up blood through her mouth and nose. An employee gave her a bag to breathe into. Needless to say, this wasn't any help, and Antonesha went into cardio-respiratory arrest. She was not provided with proper resuscitation, and she died, leaving behind two small children. Dorothy Muzorewa and Kathleen Gilbert also died after abortion perpetrated at Women's Aid Clinic.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Did Mom Let Doc off the Hook?

On May 7, 1905, Mrs. Hannah Calhoun died in Peoria, Illinois, from fever and blood poisoning attributed to an abortion.

At first, Dr. J. W. Parker and his assistant, Dr. John Peattie, were held in the death. Then the Grand Jury held from Sophia Spellman, Hannah's mother. Her testimony, to the effect that Parker had only been called in to attend to Hannah after she had taken ill, was enough to lead the Grand Jury to exonerate the men, though they were reputed abortionists. Parker had been charged in another abortion, evidently not fatal, several years earlier.

Hannah's mother would not concede that Hannah had aborted the pregnancy, but said that if there had been an abortion performed, Hannah must have done it herself.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Three Criminal Deaths

Rosa Device was taken to Chambers Street Hospital in New York on Friday night, May 3, 1878. She was "in a hopeless condition" when she arrived. "She told the physicians in the hospital that she had been leading an evil life for three months, and had procured and taken drugs to produce an abortion. She died just after midnight on Saturday night, which would have been the early morning hours of Sunday, May 5. 

On May 5, 1914, 21-year-old Hazel Johnson, an office worker, died at a Chicago residence from an illegal abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

It was spring of 1939. Martha Anderson was only sixteen years old, but already she was married, and already she was unhappy in her marriage. She was sexually involved with a 26-year-old sailor named William P. Bouldin. She became pregnant with Bouldin's baby. Bouldin made arrangements for an abortion at the San Diego chiropractic office of George Parchen. The first thing Bouldin's $50 bought was a bottle of some sort of liquid provided by the chirropractor's brother, Frank, who was still training to become a chiropractor. Martha was to take the medicine very two hours. The medicine made her very sick, so Martha was taken back to the ciropracric office. Frank took her into the back, and she emerged later very pale, bloody, and so sick she could barely speak. George came to assist his brother in Martha's care, but still she died some time between 5 and 5:30. Efforts to cover up the fatal abortion ultimately failed. Both brothers were convicted of murder and abortion -- Frank for performing it, and George for providing everything Frank needed for his practice and for assisting afterward. They were sentenced to five years to life in San Quentin.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Fatal Abortions Across Over a Century

The evening of Sunday, May 4, 1865, Mrs. Mary Cressin went to the Eleventh Precinct station house and reported a suspicious death  in the neighboring apartment of Mrs. Harriet Ellars. The victim was a young girl, Emma Wolfer, who had been working as a child's nurse in Dr. Charles Cobel's family home. For some reason she went to the Ellers home on Sunday to arrange board, and Monday to move in. She was very sick, with Cobel coming two or three times a day to attend to her -- always alone in the room with her. By Wednesday afternoon, her condition was deteriorating.  On Sunday evening Emma spoke with her sister, Frances, alone. She said that she was dying, and said that she had been seduced by Dr. Hoffman, who had left her pregnant. Hoffman had given her powerful abortifacient drugs, and Dr. Cobel had shifted her to the Ellars home. The abortion had caused peritonitis, which killed the girl. Cobel, a known abortionist, was also implicated in the deaths of Antoinette Fennor and Amelia Weber.

On May 4, 1921, 37-year-old Hungarian immigrant Katherine Falesch died in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated by midwife Eva Lroch. She was arraigned and held on $3000 bond, but there is no indication that the case went any further.

In February of 1972, 21-year-old "Robin" traveled from Massachusetts to New York for a first trimester abortion. She underwent the procedure and returned home. About two weeks later, she started suffering abdominal pain. A month later, she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and hepatitis. Three months after her abortion, on May 4, 1972, Robin died, leaving two children motherless.

Shortly after noon on May 4, 1976, 29-year-old Maria Gomez underwent a safe and legal vacuum abortion at Altantic Family Medical Clinic in Los Angeles County. Within an hour and a half she had bled to death. The autopsy found that Maria's lacerated and gashed uterus still contained the severed head of her unborn baby, and more than a quart of blood was pooled in her abdomen. Maria's lacerations had not been sutured, but her vagina had been packed with gauze.

Twenty-four-year-old Patricia King went to Dean H. Diment in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a safe and legal abortion on May 4, 1987. Patricia went into cardiac arrest after being injected with anesthetic. Paramedics arrived at Diment's Statewide Clinic and found the place so unclean that they could have written their names in the dust. Diment told them that he had injected Neo-Synephrine and sodium bicarbonate into Patricia's heart but no one had performed CPR or made any other attempt to revive her. She had been in arrest for 20 minutes. Paramedics could not revive her. Diment's associates at Statewide Clinic had a history of legal troubles. The medical director, Jimmie C. Tooney, had pleaded guilty in 1973 of writing narcotics prescriptions for a convicted drug dealer. Administrator William R. Cloud had been charged with conspiracy to commit illegal abortion in the early 1970's but had the charge dropped after abortion was legalized by Roe v. Wade. Statewide Clinic advertised that it was "licensed by the state," but at the time of Patricia's death, abortion clinics were not regulated by the state of Oklahoma. Statewide had not been inspected since the attorney general had declared state oversight unconstitutional in 1984.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Safe and Legal in 1985

The survivors of 29-year-old Kathleen Gilbert sued David Turow and Women's Aid Clinic when she bled to death after her safe and legal abortion.

The family accused Turow of performing an incomplete abortion, lacerating Kathleen's uterus, and failing to detect her injuries. She was sent home and continued to bleed and pass clots for a month before her death on May 2, 1985.

Kathleen's death certificate attributes the death to hemorrhage from a perforated uterus.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

"Unite Against the War on Women" (profanity alert)

Zombie has graciously shared some of the pictures set to go up on Ringo's Blog later today. I figured I'd respond to a few. I'll update when the Ringo's Blog pics go up.The overarching theme seems to be that fertility is a curse inflicted on women by Republicans.
Can anybody be stupid enough to actually believe this? (I'll also note that it's not like all women share a common uterus, which her sign specifically manages to claim.)
Frankly, honey, nobody who isn't your gynecologist or your latest lay is even remotely interested in your vagina.
I've addressed this lame slogan before. First of all, it betrays a very deep ignorance of anatomy, since the fetuses they're demanding a right to kill don't gestate in the ovary. But beyond that is the bigger issue: Who, exactly, really is obsessed with other people's ovaries? Is it really the Catholic Church? How many of you have seen any sign that the Catholic Church in any way objects to ovulation? It's the Sandra Flukes of the world, and the people who idolize them, that obsesses about ovaries. They're constantly fretting about all the unauthorized ovulation that's going on. They're probably the most anti-ovary people on the planet.
WTF? This woman doesn't need birth control. She needs therapy.
Pregnancy is indeed not a punishment for having sex. it's a natural consequence of having sex. The fact that she blames this on Republicans shows her fundamental divorce from reality.
Isn't the far Left opposed to the idea of private property? Not to mention if it is your private property, then you, and nobody else, are responsible for the costs renovations and upkeep.

Two Deaths from the Pre Roe Era

I have scant information on the May 1, 1925 abortion death of 26-year-old Mary Sayers. She died at a Chicago residence from a criminal abortion performed on her that day. Midwife Edna Marie Dietrich was arrested the following day.

Far more information is available regarding the 1928 death of Bessie Kouns. On Saturday, April 14, 1928, Dr. T. D. Goodman was called to see her, and found her in a great deal of pain, with considerable swelling and tenderness of the lower abdomen from peritonitis. His treatment was not effective, so on the 17th he had her admitted to Stephenson Hospital in Ashland, Kentucky. There, Bessie's condition continued to deteriorate. On April 24, the peritonitis had caused bowel obstruction, requiring surgery. Prior to the surgery, which Bessie did not expect to survive, she made a deathbed statement to Dr. Stephenson indicating that she had submitted to an abortion perpetrated by a drunken, abusive quack of a doctor named H.C. Dorroh. Despite the surgery, Bessie died on May 1. Dorroh was convicted in Bessie's death, but on appeal the conviction was set aside and a new trial ordered.