Monday, June 18, 2012

Anniversaries from 1891, 1914, and 1973.

May E. Parmenter's memorial at Find-a-Grave includes an 1891 clipping that reads: Died on Her Wedding Day. Athol, Mass., June 19. -- Miss May Parmenter, one of Athol's prettiest and brightest girls, was to have been married yesterday to Leroy Felton, a well-known young man of Orange. on the morning of the wedding she was taken violently ill, and died during the afternoon. It now transpires that Miss Parmenter was the victim of malpractice, performed by a well-known physician. She was urged to take the step by a very near relative, against the wishes of her intended husband.

On June 18, 1914, 39-year-old Bridget Murphy died at Post Graduate Hospital in Chicago from an abortion performed that day by an unknown perpetrator.  
Benjamin Munson was tried for manslaughter in the abortion death of 28-year-old Linda Padfield in 1973. Munson had performed the safe and legal abortion on Linda on June 15 at his South Dakota abortion facility. He discharged her, and she later was hospitalized. She finally died of massive infection on June 18. A pathologist found the remains of a five-month fetus in Linda's uterus, missing a leg, arm, part of its skull and part of its torso. Munson later became a member of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). In 1985, he sent a teenage patient, Yvonne Mesteth, home with retained tissue. She, like Linda Padfield, died of infection. Munson is the third former criminal abortionist I've learned of who had a clean record -- no patient deaths -- as a criminal abortionist, only to go on to kill two patients in his legal practice. The others are Milan Vuitch (Georgianna English and Wilma Harris) and Jesse Ketchum (Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner).

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. The examples of Munson, Ketchum, and Vuitch actually show that many erstwhile criminal abortionists became careless after legalization removed their fear of arrest and prison.

external image Abortion+Deaths+Since+1960.jpg

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