Monday, December 03, 2012

Fatal Abortions in 1878, 1917, 1977, 1983, and 1988

Ann Roberts, 25 years old, submitted to an abortion November 29, 1878 in Saint Louis, Missouri. She died of peritonitis on December 3. Before her death, Ann identified William Stapp as her abortionist. Somebody  made out a falsified death certificate and attempted to make burial arrangements, but the coroner was tipped off and convened a jury.

Grace Wolf, a young married woman, traveled from her home in Lansing to the office of Dr. C. Allen Snyder in Dubuque, Iowa, on November 19, 1917. Shortly after leaving, she took ill, and her condition deteriorated until her death on December 3.  Grace had made a dying declaration, written up by an attorney and signed by her, indicating that Dr. Snyder had performed an abortion on her. However, her father was called as a defense witness, and he said that Grace recanted her statement before her death.  The autopsy had found evidence of recent pregnancy and a puncture in Grace's uterus. Dr. Snyder was convicted of manslaughter, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.

On December 2, 1977, 29-year-old Jacqueline Bailey was injected with saline by Dr. Eboreime for an instillation abortion at Pacific Glen Hospital in Los Angeles County. Five hours after Jackie expelled the dead baby, her condition appeared grave. Shortly after midnight, she was transferred to Memorial Hospital of Glendale. Doctors at Memorial performed a hysterectomy in an attempt to save her life. Jackie died just before sunrise on December 3. The autopsy report found that Jackie's uterus had ruptured during the abortion, and that her uterine artery had been lacerated. She had bled to death from her injuries. Two years earlier, Cheryl Tubbs also bled to death from a ruptured uterus caused by a saline abortion at Pacific Glen.

Cora Lewis is one of six abortion deaths currently attributed to Inglewood Women's Hospital (aka Inglewood Women's Clinic) in Los Angeles County. Twenty-three-year-old Cora had her safe and legal abortion at Inglewood on November 4, 1983. Cora developed fever and chills after her abortion, and was finally admitted to a hospital on November 11. She was aggressively treated for pneumonia, including surgery, but died December 3. The coroner attributed her death to pneumonia and lung abscess contributed to by the uterine and cervical inflammation. Other abortion deaths at Inglewood include Yvonne Tanner, Kathy Murphy, Belinda Byrd, Lynette Wallace, and Elizabeth Tsuji.

Abortionist Andre Nehorayoff was disciplined over the abortion death of 18-year-old "Ellen." Nehorayoff performed a safe and legal abortion on November 29, 1983. Nehorayoff did not record an adequate medical history or physical examination. In fact, the medical history section of her chart contains no entries whatsoever. After the abortion, Nehorayoff discharged Ellen from his facility, clearly aware that he had left behind significant fetal tissue. On December 3, Ellen was rushed to an emergency room. She was already in a coma upon admission. An hour and 10 minutes later, she was pronounced dead. At autopsy there was a portion of the fetal left leg protruding from the uterus, and the cause of death was determined to be from hemorrhaging due to the incomplete abortion. Nehorayoff was also disciplined regarding Patient F, whom he left in a recovery room following her abortion on December 15, 1979, without any monitoring. She turned blue and no pulse could be detected. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Teresa Causey clutched her mother's hand during her safe and legal abortion by Joe Wesley McDaniel on December 3, 1988. Her mother later said that 17-year-old Teresa's last words were, "Oh, mama, mama, it hurts so much!" Then she lost consciousness on the abortion table. When McDaniel was unable to awaken her, he tried smelling salts, slapped her face, then tried to reach another doctor before finally calling an ambulance. Teresa had two perforations of her uterus and two lacerated veins. She died of massive hemorrhage the day of her abortion. An investigation found that McDaniel had been operating in an unlicensed facility, and that he had broken the law requiring abortions after 13 weeks be done in a hospital. No charges were pressed against McDaniel for Teresa's death, the illegal abortion, or the unlicensed facility.

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