Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chicago Deaths Two Years Apart

Mrs. Sophie Layton of Raleigh, North Carolina, was sentenced to five years for the abortion death of 20-year-old Miss Celia Roberts of Granville County. Celia had gone to Raleigh in July of 1931 for an abortion, which was perpetrated on July 22. She was taken to a hospital in Oxford, where she died on July 24 after naming Layton as her abortionist. Interestingly enough, it appears that a local Justice of the Peace had referred Celia to Layton for the fatal abortion.

On July 16, 1929, Dr. Sven Windrow performed an abortion on 19-year-old Emmy Anderson at a Chicago location. Emmy died on July 24. Dr. Windrow was held by the coroner on July 25. Jacque Lagrave, age 67, was held as an accessory. Windrow was indicted February 6, 1929 for felony murder. I've been unable to learn anything more about the case.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

1961: "Life-saving" Abortion Kills Young Woman

Erika Peterson, age 28, died July 23, 1961 during a legal abortion at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California. At this time, abortion was only legal in California if it was done to save the life of the mother.
Erika had entered the hospital on July 11, 1961 during the first trimester of pregnancy, because of problems breathing. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and placed in a tank respirator. Her physicians made the decision to abort her child as soon as she was well enough to undergo the abortion. On July 21st, Erika's condition was improved, and her husband signed the consent form for the abortion, which was scheduled to take place two days later. Erika went into cardiac arrest during the abortion and was unable to be resuscitated. The abortion that was intended to save her life ended her life instead. After autopsy, it was believed that Erika's original illness was caused by a hereditary disease that was exacerbated by the medications she was taking for her schizophrenia.

Erika's was not the only tragic death caused by doctors who recommended (or excused) abortion as a life-saving or health-preserving option for the mother:

  • Allegra Roseberry was pushed into an abortion in order to obtain experimental cancer treatment.
  • Anjelica Duarte sought an abortion on the advice of her physician, and ended up dying under the care of a quack.
  • Barbara Hoppert died after an abortion recommended due to a congenital heart problem.
  • Christin Gilbert died after an abortion George Tiller holds was justified on grounds of maternal health.
  • "Molly" Roe died in 1975 when her doctors made the dubious decision to perform a saline abortion to improve her chances of surviving a lupus crisis.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Modern Day Quackery and a Mystery from History

On July 22, 1974, twenty-two-year-old Carol Wingo died of a Demerol over dose during a safe and legal abortion at Mercy General Hospital in Detroit. Despite the name, Mercy was not a general hospital. It was an abortion hospital. It was also a hospital in big trouble even before Carole's death. The Michigan Public Department of Health had cited Mercy for 43 violations of nursing standards and 12 violations of physical plant standards in October of 1973, and had withheld their license. Among the violations were that the operating room lacked a cardiac monitor, a resuscitator, and a defibrillator.

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

Very little is on record about the death of 17-year-old Gertrude Wynants. According to the New York Times, Gertrude died on July 22, 1925, of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Margaret Shott Higgens, age 25, was indicted for manslaughter in Gertrude's death.

Abortion Deaths Through Over a Century

I've been unable to learn almost nothing about 25-year-old Sharon Margrove other than that on May 21, 1970, she died following a safe and legal abortion in Los Angeles County, California.

Elizabeth Radcliffe
Late in the evening of July 21, 1916, 21-year-old Roy Hinterliter showed up at the sanitarium in Olney, Illinois with an unconscious young woman, Elizabeth Radcliffe, in his buggy. Elizabeth, age 17, was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. An autopsy confirmed pregnancy, but showed no external signs of violence and all her reproductive organs appeared normal. However, upon cutting open her heart, air escaped. There were also signs of air embolism in the brain. There were no lung lesions to explain the air in Elizabeth's bloodstream. The Chicago Tribune reported that a hypodermic syringe, minus the plunger, had been inserted into Elizabeth's artery, admitting the air. Hinterliter was held without bail, and under guard for fear of a lynching, after the coroner's jury verdict. The case caused a sensation not only for the nature of the crime, but because Elizabeth was the county's first murder victim in 20 years.

On July 21, 1907, homemaker Madeline Paffrath died at German American Hospital in Chicago. She was approximately 21 years old. The coroner's jury determined that she had died from an abortion performed. They held two midwives -- Alice Rastone and Hacrone Schuetner -- responsible.

“Phoenix, July 21, 1891 -- Mrs. Alice White, the victim of the sensational abortion case, died this afternoon. Dr. Helm's bondsman immediately withdrew and he was again taken to jail. A warrant is out for the young man interested in the case.” The accused abortionist, Dr. Scott Helm, was described as "one of the best and most prominent physicians in Phoenix." Clearly Alice got the same kind of care in a criminal abortion that she would have gotten from a doctor doing the "safe and legal" kind.

On July 21, 1886, Mrs. Fred Winkleman was found dead in her Cincinnati home from a botched abortion. The last survivor of the Miller family, she had a small fortune of $13,000 which she had given over to Winkleman at their marriage four months earlier. Winkleman was arrested and freed on $5,000 bail. Police believed that Fred Winkleman, a 26-year-old druggist, had intended his wife's death in order to have free use of the money.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Justice4Tonya? Ask Mattie Byrd.

"People tell me nothing has happened, that nothing ever happens to white abortionists who leave young black women dead. I'm hurting real bad and want some justice for Belinda and all other women who go like sheep to slaughter."
Nothing has changed in the quarter of a century since Mattie Byrd penned those words in an angry letter to the Los Angeles District Attorney. Her daughter, 37-year-old Belinda Ann Byrd, had undergone a supposedly safe and legal abortion performed by Stephen Pine at Inglewood Women's Hospital on January 24, 1987. Belinda was left unattended for three hours after the abortion, and even after she was found unresponsive, staff at Inglewood delayed an additional two hours before transferring her to a hospital with appropriate emergency services. Belinda never regained consciousness, and died on January 27.

Belinda had been one of 74 women rushed through Inglewood's single operating room that day, and one of 24 whose abortions were performed in the final two hours of the day. Belinda remained comatose until her death on January 27. In the wake of a series of abortion deaths at Inglewood, the authorities inspected the place. Among other things, they caught an abortionist writing post-operative examination notes without even examining the patients. 

Fast forward to July 21, 2012. Another young Black woman lies bleeding out after an abortion. Her name is Tonya Reaves. Just like Belinda, she is left languishing at the facility for hours before finally being taken to a properly equipped hospital. Like Belinda, she bleeds to death.

And her abortionist, Mandy Gittler, has, like Stephen Pine, blithely continued to practice, unhindered by the decision to let a young Black woman bleed to death on her watch. She, like Pine, remains above reproach for killing a young Black woman. There is, you see, there is one kind of white-on-Black violence that the Left will turn a blind eye to.

If you're white and you want to kill Blacks, just open an abortion clinic. Far from being a pariah, you'll be a hero.
"People tell me nothing has happened, that nothing ever happens to white abortionists who leave young black women dead. I'm hurting real bad and want some justice for Belinda and all other women who go like sheep to slaughter."
I'm sorry, Mrs. Byrd. Justice isn't coming. It didn't come for Belinda, or for Eurice Agbagaa, or for Ellen Williams, or Antonesha Ross or Tamiia Russell or Synthia Dennard or Tonya Reaves or any of the other Black women killed by abortionists. It will never come until the Left starts to care more about people than they do about abortion. And that's not going to happen any time soon.

Nothing ever happens to white abortionists who leave young Black women dead -- Mattie Byrd

People tell me nothing ever happens to white abortionists who leave young Black women dead." Mattie Byrd, mother of Belinda Byrd. Why has this not changed? Justice4Tonya

Friday, July 19, 2013

Two Early Beneficiaries of New York and California's "Liberalized" Abortion Laws

Today's anniversaries are both safe and legal but pre-Roe. They took place a year apart, one in New York and one in California. 

Betty Hines was 21 years old when she was checked into Doctors Hospital in California for a safe, legal abortion to be performed by Dr. A. Mitchell on July 19, 1971. Mitchell had been her physician for three or four years. Betty was eight weeks pregnant. There didn't seem to be anything wrong during the procedure. Betty was transferred to the recovery room, when she suddenly went into cardio-respiratory arrest.
Mitchell theorized that perhaps Betty had died because of a bad vial of Inovar, because the next patient who was injected from that vial also went into cardiac arrest but was successfully resuscitated. Betty's autopsy, however, found no trave of Inovar in her system. A toxicology check was also done on the vial of medication, and found nothing wrong with the Inovar. Betty's death was attributed to massive intravascular sickling due to underlying sickle cell disorder. Other women who died of sickle cell crisis triggered by abortion include Margaret Davis and Barbara Hoppert.

Carmen Rodriguez was 31 years old when she underwent a 14-week saline abortion at Lincoln Hospital in New York City. She had a history of rheumatic heart disease and two previous live births. After the saline was injected, it got into Carmen's blood stream. This caused acute pulmonary edema -- fluid accumulation in the lungs -- and Carmen went into a coma from which she never recovered. She died on July 19, 1970, leaving behind a husband along with her children.

After Carmen's death, a militant Puerto Rican group, The Young Lords, swung into action. They pointed out that doctors at Lincoln Hospital knew that Carmen had heart problems and failed to take proper precautions.  The Young Lords distributed leaflets in the neighborhood of the hospital, denouncing Carmen's death as "murder". For 12 hours, the group occupied an administration building connected with the hospital, denouncing the hospital as "a butcher shop that kills patients".

Merle Goldman, spokeswoman of an abortion advocacy organization, did not share The Young Lords' outrage. Ms. Goldman said she hoped that Carmen's death wouldn't deter other women from undergoing abortions. She touted abortion's reputed safety and stressed that her group was lobbying against proposed health department regulation of abortion practice. New York City Chief Medical Examiner Milton Helpern, on the other hand, expressed concern that ill-equipped and poorly-staffed freestanding legal abortion facilities were posing a danger to women.

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

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Two on the Same Day, Two a Year Apart

Two of today's safe-and-legal abortion deaths happened on the very same day.

Twenty-year-old Gail Vroman had a safe and legal abortion performed on July 14, 1979, by New York abortionist Taskin Ratharathorn at Ft. Wayne Women's Health Organization. Within two hours, Gail was transferred to a nearby hospital. Gail died of massive infection on July 18. The coroner ruled that the death was caused by clostridium perfringens, or "gas gangrene."

Geneva Colton, age 21, mother of two, underwent an abortion at Northside Family Planning Service in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 18, 1979. On the drive back home she was in pain, but she figured that this was just the cramping the clinic had told her to expect. At 8:30 that evening, Geneva was admitted to a hospital, with no vital signs detected. Doctors attempted to resuscitate her, to no avail. She was pronounced dead.
The autopsy found that Geneva's uterus had been perforated. She had bled to death. Northside was eventually sued by their malpractice insurer because they'd allowed one of their abortionists to continue to perform surgery even though his manual dexterity had deteriorated due to multiple sclerosis. The suit by the insurer also alleged failure to meet state health standards, failure to have enough nurses on duty, failure to have proper on-call procedures, and lack of a professional director of medical services. The clinic where Geneva's fatal abortion was performed seems to be the same clinic where Catherine Pierce underwent her fatal abortion in 1989.

Abortion supporters will argue that deaths from abortions would only become more common if abortion was recriminalized. 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

On July 18, 1918, 18-year-old Margaret Smith, an unmarried clerk, died at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. The coroner determined that she had died of septicemia from a self-induced abortion.

On July 18, 1911, 24-year-old homemaker Ragna Beck died from an abortion performed on May 9th by Mrs. C.M. Anderson. Anderson was held by the Coroner and arrested on July 19, but the case was stricken off during 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

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Criminal Deaths from 1941, 1917, and 1901

On July 17, 1941, Goldie Crow died of peritonitis from a criminal abortion perpetrated on July 2 by Otto C. Lucy. Lucy was a 37-year-old psychologist and teacher, had previously been dean of men at Central State College. He performed the fatal abortion on Goldie while he was out on bail pending trial for the abortion death of Mary Ellen Legge. He was assisted by a nurse, Ruth Bowen. Though he was not a physician, Lucy had a listing in the telephone book reading "Dr. Otto C. Lucy". Lucy was sentenced to 25 years in the state penitentiary for Goldie's death.

Clearly if  Lucy had been locked up after killing Mary Ellen Legge, Goldie Crow's life would have been spared. Lucy's decision to identify himself as a doctor when he was not, coupled with his abortion practice, should have been enough to lock him up. When Roe falls, steps will have to be taken to ensure that quacks like Lucy are locked up promptly.


On July 17, 1917, 34-year-old nurse Frances Reinhardt died at Chicago's County Hospital from septic blood poisoning caused by an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. A. E. Thomas. Though he was held by the Coroner, he was never tried "for want of pros."

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


At about 9 a.m. on July 17, 1901, 23-year-old Juliette "Julia" O'Brien died of complications about a week after Dr. M. A. Arnholt performed an illegal abortion in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Evidently this doctor had blackmailed previous patients into keeping quiet, leading one of them to report him and uncover his abortion ring and blackmail scheme. Julia's abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Note, please, that with ordinary 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 about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Den of Quackery Closes, More Rending of Garments on the Left

The sackcloth and ashes are being dragged out over the demise of a nasty Virginia abortion mill. I'll take the examples of weeping and lamentation from "Virginia Abortion Clinic, Busiest In State, Closes Due To New State Regulation," in the Huffington Post.
“I was deeply saddened to learn that NOVA Women’s Healthcare in Fairfax City has been forced to close its doors," executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Tarina Keene said in a statement. "NOVA Women’s Healthcare has provided safe, exemplary medical care in Northern Virginia for over 10 years, and was one of the largest women’s health centers in the Commonwealth. Its closure affects thousands of Virginia women and families, and leaves its many patients without their trusted healthcare provider.”  

Shall we look at a 2012 inspection deficiencies report?

Six of of 20 patients (30%) whose records were reviewed were not given physical exams, and doctors were not reviewing their medical histories, prior to abortions.

A staff member looked over the abortion tissues and told the doctor that the specimen was "okay." The doctor then signed off as if he or she had completed a proper pathology exam. Failure to do a proper pathology exam can lead to incomplete abortion or failure to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, both of which are potentially fatal to the patient. (One patient whose ectopic pregnancy NOVA failed to diagnose suffered a potentially fatal rupture. She collapsed at home, unable to reach a phone, and was fortunately discovered before she bled to death.)

Fourteen of 15 patient records reviewed had discrepancies in documentation of anesthesia. The patients reportedly underwent "conscious sedation" but their level of anesthesia was checked as "general anesthesia."

Given how risky anesthesia drugs are, do we really want them administered by somebody who doesn't know the difference between conscious sedation and general anesthesia? (Or were these women given general anesthesia that was incorrectly documented elsewhere as conscious sedation?)

There were numerous other issues with documentation as well, including contradictory notations made on patients who had to be hospitalized due to complications, and there were failures do document who ordered what medications to be given to patients. There were also no discharge orders signed by doctors.

The patient who later suffered the ruptured ectopic pregnancy was discharged from the facility when she was too weak to walk and had to be carried to a vehicle.

Is this "exemplary medical care"? To be treated by a doctor who doesn't examine you or take your history before performing surgery? To have your records screwed up so that nobody can be sure exactly what happened? To be discharged from the facility when you're still too weak to even walk?

HuffPo didn't even bother to do a little check on erstwhile owner Mi Yong Kim, who killed one patient with sloppy practices surrounding anesthesia, and who attempted to perform a first-trimester abortion on a woman who was 26 weeks pregnant, eventually finishing the abortion without informing the mother of the mistake and giving her a chance to decide to save her baby.

 Yet NARAL is "saddened" that this place is closing.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

1921: Fatal in Chicago

On July 14, 1921, 23-year-old homemaker Edna May Rohner died at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated by Dr. Otto Klemmick. He was held by the coroner and tried, but acquitted on June 12, 1923. I don't have enough information to determine if Klemmick really was innocent or if he beat the rap because of technicalities or loopholes.

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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

They Want Honest Advertising?

The abortion lobby keeps trying to pass legislation to correct what they see as "false advertising" by pregnancy help centers. They claim that the full weight of law needs to go into making it clear that CPCs do not do abortions, because women wanting abortions might go there by accident and be really annoyed.

I know of how to stop these attacks in a heartbeat.

The Full Disclosure to Abortion Patients Addendum..

Take the text of the anti-CPC bill and announce that prolife legislators will get 100% behind it as soon as an addendum to this effect is added:
1. Any facility that advertises as an abortion facility must provide complete and honest information as to the licensing status of the facility and staff. Physician's offices must clearly state that they are not licensed clinics. If a facility is not licensed by the state as a medical facility, this must be clearly stated.  If anesthesia is administered, the qualifications of those administering anesthesia must be posted. The qualifications of staff overseeing recovery must be posted. The qualifications of any staff providing counseling must be posted.

2. The results of the five most recent inspections must be posted in layman's terms in a highly visible area of the waiting room. Copies of the five most recent inspection reports must be made available to prospective patients upon request. If the facility is neither licensed nor inspected, a notice must be prominently posted to that effect.

3. Notice of any disciplinary actions currently in force against any licensed staff must be clearly and prominently posted in layman's terms.
 4. If a facility advertises that they provide counseling, they must also provide a breakdown as to what percent of their patients choose abortion, adoption, and parenting.
5. Information about patient deaths, along with deficiencies that led to the deaths, must be prominently posted, along with any other information a reasonable patient would want to know before making a decision about trusting her life to that facility.
Of course, this will be drafted in legalese, but you get the idea.

Here's what one currently operating chain's ads would look like:

A sign posted in a clinic lobby (for a fictitious clinic based on typical inspection deficiencies) might read:
November 2012 inspection deficiencies:
    * 7 instances of outdated medications
    * 11 instances of sanitary deficiencies
    * Re-use of disposable instruments
    * No current CPR certification for 5 of 7 staff records inspected
November 2011 inspection deficiencies:
    * 4 instances of outdated medications
    * 4 instances of sanitary deficiencies
    * Broken autoclave
    * Re-use of disposable instruments
    * No current CPR certification for 4 of 7 staff records inspected
    * Crash cart missing medications
You get the idea.

The abortion lobby would have two equally unpalatable choices:
1. Agree to the addendum and then watch the prolifers have a field day demanding that the law be enforced against specific facilities.
2. Fight the addendum and then watch the prolifers have a field day holding hearings showing why the addendum is necessary.
They'd drop the whole attack on CPCs like a devout Muslim would drop a pulled-pork sandwich.

I think it's a win-win for us and for the women of America. Why aren't we doing it?

Atlanta Hotels Serve as Abortion Annexes

Saynsumthn offers this screen shot of Atlanta Center for Women's Choice's web site, listing local hotels that give a discount if you mention you're one of their late abortion patients. In essence, these hotels are serving as annexes to this abortion facility.

I'm contacting the local hotels and their corporate offices. Contact information is:

Microtel Inn & Suites
1840 Corporate Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30392
(404) 325-4446
(888) 771-7171
Corporate web site contact form
Facebook page

Staybridge Suites
540 Pharr Road
Altanta, GA 30305
(404) 564-4300
Corporate web site contact form

Quality Suites
505 Pharr Road
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 262-7800
Facebook page

My email:
It's come to my attention that this location offers discounts to women undergoing multi-day abortions.

The choice to serve as an annex to the abortion clinic can put you in a position of liability should something go wrong. Some of the complications these women might suffer at your hotel include sepsis, hemorrhage, and giving birth in your toilets.

It's disturbing that you submit your staff and other guests to this practice.
I'm also contacting the
Georgia Department of Health:
2 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Healthcare Facility Regulation: 404-657-5700
Office of Inspector General: 404-463-7481
Online contact form

 It has come to my attention that three Atlanta hotels are being advertised on an abortion clinic web site as offering discounts to their patients who are there for multi-day late abortion procedures. In short, these hotels are serving as annexes to a medical facility. Patients undergoing multi-day abortion procedures are at risk of hemorrhage, amniotic fluid embolism and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, which can be quickly fatal. They are also at risk of giving birth to premature infants in the toilets.

I do not believe that non-medical facilities should be serving as annexes to medical facilities. I encourage you to investigate this matter.

Microtel Inn & Suites
1840 Corporate Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30392
(404) 325-4446

Staybridge Suites
540 Pharr Road
Altanta, GA 30305
(404) 564-4300

Quality Suites
505 Pharr Road
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 262-7800

You can view the abortion facility web page for yourselves:
 Let's get on them!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Two On The Same Day in 1970, and an Historic Death

"Judy" is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a safe and legal abortion. Judy was a 42-year-old mother of four from upstate New York when she chose safe and legal abortion in 1970. She was to have a tubal ligation done at the same time. Judy underwent the procedure, but went into cardiac arrest. Her heart was started again, but she remained in a coma for six days until her death on July 12.

Another woman, 42-year-old Pearl Schwier, died that very same day in New York City. At 20 weeks pregnant, she had sought a safe, legal abortion under New York state's new law, at St. Luke's hospital in New York City. She was brought into the operating room on July 6, 1970 for a hysterotomy abortion, which is simply a c-section in which the intention is to allow the baby to die rather than to deliver him or her alive. It was performed under general anesthesia. About 45 minutes into the procedure, Pearl had a reaction to the anesthesia and never regained consciousness.

As you can see from the graph below, abortion deaths were falling dramatically before legalization. This steep fall had been in place since the beginning of the 20th century -- perhaps earlier. To argue that legalization lowered abortion mortality simply isn't supported by the data.

On July 12, 1889, Annie Doran, from Traverse City, Michigan, was died suddenly in Chicago from an illegal abortion perhaps perpetrated that day. The coroner's inquest concluded that she had bled to death from an abortion, possibly self-induced.News coverage, however, indicated that a physician, Dr. McMullen, was believed to have provided Annie with abortifacients.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Different Legal Status, All Deadly

Beverly Moore, age 15, died July 7, 1985 after an abortion by Tuckey Hayes at Chattanooga Women's Clinic -- the "Lime 5" clinic. Hayes assured Beverly's parents that she would be "all right" just fifteen minutes before she died. Chattanooga Women's Clinic was written up for continued deficiencies even after Beverly's death. Noted flaws included expired and improperly stored medications, re-use of disposable items, stained instruments, and blood in the procedure table.

On July 11, 1920, 36-year-old homemaker Vincenza Romano died at Chicago's Columbus Hospital from septicemia after an abortion. A midwife named Marie Lendino was arrested, and was indicted on July 15, but the case never went to trial. I've been unable to learn enough about the case to draw any conclusions.

Dr. Julius Hammer
Marie Oganesoff, wife of the Russian Attache in Washington during WWI, died on July 11, 1919, from complications of a criminal abortion performed on July 5 by Dr. Julius Hammer (pictured), father of industrialist Armand Hammer. Hammer, a 1902 graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, reported used instruments on her. She had been about one month pregnant. Marie reportedly had health problems that necessitated a "life of the mother" abortion.

On July 11, 1904, Alma Swanson died at her home from an abortion performed there that day. Midwife Constance Marie Anderson was arrested and held by Coroner's Jury on July 15. Though the fact that Alma's abortion was done in her home reeks of "back alley butchery" to modern sensibilities, surgery performed in the home was not that unusual at the time.

Have a "Fan F***ing Tastic" Abortion

Life Site News has a heartwarming little piece, "Slate writer: We need happy, ‘blithe and unapologetic’ abortion stories."

Here's the Slate article:  "Enough With the Grueling, Wrenching, “I Had an Abortion” Essays". The author, Jessica Grose, asserts that the way to energize, and gain momentum for, the abortion-rights movement is to trot out "blithe" abortion stories:
The pro-choice side remains in a defensive crouch. We trot out the saddest stories: a woman who really wanted a baby but terminated because the baby was not going to be able to live outside the womb or a woman who can’t afford another child without tumbling into poverty. But a lot of women have abortions and don’t look back. A lot of women don’t want a baby, and they don’t care whether the fetus is viable or how much money is in their bank account. Where are their essays?
Ms. Grose, those essays don't get mainstream play because they'd make most people angry and very unsympathetic. "I want the baby dead because fuck this baby." isn't going to win friends.

She quoted with great admiration  an anonymous piece called “What to Expect When You’re Aborting.”:
By monday my hormones were a little wonky but in all i just felt like this parasitic creature that burrowed its way into me and fed of my energy, apetite, [sic] and joy was removed. And I had been restored.
Yeah, nothing says "joy restored" quite like an abortion.

Follow the "What to Expect When You're Aborting" link and you'll find some stuff that's not exactly gonna convert the mushy middle:
I would to like to live in a place where abortion isn’t such a polarizing, seemingly life-changing event. It wasn’t for me. Not at all. I’ve been in more pain and anguish from a twisting my ankle. The pregnancy was the agony, 7 weeks of vertigo and mood swings. The abortion was a breeze.
And this gem:
When the nurse took my vitals she asked me how I was feeling I said “I am fan fucking tasticcccc… ....And I got excited. This was going to be a very rare, often coveted moment of self-actualization right? Where something so atomized understands itself entirely and it begins to bond to other atoms. We could all speak the same language now.
Wanna talk about the question of life? Let me put it like this: the physical and psychological euphoria was so immense that moments after I stood up i felt resurrected. I felt very certain the life had indeed prevailed. My life.  
 To round it out, Life Site linked to some other chipper, upbeat abortion places.

"My Happy Abortion: One Woman's Guilt-Free Story":
It couldn’t have been more than five minutes before one of the assistants helped me to sit up so that I could get dressed.  She walked me out into the recovery area, and I unsuccessfully attempted to repress the huge grin that had developed on my face.  I felt euphoric.  I was so relieved to be done with all the medical business, even happier to know that I was no longer pregnant, and pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t feeling any physical pain.

I felt momentarily guilty when one of the other patients in recovery asked me if I ever stopped smiling, but I quickly reminded myself that it was senseless guilt.  After all, smiling is a natural reaction to happiness, and I was happy sitting there.  When they released me to go home fifteen minutes later, I was gladder still.
"I Love Abortion: Implying Otherwise Accomplishes Nothing for Women’s Rights":
 I love abortion. I don’t accept it. I don’t view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it.....  I love abortion.
It Happened to Us: Abortion

The author writes: "I had an abortion. I love abortions. I’m out and proud about having had an abortion and I wholeheartedly and unilaterally support everyone who has chosen to have an abortion, for whatever reason, at whatever time, along with people who are currently pondering the decision to have one, and those who will face that decision in the future."

The bulk of the piece, though, is women holding signs celebrating abortions -- even abortions they haven't had yet but seem to be almost looking forward to:
"I've never had an abortion...but knowing I could, after being on a plane with screaming infants, makes me happy! :)"

"If I was pregnant TODAY, I would get an abortion. (Cats are enough, thank you.) (Less crying) (Self reliance) (Smaller poops)"
Folks, when abortion is recriminalized, we'll be dealing with these enthused individuals for whom abortion isn't seen as a tragic necessity, but as something to be outright embraced and celebrated.

They have no shame, and won't be happy until nobody else has any shame either.

They will stop at nothing -- nothing -- to make sure abortions continue to happen. And we need to get it through our heads that they will never quit and never go away. Abortion makes them happy, and they're not about to give it up.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Legal, Illegal, Fatal

Dr. Lillian Jones
Virginia Wolfe, age 33, went to Methodist Women's and Children's Hospital on July 6, 1998, to have an abortion performed by Dr. Lillian Jones (pictured). Jones performed a suction abortion. During the procedure, she punctured Virginia's uterus and bladder. Virginia suffered massive hemorrhage, losing so much blood that her heart stopped. Doctors repaired her bladder and removed her uterus, but Virginia's brain had already been damaged by the lack of oxygen. Virginia was pronounced dead on July 10, 1998.

The fact that her abortion was performed in a reputable hospital did not protect Virginia from massive, ultimately fatal, injuries.

Our other two anniversaries today are from "back alley" abortions.

Marian Mills
In 1934, pretty Marian Mills, a beauty queen, was the 19-year-old "campus sweetheart" of Neal Myers. Myers, a 21-year-old pharmacy student, was the son of Dr. P.B. Myers of Denver. On July 10, Marian died in the apartment of Mrs. Hazel Brown, the cook for Myers' fraternity house and "the only person of mature age in the house during the 24 tragic hours preceding the girl's death." Myers was charged with murder in Marian's death, and could have faced life in prison if convicted. Mrs. Brown said that Myers had loved Marian and had wanted to marry her. He was opposed to the idea of an abortion. Marian, on the other hand, insisted that her parents would never accept Myers. Brown said that Marian had taken "a harmless drug" and that this was the only attempt that she personally knew of to abort the baby.

But evidently Marian had found an abortionist, or had done something herself more drastic than just take mild abortifacients, because doctors who examined her said that some sort of instruments had been used in the abortion that had caused her death. Meyers, a pharmacist testified, had purchased strong antiseptics which he intended to use "to sterilize instruments" prior to Marian's death. After a sensational trial, Myers was acquitted.

Dr. Thomas Walsh
Our final case is one of literal butchery. On July 13, 1926, a laborer on his way to work stumbled across a grisly find: the dismembered remains of a young woman, tossed along the side of a lonely road between two cemeteries near Boston. Boston police began their investigation, but had little to go on. The dismemberment was expertly done, Leary said, indicating that the killer might be a skilled surgeon. Leary estimated that the young woman had been dead from 48 to 72 hours at the time of autopsy. Leary also did not at first release a definitive cause of death. He said that "blood poisoning" was likely and indicted that, as the New York Times said, "evidence pointed to illegal surgery." By July 15, the young woman had been positively identified as 20-year-old Edith Green, who had been an attendant at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital.

Ford admitted to police that he had arranged for an abortion to be performed on Edith by Dr. Thomas E. Walsh (pictured). Ford said that Walsh had asked for his help in disposing of Edith's body, but that he had refused. Walsh and his wife were charged with murder in Edith's death.

Edith's abortion was typical of pre-Roe abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A Death in a Different Era

Portland, July 8, 1888 – To day the Morgue was visited by hundreds of persons, drawn thither through motives of morbid curiosity to look at the body of the young woman who died suddenly yesterday in the office of Mrs. Dr. Murray-Blumauer. Many came in the hope of identifying the girl. Among those calling was a sister of the dead girl, who had no idea whose body lay at the Morgue. She was dreadfully shocked on recognizing the body as that of her sister, Mary Schneller. Her grief was inconsolable for several hours.”

Mary was 23 years old, originally from Middleton, Washington County. The circumstances of her death suggested an abortion. Her doctor, Frances Murray-Blumauer, was listed as a physician in Portland directories even after Mary's death, indicating that she was never held responsible, whether because she was innocent or because she had avoided being convicted of a crime is something I've been unable to determine.

Mary had moved to Portland about 10 years earlier, first working as a household cook, then as a hotel chambermaid. She left her employ at the Globe Hotel three months prior to her death and went to Wallua to work in a hotel there. She returned to Portland, intending to marry John Miebus, a railroad brakeman.

Correspondence between the two of them indicate that Mary wanted to get married but John refused. “He was on the way home from playing a game of baseball this evening when met by a reporter. When told whose body it was at the Morgue he exhibited no signs of feeling or emotion.”

Dr. Murray-Blumauer had been born in 1837, and died December 14,1923 in Portland from "senility." She was a practicing allopath, and had graduated the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1873. (Directory of Deceased American Physician, 1804-1929)

“An Unfortunate Girl,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 9, 1888

Monday, July 08, 2013

A Safe and Legal Death and A Possible Criminal Abortion Death

On July 2, 1982, 23-year-old Darlene Wood was put under anesthesia for a second trimester abortion at Temple University Hospital. The abortionist was Renga Rajan; the anesthesiologist was William Stevenson-Smith. Darlene was given nitrous oxide by face mask. She started coughing after the procedure began.
After the abortion was completed, she was admitted to the respiratory intensive care unit, where she was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension. Over the next several days, Darlene experienced increasing respiratory distress. She was given medication to maintain her blood pressure. But on July 7, Darlene went into cardio-respiratory arrest. She was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m. The administratrix of Darlene's estate contended that the lack of appropriate medical and anesthetic clearance was a substantial factor in her death.
Rajan was also successfully sued for the 1987 abortion death of Iris Velazquez.

The other death we commemorate today could be an illegal abortion death. I have yet to determine whether the woman had an abortion or simply developed infection from a miscarriage.

I was originally very skeptical about the "back-alley abortion" story told on the National Organization for Women web site. They said that Vivian Campbell was a recently-separated 24-year-old mother of two when she discovered she was pregnant. NOW indicated that Vivian sent her children to stay with her parents while she obtained some sort of illegal abortion. NOW provided no details of the abortion, but did say that Vivian asked for her estranged husband, who came to the hospital only after she had died of peritonitis on May 6, 1950. In Patricia Miller's The Worst of Times, the chapter "Gloria" has a woman telling of her mother's death, matching the story of Vivian Campbell enough to indicate that "Gloria's" mother was actually Vivian. Neither story has any details whatsoever of how the abortion was performed, or by whom, or even who was suspected or what police investigation took place.

"Gloria" indicated that she learned "the truth" of how her mother died when she needed a copy of the death certificate years later. The death certificate said "spontaneous abortion". Gloria clearly doesn't understand that this means a miscarriage; she took this as proof that her mother had obtained some sort of illegal abortion, much like Bill and Karen Bell misunderstood the word "abortion" on their daughter Becky's autopsy cover page, thought it meant an induced abortion, and assumed that it must have been a criminal or self-induced abortion.

I decided to check the story out when I was able to visit the archives of the Allegheny County Coroner's Office in Pittsburgh. I discovered that the abortion activists had their dates wrong -- Vivian died on July 7, not in May, of 1950. A coroner's inquest was unable to definitively determine if an abortion had been induced, though the doctor who treated Vivian clearly suspected that to be the case. Since the death certificate indicated "spontaneous abortion" -- a miscarriage -- even after the coroner's inquest, Vivian's death is one from an unverified abortion.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Chicago 1913 and Oyster Bay 1875

On July 4, 1913, Russian immigrant 33-year-old Mary Goldstein died in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated by Minnie Bernstein. Bernstein is identified only as "abortion provider", so she might have been a lay abortionist. She was held by the Coroner, and indicted by the Grand Jury for felony murder on September 1, 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.

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.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

The other death we commemorate today comes from the 19th century, and reveals interesting cultural differences between that time and ours.

The only source I have for the death is a news clipping that begins, "The community around Oyster Bay are greatly excited over an abortion case that has been brought to light." The woman, identified only as Miss Bertram, was engaged to a New York man who was never identified. The wedding was to take place on July 4, 1875, but Miss Bertram became pregnant before the wedding. She purchased an abortifacient which didn't have the effect she desired, so she took some other sort of abortifacient. This second abortifacient did the job, leading to the birth of a near-term infant, which was buried in a potato patch. Miss Bertram, however, took ill herself and died a few days later. The physician who was attending her declared the cause of death to be the abortion. Miss Bertram's fiance denied being the father of the dead baby. "There is a suspicion entertained of another young man". Police began an investigation into who he might be, and into who sold Miss Bertram the fatal drugs.

Ignorance is Bliss? If You're the Abortion Lobby, YES!

Austin, TX has become a living display case for the core of the abortion-rights movement. It's hard to stomach the sight of so many people turning out to express such enthusiasm for dismembering pain-capable viable unborn babies. But that's not really what they're there for. They're there to be part of the In Crowd. The disrespect, the shouting, the smugness, and the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things abortionish is just part of the package. It's a style.

That level of enthusiasm for abortion requires careful coaching in willful ignorance. And such ignorance does not come easy.

Among YouTube's more vaulable offerings is a video that Planned Parenthood struggled to get taken down. One view will tell you why:

One YouTube viewer comments:
And relating to the video; these kids didn't make much sense, but how about you interview people actually in charge of Planned Parenthood instead of using a few unprepared comments by some undereducated undergrads at an obscure college to analyze the intentions of Planned Parenthood?
Yeah, those kids are pretty ignorant. How did they get to be that dumb? Were they dropped on their heads as babies? Did they eat a lot of paint chips? Are they all recovering from acute alcohol poisoning? No. There's no organic brain dysfunction to explain this level of idiocy. These are all college students, fairly bright to start with. So what happened to make a bunch of bright kids into such laughable morons?

Here's where we get to the real point: These kids are members of "Advocates for Choice", a Planned Parenthood college outreach. Those kids, who "didn't make much sense", were trained and "educated" by Planned Parenthood. This video shows us very clearly what the best "educated" and "trained" youth come away from Planned Parenthood with: not only staggering ignorance, but blithe and militant over-confidence in their misinformation and ignorance.

It took a lot of work to make those kids that stupid. I'm betting that most of the gang of rabble being rabble-roused in Austin right now were also the craftsmanship of the kind of training that Planned Parenthood provides.

Listen to the highly-trained and carefully-coached college students again. Immersion in abortion-rights training has taught them:
  • That every woman "sheds a fertilized egg every month." (WTF?)
  • That an unborn baby's heart doesn't start beating until 24 weeks.
  • That science and evidence are irrelevant -- that, in fact, science and evidence are mere "opinion".
  • That there is no scientific way to determine if something is alive. (What's the point of having death certificates if there's no way of determining if the person is alive or dead? And yeah, your goldfish has gone belly-up, but that's not proof that there is or is not life there. And NASA is wasting TONS of money looking for life on Mars, since there is, according to Planned Parenthood, no scientific way to detect life.)
  • That there is no distinction between viruses and zygotes. (Which would mean that if you have a cold, your pregnancy test will come up positive.)

    How do we see this promotion of ignorance in other contexts? Let's go to a completely other state, in a completely other context:

    So the "education" Planned Parenthood provides a prospective abortion patient includes the following "facts":
  • A 6 - 8 week embryo has "no legs, no arms, no head, no brain, no heart."
  • That at 6 - 8 weeks "there's nothing developed at all."

    Let's go ahead and assume that the patient is at the 6-week end of this window. I've blogged already about 6-week embryos. notes these developmental milestones:
    Just four weeks after conception [6 weeks LMP, the way pregnancy is calculated], .... your baby's heart is beating with a regular rhythm.

    Basic facial features will begin to appear, including an opening for the mouth and passageways that will make up the inner ear. The digestive and respiratory systems begin to form as well.
  • All this is pretty remarkable in an embryo that's "nothing developed" and has "no legs, no arms, no head, no brain, no heart."

    The ignorance displayed in the Colorado video isn't some flukey thing. The ignorance displayed in that video is something the abortion lobby deliberately plants, nourishes, and cultivates. Such ignorance is vital in order to convince otherwise decent, caring people that they should take a strong pro-choice stand. It's that kind of ignorance that is necessary to maintain the dog-and-pony show going on right now in Austin.

    It would be downright laughable were the stakes not so tragic.

    Wednesday, July 03, 2013

    Moving Backward in Time: The Prenatal Nervous System

    Very few people are freakish enough to claim that newborns are incapable of feeling pain. Anybody who has ever encountered a newborn knows that the baby is taking in and processing sensations.Let's follow that newborn back in time and see the process that allowed this neurological marvel to develop.

    The Endowment for Human Development has produced a DVD showing prenatal development, with short clips showing relative size of the growing baby, using CGI, ultrasound, and endoscopic cameras. I can't embed the videos, but I'll provide the brief snippets of description with links to allow you to go and see for yourself.  I'll add emphasis to make major milestones easier to find. I also recommend checking out the interactive timeline with quizzes.

    The third trimester involves rapid brain growth and refinement. The combined Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton decisions forbade states to entirely ban third trimester abortions. There must be some sort of "health" exception. The original Doe vs. Bolton decision (companion to Roe) defined "health" so broadly that the need for an expensive car repair would suffice. (This is not an exaggeration; Doe specifically said that financial matters were related to "health" and therefore must be taken into consideration.) The idea of aborting a third-trimester baby for the mother's real, actual health is nonsensical on its face. Induced labor or an emergency c-section can quickly end any pregnancy that threatens the mother's well-being. An abortion merely adds a step prior to induction or surgery in order to make sure that the fetus emerges dead.

    So let's look at some neurological development in the third trimester:
    "Fetal exposure to various substances appears to affect flavor preferences after birth. For instance, fetuses whose mothers consumed anise, a substance which gives licorice its taste, showed a preference for anise after birth. Newborns without fetal exposure disliked anise."

    "During the last 4 months of pregnancy, the fetus displays periods of coordinated activity punctuated by periods of rest. These behavioral states reflect the ever-increasing complexity of the central nervous system."

    "By 28 weeks the fetus can distinguish between high- and low-pitched sounds."

    "The pupils respond to light as early as 27 weeks. This response regulates the amount of light reaching the retina throughout life."

    "All components required for a functioning sense of smell are operational. Studies of premature babies reveal the ability to detect odors as early as 26 weeks after fertilization.Placing a sweet substance in the amniotic fluid increases the rate of fetal swallowing. In contrast, decreased fetal swallowing follows the introduction of a bitter substance. Altered facial expressions often follow."

    "Several investigators report exposure to loud noise may adversely affect fetal health. Immediate consequences include prolonged increased heart rate, excessive fetal swallowing, and abrupt behavioral changes."
    The period of 22 - 26 weeks, as the second trimester ends and the third trimester begins, shows a range of state abortion laws. Some place limits on elective abortions after 22 weeks, others at 26 weeks, and others at some point in between. A total of ten states place no limits whatsoever on how late an abortion may be done; it's entirely up to abortion doctors to decide how large and developed a baby they're willing to kill, and for what reason.

    Now let's look at second trimester neurological milestones:
    "By 24 weeks the eyelids reopen and the fetus exhibits a blink-startle response. This reaction to sudden, loud noises typically develops earlier in the female fetus"

    "By 16 weeks, procedures involving the insertion of a needle into the abdomen of the fetus trigger a hormonal stress response releasing noradrenaline, or norepinephrine, into the bloodstream."
    Let that one sink in a bit. Between 16 and 20 weeks, abortions are typically performed by dismembering the live baby, a baby that exhibits a stress response if jabbed with a needle. Abortions past 20 weeks or so often involve injecting poison into the baby's heart, abdomen, or brain to cause fetal death, either to make later dismemberment easier or to prevent the dreaded live birth.

    The paucity of neurological milestones in the second trimester might seem to indicate that very little happens neurologically before the third trimester, but that's not actually the case. The bulk of neurological milestones take place during the first trimester.

    Now let's look at the end of the first trimester: 10 to 12 weeks.
    "With the exception of the back and the top of the head, the body of the entire fetus now responds to light touch."

    "In contrast to the withdrawal response seen earlier, stimulation near the mouth now evokes a turning toward the stimulus and an opening of the mouth. This response is called the 'rooting reflex' and it persists after birth, helping the newborn find his or her mother's nipple during breastfeeding."
    These are babies that respond to touch, and they're aborted by reaching in with forceps and dismembering them alive.

    8 - 10 weeks:
    "By 10 weeks, stimulation of the upper eyelid causes a downward rolling of the eye. The fetus yawns and often opens and closes the mouth."

     "By 9 weeks, thumb sucking begins and the fetus can swallow amniotic fluid."

    "The fetus can also grasp an object, move the head forward and back, open and close the jaw, move the tongue, sigh, and stretch. Nerve receptors in the face, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet can sense light touch. In response to a light touch on the sole of the foot, the fetus will bend the hip and knee and may curl the toes."
    Their tiny bodies are fragile enough to be torn apart by the suction machine alone. 

    From 6 - 8 weeks we see a lot of neurological progress as the embryo begins to move and respond to touch:

    "The embryo is becoming more physically active during this time.Motions may be slow or rapid, single or repetitive, spontaneous or reflexive.Head rotation, neck extension, and hand-to-face contact occur more often."

    "By 8 weeks, 75% of embryos exhibit right-hand dominance. The remainder is equally divided between left-handed dominance and no preference. This is the earliest evidence of right- or left-handed behavior. "

    "Hiccups have been observed by 7 weeks. Leg movements can now be seen, along with a startle response."

    "By 6 weeks the cerebral hemispheres are growing disproportionately faster than other sections of the brain.The embryo begins to make spontaneous and reflexive movements. Such movement is necessary to promote normal neuromuscular development."
    "Primitive brainwaves have been recorded as early as 6 weeks and 2 days."
    During this period, there's a split between the suction method -- which pulls the embryo apart -- and a chemical abortion that kills it by cutting off its supply of oxygen and nutrition.

    4 - 6 weeks, or between 28 and 42 days after conception:
    "Between 4 and 5 weeks, the brain continues its rapid growth and divides into 5 distinct sections. The head comprises about 1/3 of the embryo's total size. The cerebral hemispheres appear, gradually becoming the largest parts of the brain.Functions eventually controlled by the cerebral hemispheres include thought, learning, memory, speech, vision, hearing, voluntary movement, and problem-solving." 
    Abortions at this stage or earlier, if the pregnancy is even detected that early, are usually done with chemicals.

    3 - 4 weeks, or between 21 and 28 days after conception:
    The first 2 1/2 weeks, or 18 days:
    "By 1 week, cells of the inner cell mass form two layers called the hypoblast and epiblast. .... By approximately 2 1/2 weeks, the epiblast has formed 3 specialized tissues, or germ layers, called ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm. Ectoderm gives rise to numerous structures including the brain, spinal cord, nerves, skin, nails, and hair."
     Clearly the unborn human becomes fairly sophisticated very quickly. Contrary to the way abortion-rights activists like to imagine neurological development, the unborn baby is not like a computer system, with components being manufactured then set aside to be "connected" just before delivery. The various bodily systems could not develop at all if they were not in use. This includes the nervous system, which is complex and needs a lot of practice to prepare the baby for life outside the womb.

    The idea that the unborn are non-responsive and unsophisticated globs of protoplasm is wishful thinking on the part of those who wish to protect abortion as a right but don't wish to see themselves as condoning cruelty to tiny, helpless creatures.

    Wish it or not, however, reality is what it is. What abortion-rights activists condone is cruelty to tiny, helpless creatures, human beings.

    Teen Dies Despite Intense Aftercare

    The first death was commemorate today was of a young woman who got far more aftercare than is given to today's typical safe-n-legal abortion patient.

    Dorothy Schultz, 19 years of age, lived with her parents in Tomah, Wisconsin. She had just graduated from high school in June of 1929 and was planning to take a job with the government in Washington. Her mother helped her to arrange an abortion to be perpetrated by  Dr. W. B. Parke in Camp Douglas. They arrived for the abortion on June 19. Dorothy's parents wanted to remain at Parke's home while he did the abortion, but he requested that they leave. He took their $150 in cash and sent them on their way. The next day, Dorothy's mother fetched her daughter home. She took ill over the next few days, so her parents called Parke and told him of Dorothy's condition. He came to the Schultz home, bringing instruments with him, which he sterilized by boiling. He then performed a procedure to clean out Dorothy's uterus. Parke came to Dorothy's home on at least two other occasions. On June 25, he found her condition to be so serious that he wanted to return to Camp Douglas to get medicine for her.
    After he left, Dorothy's parents went against Parke's wishes and called Dr. Winter. Dr. Winter found Dorothy delirious, with a 105 degree fever, and he suspected the abortion. At first, Dorothy seemed to improve under Dr. Winter's care, but she then developed pneumonia. She died on July 3.

    An autopsy was performed by Dr. Winter and Dr. Beebe. They found an enlarged uterus and dilated cervix, in keeping with a recent pregnancy. They found signs of infection and of instrumentation of abortion. Dorothy's reproductive organs were sent to a pathologist who found necrotic tissue. He concluded that the sepsis that started in Dorothy's uterus brought on the fatal pneumonia.
    Parke went to Dorothy's house after her death to express his sympathy and to refund the $150 abortion fee. He also paid them an additional $850. When the case went to trial, Parke's defense was that he'd only been consulted about Dorothy's health, that he had taken money in case he had to hospitalize her during her pregnancy, and that Dorothy had already attempted to perform an abortion on herself and he'd only been providing her aftercare. Parke was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in Dorothy's death.

    ****    ****

    On July 3, 1917, 31-year-old homemaker Helen Skoza died at Chicago's Henroten Hospital from an abortion perpetrated by Elizabeth Schade. Schade never went to trial for Helen's death, and went on to kill Fern Strecker in 1926.
    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