Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Work of Four Doctors and One Midwife

1874, Brooklyn Midwife

On December 16, 1874, Mrs. Christine Seifred died in Brooklyn from complications of a botched abortion. The coroner's inquest revealed that  Christine had gone to a midwife, Mrs. Johanna White, who had used instruments to perpetrate the abortion on December 6, causing the peritonitis that eventually killed Christine, who had been about three months pregnant. I have been unable to determine the outcome of the case. However, White was free in 1976, when she was implicated in the abortion deaths of Matilda Baringer and Mary Hermann.

1925, Chicago Physician

Dr. Lucy Hagenow
On December 16, 1925, 22-year-old factory worker Bridget Masterson died in her Chicago home from a botched abortion. John O'Malley, the father of Bridget's baby, committed suicide by gas after learning of Bridget's death. He left a note implicating "a lady doctor at 310 W. North Ave." This was the address of Dr. Lucy Hagenow

Hagenow was arrested and was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury on January 5, 1926, but the judge dismissed the charges. 

Hagenow, who had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Annie Dorris, Abbia Richards, and Emma Dep in San Francisco, had relocated to Chicago, where she would find a more genial atmosphere for her criminal activities. Prior to Bridget's death she was implicated in the Chicago deaths of  Minnie Deering, Sophia Kuhn, Emily Anderson, Hannah Carlson, Marie Hecht, May Putnam, Lola Madison, Annie Horvatich, Lottie Lowy, Nina H. Pierce, Jean Cohen, and Elizabeth Welter. After the judge dismissed the charges against Hagenow for Bridget's death, she went on to perpetrate a fatal abortion on Mary Moorehead.

1981: New York Physician

Barbara Auerbach was 38 years old when she went to a New York hospital for a safe, legal abortion and tubal ligation, performed December 11, 1981. Two days later, she was discharged. On December 16, Barbara was vomiting and suffering from back pain and inability to void her bladder. She was admitted to Princeton Medical Center in Princeton, New Jersey. Doctors there tried in vain to save her life, but she died within three hours of being admitted. The autopsy showed that Barbara had an obstruction of her small bowel, which caused massive infection throughout her body.

1984, Los Angeles Physician

Dr. Edward C. Allred
On December 15, 1984, Mary Pena underwent a safe and legal abortion at San Vincente Hospital in Los Angeles. She was 43 years old and the mother of five. Mary had thought that she was 3 months pregnant, but doctors discovered she was at 22 weeks. After the procedure, Mary was bleeding so heavily that a hysterectomy was performed in an effort to save her life. The surgery was not successful, and at 1:50 am on December 16, 1984, she died while on the operating table. San Vicente owner, Dr. Edward Allred, slipped Mary's body past the coroner without an autopsy. However, when her death certificate was taken to Kern County Health Department they refused to accept it and contacted the Los Angeles Coroner. Mary's body was brought to LA County for an autopsy. Only then was it revealed that she had bled to death from cervical lacerations. Once a cause for the fatal hemorrhage was determined, the death certificate was accepted, and Mary was laid to rest.

San Vicente had been purchased by National Abortion Federation member Familiy Practice Associates Medical Group shortly before Mary's death. Other patients known to have died after abortion at Allred's facilities include

New York, 1993 (1998) Physician

Venus Ortiz
Venus Ortiz, was 23 years old when she went for a safe, legal abortion at National Abortion Federation member Eastern Women's Center in New York on February 24, 1993. Evidence indicated that the abortion of Venus' approximately 15-week pregnancy was performed by Dr. Leiber. Due to negligence in administering anesthesia to Venus, she went into cardio-respiratory arrest. Staff failed to notice and treat the arrest promptly and properly. Venus was left in permanent need of respirator, with profound brain damage. Venus remain in a coma/vegetative state until her death five years later in a Staten Island nursing home on December 16, 1998 at the age of 29. Two other patients, Dawn Ravenelle and Dawn Mack, also died of complications of abortions done at Eastern Women's Center. 

Other women who suffered severe brain injuries and died years later from those abortion complications include:

  • Suzanne Logan, who languished, mute and paralyzed, for three years until her death on December 1, 1992
  • Shelby Moran, who was cared for in a nursing home for over 20 years until her death on September 16, 1999
  • "Gabriella Alonso," who spent six years in a coma until her death in the summer of 2002
  • Christi Stile, who spent nearly 22 years in a vegetative state until her death on March 29, 2015

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