Monday, April 11, 2016

Deadly Docs, Pre- and Post-Legalization

Oklahoma, 1935: Husband Fired from Job for Reporting Deadly Abortion Doctor

Headshot clipped from a newspaper, showing a bald, middle-aged white man in 1/4 profile, looking grimly into the camera through round dark-rimmed eyeglasses
OkGuy E. Brewer
Doris Jones, a 20-year-old mother of two, died April 11, 1935, from complications of a criminal abortion perpetrated on April 3. Dr. Guy E. Brewer, a 53-year-old bachelor known for his benevolence toward college students, was fingered as the culprit by Doris' husband, Victor. Brewer was a quiet, small-town doctor in Garber, Oklahoma and immensely popular for his benevolence in putting local young men through college. 

Doris' 22-year-old husband, Victor, a grocery clerk, had not known about the abortion until after Doris took ill. He reported the deadly abortion to police, whereupon his employer retaliated by firing him. Victor at least had the company of other bereaved families whose loved ones had died from abortions perpetrated by Brewer. Hermoine Fowler, a 20-year-old coed, died in June of 1934. Ruby Ford died on April 1, 1934. Wanda Lee Gray, age 20, Myrtle Rose, age 21, and Elizabeth Shaw, age 23, evidently died in early June of 1935.

Brewer pleaded guilty to all six deaths but only got a slap on the wrist -- six four-year sentences, to run concurrently.

Texas, 1984: Out on Bail for Murder, Abortion Doc Lets Patient Die

Headshot clipped from a newspaper, showing a round-faced middle-aged white man with short dark hair, wearing a jacket and tie and very large aviator-style sunglasses
Raymond Showery
Abortionist Raymond E. Showery (pictured) was out on bail appealing a murder conviction when he performed the safe, legal abortion that killed 28-year-old Mickey ApodacaMickey, a divorced mother of four, went to Showery's Southside Medical Center in El Paso for an abortion on April 11, 1984. She was about 19 weeks pregnant, and her abortion began some time after 2:00 p.m. Showery's defense team said that Mickey was not bleeding excessively immediately after her abortion, which they say took between 45 minutes to an hour to perform, but that a nurse discovered the hemorrhage, and Mickey was taken into the operating room for a transfusion. However, Showery would not provide Mickey's records to the Grand Jury on the grounds that they might incriminate him. It turns out that during the abortion, Showery had torn a hole in Mickey's uterus and severed a uterine artery. Mickey hemorrhaged for two hours before she was transferred to a hospital, where she died during an emergency hysterectomy. Showery was held pending $1 million dollars bail while awaiting trial for manslaughter in Mickey's death. While he was in prison, local pro-choicers rallied outside with signs asserting that Showery was "a good man" and that he "helps the poor." The fact that he helped Mickey Apodaca straight into an early grave was lost on them.

New Jersey, 1991: Sloppy Anesthesia Practices Lead to Lingering Death for Teen

On April 6, 1991, "Terri," age 34, had an abortion at a doctor's office in the 1100 block of Summit Avenue in Union City, New Jersey. A nurse called the police saying that they needed emergency help for an unconscious patient. According to the police report, the doctor had already left the facility when the nurse called for help. Terri was taken to the hospital and placed on life support. She was pronounced dead on April 11, 1991.

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