Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Four Different Scenarios over Half a Century

Typical Chicago Abortion Death, 1921

On May 4, 1921, 37-year-old Hungarian immigrant Katherine Falesch died in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated by 37-year-old midwife Eva Lorch. Lorch was arraigned and held on $3000 bond, but there is no indication that the case went any further. If she were indeed guilty, this would have been typical of Chicago abortionists of the era, since there were an abundance of physicians and midwives plying that trade there at the time.

An Early Beneficiary of New York's Abortion Progressivism, 1972

In February of 1972, 21-year-old "Robin" traveled from Massachusetts to New York for a first trimester abortion. She underwent the procedure and returned home. About two weeks later, she started suffering abdominal pain. A month later, she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and hepatitis. Three months after her abortion, on May 4, 1972, Robin died, leaving two children motherless. Public health officials attributed her death to the abortion.

Hiding, not Stopping, the Deadly Bleeding, 1976

Shortly after noon on May 4, 1976, 29-year-old Maria Gomez underwent a safe and legal vacuum abortion at Atlantic Family Medical Clinic in Los Angeles County. Within an hour and a half she had bled to death.  The coroner report indicates that Dr. John Blodgett claimed that Maria must have bled to death from an "old" cervical cut. The autopsy found otherwise. Maria's lacerated and gashed uterus still contained the severed head of her unborn baby, and more than a quart of blood was pooled in her abdomen. Maria's lacerations had not been sutured, but her vagina had been packed with gauze, thus hiding but not stopping the bleeding.

"Like a Haunted House," 1987

Twenty-four-year-old Patricia Ann King went to Dean H. Diment in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a safe and legal abortion on May 4, 1987. Patricia went into cardiac arrest after being injected with anesthetic. Paramedics arrived at Diment's Statewide Clinic and found the place so unclean that they could have written their names in the dust. Diment told them that he had injected Neo-Synephrine and sodium bicarbonate into Patricia's heart but no one had performed CPR or made any other attempt to revive her. She had been in arrest for 20 minutes. Paramedics could not revive her.

Diment's associates at Statewide Clinic had a history of legal troubles. The medical director, Jimmie C. Tooney, had pleaded guilty in 1973 of writing narcotics prescriptions for a convicted drug dealer. Administrator William R. Cloud had been charged with conspiracy to commit illegal abortion in the early 1970's but had the charge dropped after abortion was legalized by Roe v. Wade.

Statewide Clinic advertised that it was "licensed by the state," but at the time of Patricia's death, abortion clinics were not regulated by the state of Oklahoma. Statewide had not been inspected since the attorney general had declared state oversight unconstitutional in 1984. 

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