Thursday, June 30, 2016

Two Safe, Legal Abortion Deaths

Both of today's deaths are due to purportedly safe legal abortions.

Seventeen-year-old Jennifer Suddeth underwent a safe and legal abortion performed by Dr. Franklin Henry "Frank" Robinson Sr. on June 30, 1982.

On the drive home to Cerritos, Jennifer bled heavily, alarming her boyfriend, John Fredzess. Fredzess called the clinic repeatedly over the four hours after their return home, but staff would not put the call through to Robinson. One nurse admonished Fredzess to "be realistic" about how severely Jennifer was bleeding. By that time, Jennifer had bled through two pairs of sweat pants, two blankets, and a towel. At last the hysterical husband was able to contact Robinson, who insisted that the bleeding was normal and instructed Fredzess to stop calling.

When Jennifer went into convulsions, Fredzess called an ambulance. Paramedics arrived at the home to find Jennifer already dead. Police interviewed the weeping and hysterical Fredzess, then pressed charges against Robinson for involuntary manslaughter in Jennifer's death. Although Robinson beat the rap, the state of California nevertheless counted Jennifer's death as due to illegal abortion.

Robinson has since retired and moved to Tennessee.

Kendra McLeod, single mother of two, underwent an abortion at a clinic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on June 12, 1998. She bled heavily afterward. The day after her abortion, she sought help at an emergency room. She had fainted three times by the time she got into the emergency room at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Doctors at the hospital transfused Kendra with nine units of blood and performed surgery to try to save her life, to no avail. She died on June 30, at the age of 22. According to North Carolina death records, she went into respiratory arrest after damage caused to her pelvic organs during a legal abortion.

Her mother, Vickie Huffman, lost a lawsuit against the hospital's emergency department. Sue sued on behalf of Kendra's children. Documents do not note if the family sued the abortion provider. The state death index notes that Kendra was a high school graduate working at a grocery store.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNS on Abortion-Promoting SCOTUS Ruling

SUPREME STUPIDITY:  Common Sense Health and Safety Requirements for Elective Abortion Struck Down by Supreme Court.

As a professional body of 4000 physicians and reproductive health care professionals,   the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists exists to defend both the lives of pregnant women and their unborn children.   AAPLOG is greatly concerned about the impact of the Supreme Court decision in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt,  the Texas Clinic Regulations case.   By striking down common sense health and safety regulations that apply to all standard surgical procedures,   the Supreme Court has not only taken away the ability of State Governments to regulate the practice of medicine within their borders but has also made elective abortion mills exempt from controls of any kind.

This politically motivated decision  by the Supreme Court will drastically reduce the safety of abortions across the country, as now abortion clinics and abortionists will be accountable to no one for the conditions inside their walls.   Surgical abortion carries all the risks of any other surgery, and offices which perform abortion should have to meet the same safety standards as those who perform any other comparable surgery.   Medical abortion frequently leads to severe hemorrhage resulting in the need for emergency surgery and transfusions.   Today’s Supreme Court ruling means that abortion clinics across the nation are now permitted to be incapable of responding to these known and predictable surgical emergencies.

The people of Texas clearly wanted to protect women who undergo elective abortion from the Gosnell-type situations in which the woman's life is put in jeopardy by substandard conditions.  The 5 unelected Justices in the Supreme Court today prevented the State of Texas from regulating the practice of medicine within Texas.   

Abortionists do not face the kind of accountability and safety environments in which all other physicians operate.  Today the Supreme Court made abortionists immune from peer accountability and immune from state regulation.  This lack of accountability legally minimizes the safety of women undergoing abortion procedures.

Those who promote elective abortion as a "medical" procedure desire the status of medicine, without the responsibility of patient safety or accountability.  This Supreme Court decision puts abortionists and their substandard practices above the law.   This decision will effectively allow abortionists to practice without meeting basic safety requirements.  If the Supreme Court really cared about women's health, this was an exceedingly stupid decision.

 The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists is a professional organization of over 4000 Reproductive Health Care physicians, midwives and others across the country.   AAPLOG exists to provide an evidence based defense of both the pregnant woman and her unborn child.  

Office:  202 230-0997

Monday, June 27, 2016

Typical Abortion Deaths, 1929 and 1934

Both of today's deaths are from typical criminal abortions in that they were perpetrated by physicians.

On June 24, 1929, 19-year-old homemaker Winifred Garver underwent an abortion at the office of Dr. Anna Schultz, aka Rollins. Schultz was assisted by Dr. James White. Winifred died on June 27 at Woodlawn Hospital. Winifred was white; both her abortionist and the assistant were Black. On June 27, both physicians were held by the coroner. Schultz was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury on October 6, 1930.

A bald, middle-aged white man wearing round, black-rimmed eyeglasses
Dr. Guy Brewer
Hermione Fowler, a 20-year-old coed at the Oklahoma A&M University, died at her Red Oak, Oklahoma home on June 27, 1934, nine days after an abortion perpetrated by noted local philanthropist Dr. Guy E. Brewer. Hermoine was one of six women to die after abortions perpetrated by Brewer. Doris Jones, a 20-year-old mother of two, died April 11, 1935. 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 entered guilty pleas and served six concurrent four-year sentences. The most likely reason that Brewer's punishment was so light for the deaths of six women was how popular he was in town for his benevolence toward young men. He ran a home for them to live in while he put them through college. So beloved was Brewer that one victim's husband was fired from his job in retaliation for reporting Brewer to the police.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Disillusioning Abortion Practices

Today we observe one death each from illegal and legal abortion. Each one should give prolifers or prochoicers pause.

The first death is one of a large batch that blew away my presumption that illegal abortionists would be quicly identified and shut down if they injured or killed women. Dr. Lucy Hagenow accumulated a shameful number of dead patients while spending very little time even in trouble, much less in prison, considering the toll her practice was taking.

Mrs. Dr. Hagenow
“Mrs. Dr. Hagenow, a former resident of San Jose, who gained unenviable notoriety in connection with the death of Louise Derchow in San Francisco about a year ago, is again in similar trouble.” 
On June 26, 1888, 16-year-old Annie Dorris died at Dr. Lucy Hagenow's "maternity hospital" in San Francisco. She was buried the following day based on a death certificate filed by Dr. Xavier Dodel, who claimed that he'd been called to tend to her at her home for chills and fever and had transferred her to Hagenow's care about two days before her death, when his treatment was not successful.

The baby's father was a young man named Cox who drowned in the San Francisco Bay the Christmas after Annie's death.

“A autopsy held on the remains which were disinterred for the purpose, showed that death was the result of an abortion.”

During the coroner's inquest, Annie's mother, Augusta, testified that in late July, Annie had come to her, "Troubled with what she thought was some female disease."  Augusta read in a German newspaper that “Mrs. Hagenow's hospital on Twelfth street was a good place,” so she took Annie there. “Mrs. Hagenow said that she would cure the girl for $30 and took her into a private room to examine her.” After Annie emerged, Hagenow charged her mother an additional $10, saying that she had damaged an instrument due to Anna's inability to lie still.

Three days later, Annie took to her bed, complaining of pains in her legs and back. According to Annie's father, Frederick, Hagenow came to the house to check on Annie. Hagenow took the girl into a side room, from which Frederick heard Annie cry out. Hagenow emerged and said that a "man doctor" had to be called in due to inflammation of the bowels and high fever. Hagenow left and returned with Dodel. The two of them went into the room with Annie, and again Frederick heard his daughter cry out. Dodel emerged from the room with bloody hands. Upon his recommendation, Annie was removed to the "Maternity Home," where she died on the third day.

Augusta said that Hagenow's sister, Mrs. Seibert, told her that she'd taken her daughter to a “hell hole” and that “other persons had been murdered there.” Anna Hickert, who operated a bakery, said that she relayed to Hagenow that Seibert had told her that Hagenow ran “a murderous den,” but Hagenow had told Hickert not to relay this because her sister would deny having ever said any such thing.

As Augusta testified about her daughter's death, she “cried pitifully.” After being given time to regain her composure, Augusta, with her husband by her side, was asked about her encounter with Hagenow at the coroner's office. Augusta said that Hagenow told her to denied ever meeting her, or she (Hagenow) would end up doing 25 or 30 years at San Quentin. The coroner had chased Hagenow from the room.

Dr. Lucy Hagenow
Hagenow eventually made bail, but the San Francisco Chronicle noted, “The bond itself is a queer one. Although the signers qualify in the aggregate for $20,000 there is more than the faint suspicion afloat that it is a bond of straw.” Pretty fishy – perhaps in one case even fictitious – characters were putting their signatures on it. “When Mrs. Hagenow was released she ran to Dr. Dodel's cell and held a short conversation with him. It is quite probable that he will soon be out on bond if [Judge] Hornblower can be persuaded to accept the same kind of sureties for him as he did for his female companion." Hagenow stuck to her story that Annie had been deathly ill before she'd even been called in.

Three trials in the case led to three hung juries.

Hagenow was also implicated in the San Francisco abortion deaths of  Abbia Richards, as well as for the suspicious death of Emma Dep at Hagenow's maternity home.

Hagenow relocated to Chicago, a city more tolerant of abortion quackery, and began piling up dead bodies there as well. She was implicated in numerous abortion deaths there, including:

Though she was sentenced to prison for the death of Mary Moorehead, when Hagenow appealed the Supreme Court of Illinois ordered a new trial in 1929. The judge, noting that there was no new evidence, dismissed the case, telling Hagenow, "You had better make your peace with God, Lucy Hagenow. I do not think your months on earth are many."

Hagenow, the Associated Press noted, was nearly deaf and "may not have heard. She muttered something, and shambled laboriously from the room."

As near as I can determine, Hagenow died September 26, 1933, in Norwood Park, Cook County, Illinois. Her occupation on her death record was given as "midwife."

Deaths of her patients must have been a common occurrence, since undertaker W. J. Freckleton, sent by one husband to collect the body of his wife for burial, testified that he had complained to Hagenow how difficult it was to get the body down the narrow staircase; Hagenow had replied that her usual undertaker never had any trouble getting bodies out.

Clearly, laws against abortion can only protect women if the local authorities care enough to enforce them. 

Safe and Legal in Florida

I hope that abortion-rights supporters will grasp that legalization did not have the desired effect of getting rid of quackery. Why should it? If authorities are willing to look the other way when a criminal abortionist kills a patient, why would they address legal abortionists? Killing an abortion patient is no longer a crime, but merely a civil matter not worth the abortion lobby having any concern about. Case in point:

Pamela Colson, age 31, was 12 weeks pregnant when friends drive her to Women's Medical Services in Pensacola, Florida, for a safe and legal abortion June 26, 1994.

Pamela bled heavily during the drive home. According to her friends, Pamela became unresponsive, so they stopped at a motel. Two passers-by did CPR while Pamela's friends called for an ambulance. Pamela was taken to a hospital where she died after an emergency hysterectomy.

Her autopsy showed: bloodstained fluid in chest and peritoneal space, and "extensive hematoma formation in the pelvic area with the peritoneum denuded from the left gutter area caudually." The surgeon who performed an emergency hysterectomy, trying to save Pamela's life, had removed her uterus at the site of the laceration "so that the laceration was a portion of the incision made to remove the uterus." Her uterus showed extensive hemorrhage and blood clots. Her uterine artery was also injured. Several of Pamela's ribs were fractured, apparently during attempts to resuscitate her; this is common in even properly performed CPR.

The cause of death was given as "irreversible shock from blood loss due to a perforated uterus occurring at the time of an elective abortion." William Keene was tentatively identified as having performed the abortion.

The Sad Truth

I know that supporters of abortion rights will assert that although legal abortion deaths are indeed tragic, there would be more such deaths were abortion illegal. This idea doesn't hold water. One need only look at the trends in abortion deaths to see:

Abortion mortality plummetted not due to legalization, but due to the introduction of antibiotics and blood transfusions to the medical arsenal. Legalization of abortion-on-demand didn't even produce a blip in the existing downward trend.

It seems that the primary benificiaries of legalization were the abortion practitioners themselves, who no longer risked prison for quackery. Pamela Colson is just as dead as Annie Dorris, but Lucy Hagenow faced major legal troubles that would be unthinkable in today's safe-and-legal era.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

1911: A Typical Chicago Abortion Death

On June 25, 1911, 20-year-old Mrs. Anna Mueller died from a criminal abortion performed by Dr. George Lotz. Lotz was arrested July 5. He was indicted for felony murder.

Leslie Reagan indicates that he was expelled from the Chicago Medical Society after admitting guilt in Anna's death, but there is no record that he served time for the crime. In fact, he was free and in Danville, Illinois in 1917, when he perpetrated a fatal attempted abortion on Matilda Tidrick in 1917.

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

1882: Sexually Abusive Father Perpetrates Fatal Abortion

On June 13, 1882, 20-year-old Ruth Phillips of Wisconsin delivered stillborn twins. She was near death herself.

A few days later she made a shocking deathbed statement to her sisters: she said that their father was the father of the twins, and that he had used instruments on her to cause the abortion that killed the twins and was soon to take her own life.

Ruth died on June 25, and was buried on the 25th. An autopsy was performed, which evidently corroborated the girl's deathbed statement, since her father, James T. Phillips, was arrested.

There was such outrage in the community that Phillips was in danger of being lynched.

Friday, June 24, 2016

University Obtains Aborted Baby Brains for Youth Summer Camp

HT: Live Action News
Today, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released a gruesome journal of “Procurement Notes,” which was given to the Panel by the University of New Mexico. The notes were made by a lab technician who was employed by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. UNMHSC partnered with the Southwestern Women’s Options abortion facility and would send a tech over to collect aborted babies and their body parts.
"The lab tech wrote in May 2012 that someone from UNMHSC 'asked clinic for digoxin
treated tissue 24-28 weeks for methylation study + because [redacted] wants whole,

fixed brains to dissect w/summer camp students. Clinic est. 27 and 28 weeks."
NB: Fetal viability is generally recognized as 24+ weeks. - ed

The summer camp is evidently part of the "High School Pipeline Program." From the university web site:
Dream Makers Health Careers Program (DMHCP) is a join effort between the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC) Office of Diversity and several school districts throughout New Mexico. Dream Makers provides middle and high school students with unique opportunities to gain exposure to the many possibilities in the health professions while enhancing their science and math skills.
One of the activities offered is "Dissection of various specimens."

What exactly is a "dogoxin treated" brain? This video shows how a digoxin abortion is performed:

Are the parents being told that "digoxin treated" aborted baby brains are some of the "various specimens" being dissected at their kids' summer camp? Is anybody told where these "specimens" come from? Are the kids given the chance to opt out?

And, really, how nasty can you get?

A Early Beneficiary of the New York Abortion Law, 1971

"Annie" is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a safe and legal abortion.

Annie traveled from New Jersey to New York to avail herself of the new law, for a first-trimester abortion on June 24, 1971.

Shortly after she was given anesthesia, Annie went into cardiac arrest, and attempts to revive her failed. She left behind three children.

The 1970 liberalization of abortion had made New York an abortion mecca until the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling that abortionists could legally set up shop in any state of the union. In addition to "Annie," these are the women I know of who had the dubious benefit of dying from the newfangled safe-and-legal kind of abortion in pre-Roe New York:

  • "Judy" Roe, July 12, 1970, cardiac arrest during abortion
  • Carmen Rodriguez, July 19, 1970, salt solution intended to kill the fetus accidentally injected into her bloodstream
  • Barbara Riley, July 20, 1970, sickle-cell crisis triggered by abortion recommended by doctor due to her sickle cell disease
  • "Amanda" Roe, September 22, 1970, sent back to her home in Indiana with an untreated hole poked in her uterus
  • Maria Ortega, October 10, 1970, fetus shoved through her uterus into her pelvic cavity then left there
  • "Kimberly" Roe, December 23, 1970, cardiac arrest during abortion
  • "Amy" Roe, January 2, 1971, massive pulmonary embolism
  • "Andrea" Roe, January 20, 1971, overwhelming infection
  • "Sandra" Roe, April 18, 1971, committed suicide due to post-abortion remorse
  • "Anita" Roe, May 11, 1971, bled to death in her home during process of outpatient saline abortion
  • Margaret Smith, June 16 1971, hemorrhage from multiple lacerations during outpatient hysterotomy abortion
  • "Audrey" Roe, July 1, 1971, cardiac arrest during abortion
  • "Vicki" Roe, August 17, 1971, post-abortion infection
  • "April" Roe, August 22, 1971, injected with saline for outpatient abortion, went into shock and died
  • "Barbara" Roe, September 23, 1971, cardiac arrest after saline injection for abortion
  • "Tammy" Roe, October 13, 1971, massive post-abortion infection
  • Carole Schaner, October 20, 1971, hemorrhage from multiple lacerations during outpatient hysterotomy abortion
  • "Beth" Roe, December 29, 1971, saline injection meant to kill fetus accidentally injected into her bloodstream
  • "Roseann" Roe, February 27, 1971, vomiting with seizures causing pneumonia after saline abortion
  • "Connie" Roe, March 8, 1972, cardiac arrest during abortion
  • "Julie" Roe, April 16, 1972, holes torn in her uterus and bowel
  • "Robin" Roe, May 4, 1972, lingering abortion complications
  • "Roxanne" Roe, May 13, 1972, given overdose of abortion sedatives
  • "Danielle" Roe, May 17, 1972, air in her bloodstream

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Doctor's Deadly Work in 1899

Cora Burke was a 20-year-old who had been widowed about five months. She had a four-year-old son and lived in her own home along with her child and her parents. She'd recently become engaged. She'd been in good health up until the events that began to unfold on June 21, 1899.

Referred by a Friend: The Abortion

A white man in a plaid shirt and vest, looking head-on toward the camera. He has mussed short brown hair and a large mustache.
Dr. R. J. Alcorn
In May of 1899, Cora told Mrs. Martha Johnson that she was about six weeks pregnant and wanted to find a good doctor to perform an abortion. Some time around Sunday, June 19, Mrs. Johnson introduced Cora to Dr. R. J. Alcorn who had been practicing medicine in Kootenai County, Idaho, for a short time. Dr. Alcorn was living in the boarding house Mrs. Johnson operated with Mr. E.J. Abbey. Finding a doctor to perform an illegal abortion was common prior to legalization.

On the night of Tuesday, June 21, Dr. Alcorn asked Mr. T.J. Rundell to help him carry a table into his office, which was at the back of a drug store in the town of Harrison. Rundell's curiosity was piqued, and he asked Alcorn if he was going to "dissect a stiff." Alcorn told him no, he was going to perform an operation on somebody from across the river.

Abbey listened from an adjoining room, and heard Cora say that the instrument Dr. Alcorn was using was hurting her.

Rundell decided to snoop, so he returned at 10:00 PM and saw Cora go through the drug store into Alcorn's office, accompanied by Mr. Abbey from the boarding house. Rundell then slipped around to the back of the building, where he could peer into Alcorn's office around an ill-hung window blind. Abbey remained in an adjoining room, and during the ensuing time heard Cora say that the instrument Alcorn was using was hurting her.

The following is what Rundell says he observed through the window.
Alcorn stood beside the chair where Cora was sitting, supporting her head with one hand. He had a small vial containing a dark liquid, and was holding a cloth to Cora's face. Cora seemed to fall into a deep sleep, whereupon Alcorn picked her up and lay her on the table. 
Alcorn removed Cora's undergarments and positioned her for the surgery. He examined her internally, inserted a speculum, then inserted a probe about a foot long into her body, causing a flow of blood which he blotted up with a cloth. From time to time, Alcorn applied the cloth to Cora's face again. The entire procedure took about an hour and a half. 
Cora was awakened, and Alcorn helped her to set her clothing to rights and sent her on her way.
Follow-Up and Death

At about 4 PM the next day, Alcorn was called to tend to Cora, who was in a lot of pain. He examined her and found her uterus to be inflamed and bleeding. He prescribed ergot, to be given one-half teaspoon each half-hour for three doses, then every hour afterward for 18 hours. Cora's mother asked Alcorn about her daughter's condition. Alcorn told her, "She caught a bad cold. She does not flow enough when she has her monthlies. I will give her something to make her flow."

Over the ensuing days, Alcorn visited Cora five times. While Cora was ill, she passed a lot of blood and clots.

Alcorn made his last visit to Cora about two hours before she died on Friday afternoon, June 23. Her feet and hands were cold, her fingers blue, her lips purple. Alcorn told Cora's mother that she was doing well and would be up soon. Alcorn immediately took a train to Washington state.

Thus, Alcorn was out of town when Cora breathed her last.

Alcorn's Journeys

Alcorn returned from his trip to Washington at about 10:00 on the following Sunday morning. The next day he again left the state, this time going to Montana, where he was arrested and returned to Kootenai county.

Kootenai County sheriff F. H. Bradbury testified that on the train ride back, "He [Alcorn] told me that he never had anything to do with this girl, Cora Burke; that he began in the daytime an operation on a man for stricture, and did not complete it; and that he took him in the back room of the drug store and completed the operation in the evening. He gave me this statement after I had warned him not to make any statement to me."

Damaging Testimony

A woman named Mrs. Knight, who visited Cora during her illness, testified, "I helped dress her after she was dead. Her clothing and bedclothing were saturated with blood. A quilt was doubled up under her four thicknesses, and it was clear through the quilt. It was clots of blood. I observed an odor in connection with it. There was too great a quantity to have come from the ordinary menstruation. Much greater in quantity."

A man named William Ketchum testified at at about 6:00 PM on the 21st, he called Alcorn to visit Mrs. Ketchum, but Alcorn told him, "Well, I don't know. I am expecting a miscarriage here any minute. I can go over there, and come back, if it does not make any difference to them." Alcorn went to the Ketchum home to provide care, then returned to his office.

The physicians called as expert witnesses on the case all agreed that Cora died of septicemia or blood poisoning. They also agreed that ergot itself would be enough to cause an abortion.

Alcorn's Testimony

Alcorn testified on his own behalf, saying that Cora had attempted to do an abortion on herself with "a hair dart," which had punctured the wall of her uterus and broken off, leaving about 1 1/2 inches. Rundell said that he'd used a speculum and piston syringe to remove the foreign body from Cora's uterus.

Alcorn's defense also raised the possibility that Cora hadn't actually been pregnant, but the court concluded that Cora had believed herself to be pregnant, had sought an abortion, and had undergone a procedure intended to cause an abortion, which was enough to demonstrate the intent of the defendant to kill a fetus, especially in the light of Alcorn's statement that he was expecting a patient to miscarry.

Alcorn was charged with murder, convicted of manslaughter, in Cora's death. While in prison, he ran the dispensary. He was paroled after serving only two years and returned home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Unknown, an Acquittal, and Safe and Legal Quackery

A Mystery "Treatment," 1909

On June 6, 1909, "Tessa," identified by the source document as "Mrs. Z.," was 29 years old and four months pregnant. She availed herself of a midwife to be "treated" -- as it was termed in her hospital records. The "treatment" was most likely an abortion attempt. After this "treatment," Tessa took ill, with a dull abdominal pain, hemorrhage, and fever.

She was admitted to Cook County Hospital on June 20, suffering with chills. Her pulse was an elevated 128, her respirations at 50. Her fever was comparatively low, 101 degrees, but she appeared "very sick," so she was taken into surgery that same day. She was put under ether anesthesia while a doctor used a cleaned finger to remove the contents of her uterus. However, after five minutes of anesthesia it was clear that Tessa wasn't doing well so the surgery was stopped. The next day Tessa was moribund. Her temperature was a clearly unwell 102.4, but her pulse and respirations were more alarming, at 148 and 60, respectively. She died that day, June 22.

No Justice for Rose, 1928

On June 22, 1928, 31-year-old Rose Hannover died at the Chicago office of Dr. Lester I. Ofner from complications of an abortion performed there that day. Ofner was held by the coroner on July 28. On November 28, he was acquitted. The source documents do not indicate why, so we have no way of knowing if he was wrongly identified by the coroner, if the prosecution screwed up, or if the way the law was written made getting a conviction difficult.

Safe and Legal in Pannsylvania, 1996

Thirty-two-year-old Kelly Morse of Vermont traveled with her husband to Hillcrest Women's Medical Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for an abortion on June 19, 1996. Because the waiting room of the clinic was so crowded, Kelly's husband waited for her outside while Dr. Delhi Elmore Thweatt, Jr., performed the abortion.  

Dr. Dehli Thweatt
Even though Kelly had notified Hillcrest staff that she had asthma and was allergic to the "caine" medications, including Lidocaine, Thweatt administered 12 cc's of 1 percent Lidocaine to Kelly at about 11 a.m.

Kelly immediately had trouble breathing. A licensed practical nurse got Kelly's inhaler from her purse and helped her to use it, but Kelly reported that it was not helping. She became very agitated because of her difficulty in drawing breath.

Thweatt continued with the abortion, completing it in about four minutes, and spent some time providing ineffectual care to Kelly before having an ambulance summoned.

The suit filed by Kelly's husband noted, "As Mrs. Morse's dyspnea (difficulty breathing) and cyanosis [turning blue due to lack of oxygen] continued to worsen, Defendant Thweatt improperly administered Epinephrine subcutaneously instead of intravenously...." This measure would do nothing to assist a patient in Kelly's condition.

No one started an IV. No respiration rate was recorded, no pulse was checked and no blood pressure was measured. No EKG was applied. No cardiac monitoring was conducted. No pulse oximeter was applied. No intubation or emergency tracheotomy was performed. No oxygen was administered. Kelly continued to agitate in fear, desperately gasping for air, and remained blue in color. Defendant Thweatt just stood there with a stethoscope in hand and listened to Kelly's breathing and wheezing progressively worsen."

"As Plaintiff choked and gasped for air, none of the Defendants, took steps to immediately dispatch an ambulance. In fact, the ambulance was not summoned until 11:24 a.m., or 10 minutes after Plaintiff violently choked, gasped, wheezed, and discolored to a blue-black appearance from respiratory arrest and hypoxia."

Paramedics arrived within five minutes of the call, just as a staff member was running outside to summon Kelly's husband.

Kelly's husband reported that he went in with the ambulance crew to find his wife, naked and blue-black from lack of oxygen, lying on a table that was halfway out of the examination room into the hallway.

The paramedics put a breathing tube into Kelly, properly administered medications, and performed CPR as they transported Kelly to nearby Polyclinic Medical Center, where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

Her condition continued to deteriorate, and she was pronounced dead on June 22.

Court documents in the case indicate that Hillcrest advertised Thweatt as being a Board-certified ob/gyn, yet "Defendant Thweatt failed the Ob/Gyn Board certification examination not once, not twice, but on three consecutive attempts...Defendant Thweatt failed his Board certification exam even after a fourth attempt, following his deposition of July 27, 1997."

On April 20, 1999, Thweatt and Hillcrest settled out of court with Kelly's husband. Her two children, a boy and a girl, were left motherless.

The Pennsylvania Medical Board and Maryland Medical Board show no disciplinary actions against Thweatt, who lives in Maryland.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Contrasting Abortions, 1929 and 1985

A Mystery Abortion, Chicago, 1929

On June 21, 1929, 25-year-old maid Fannie Shead, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, died in Chicago from a criminal abortion performed that day by an unknown perpetrator. Interestingly, the coroner only recommended an arrest for "unintentional manslaughter," not the usual homicide by abortion. I wonder if this might be due to the fact that unlike the other victims of Chicago abortionists whose cases I've documented, Fannie Shead was Black. Oddly, the database lists a date a defendant was arrested -- August 10 -- but does not list a suspect.

Safe and Legal in New Jersey, 1985

Seventeen-year-old Deborah Lozinski had languished for two months in a coma, hospitalized after a safe and legal abortion at Medical Care Center in Woodbridge, New Jersey. On June 21, 1985, Deborah's parents filed suit against Dr. Scheininger, Dr. Binod Sinha, and other staff for failing to properly screen and examine Deborah prior to her abortion. Sinha was the anesthesiologist.
A review of Deborah's care found that a nurse-anesthetist failed to properly prepare Deborah by removing her make-up, nail polish, and jewelry so that changes in skin color could be noted. No monitoring devices were in place to track Deborah's vital signs.  As Deborah began to come out of anesthesia, the nurse detected signs that there might be a leak in or around Deborah's oxygen mask. While the nurse was looking for the leak, the doctor finished the abortion and left the procedure room. Sinha had not been present in the room at all, so this left Deborah without a physician on hand while she was still under anesthesia.
The nurse then left the head of the table, where she should have been monitoring Deborah's condition, to take her legs out of the stirrups and reposition her. It was when the nurse returned her attention to Deborah's care that she saw that Deborah was not breathing and had no detectable pulse. It was at that point that the nurse summoned Sinha.  Sinha hooked up a heart monitor and ordered CPR to be initiated. They were able to get Deborah's heart beating again, but her pupils would not respond to light. Emergency services were summoned.
A nurse from the John F. Kennedy Medical Center Mobile Intensive Care Unit arrived at the clinic, she was struck by the fact that Deborah's heavy makeup had not been removed before administering anesthesia, making it difficult to assess whether she was getting enough oxygen. As a result, Deborah suffered the brain damage that had caused her coma. During her hospitalization, she suffered repeated infections and developed pneumonia.
Shortly after midnight on June 22, a hospital staffer checked on Deborah and found her dead; she evidently had died shortly before midnight.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Crimanal Abortionists in Chicago, Former Criminal Abortionist in DC

Typical Chicago Abortions, 1908 and 1929

On June 20 or 24, 1908, 36-year-old housekeeper Lillian "Lillie" O'Neill died in Dr. Albert C. Davis's Chicago office from complications of an abortion performed June 20. Davis was acquitted for reasons not given in the source document. A midwife named Cornelia Meyers was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to Joliet. Lillie's abortion was typical in that it was involved medical professionals, including a physician. This was especially true in Chicago during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

On June 20, 1929, 28-year-old Jennie Kuba died at Chicago hospital from an abortion performed there that day by midwife Mary Zwieniczak. Zwienczak was arrested July 13. The coroner also recommended the arrest of Dr. Joseph Mienczak, who assisted Zwieniczak, as an accessory. The grand jury handed down an indictment of homicide.

One of Three "Back Alley Butchers" to Kill Two Legal Patients Each

A man of eastern European descent, wearing an open-neck short-sleeve shirt, leaning back in a chair and gesturing as if speaking to a person standing off-camera
Dr. Milan Vuitch
Milan Vuitch was a hero among abortion advocates. He had deliberately been arrested performing criminal abortions so that he could challenge the Washington, DC abortion law, and he succeeded in changing the way the law was enforced, effectively nullifying it.

On June 15, 1974, seventeen-year-old Wilma Harris of West Virginia went to Vuitch's Laurel Clinic for a safe and abortion. Five days later, on June 20, she was dead. During interrogatories, Vuitch said that anesthesiologist Strahil Nacev described Wilma as "so quiet" during the abortion. Although he had begun a vacuum abortion, Vuitch said that the fetus had been too big to pass through the suction tube. He said he used instruments to remove the remaining fetal parts.

Although the abortion was done at around 2:00 PM, Vuitch didn't transfer Wilma to a properly equipped hospital until after midnight. Wilma's family sued, claiming that Vuitch and his staff had allowed Wilma to lapse into a coma and lie unattended for 12 hours before transferring her to the hospital. The suit also claimed that Vuitch and his staff falsified records to cover their tracks. The family won a judgment on December 23, 1976, but the settlement was sealed by court order.

Georgianna English also died after an abortion by Vuitch.

Vuitch isn't the only aborionist who kept his nose clean as a criminal abortionist, only to kill two patiens after legalization. Jesse Ketchum managed to kill Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner in a four-month period after New York put out a welcome mat for carpetbagging abortionists in 1970. Benjamin Munson of South Dakota killed Linda Padfield and Yvonne Mesteth.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Abortion, Murder, and Suicide

The abortion deaths commemorated today connect to other tragedies: a suicide and a murder

An Abortion and a Murder in 1908

On June 19, 1908, undertaker Thomas Graham went to the house of William C. Patterson in West Philadelphia. There he picked up the body of Patterson's 27-year-old sister-in-law, Elizabeth "Bess" Alexander Geis. The young woman, Graham was told, had died that day of Bright's disease. Elizabeth's brother, Leslie Alexander, knew that Bess had not died from Bright's disease. He went to the police, telling them that she had died from a botched abortion and demanding that they arrest Dr. William H. Heck, who had cared for Elizabeth during her final illness.

Police questioned Heck, who said that he had given Bess some medication, then came back the next morning and found that her condition had deteriorated. "I did what I could for her," he said, "but when I was called four and a half hours later she was dead. I was told that a child had been born before she passed away." Supporting the idea that Bess had died from an abortion, her body had been removed from the Haasz and taken to undertaker Sarah Elliot, who had already buried the baby under the name Elizabeth A. Wilson, child of Fred Wilson and Elizabeth Alexander Wilson. "in an obscure corner of the Franklin Cemetery." Elliot sent Bess's body to another undertaker, George Graham, who buried Bess in Mt. Moriah Cemetery.

The investigation was complicated, and in some ways derailed, on June 26, when Wilson died after drinking poisoned ale that had been sent to him via an express office. Police theorized that Bess's husband, Frederick Geis, Jr., had poisoned Heck in revenge for having caused his wife's death. However, after sorting through testimony and dates, it became clear that the poisoned ale had been purchased before Bess's death.

A Typical Chicago Abortion, 1922

On June 19, 1922, homemaker Veronica Maslanka, a 26-year-old Polish immigrant, died in her Chicago home from complications of an abortion performed there that day. The coroner identified midwife Mary Pesova as the person responsible for Veronica's death. Since there were many midwives in addition to physicians practicing abortion in Chicago at the time, Veronica's abortion was typical of those perpetrated in that era.

An Abortion and a Suicide, 1927

Headshot from a news clipping showing a white man with short dark hair and fine features, weaing a bow tie
Dr. George Slater
On Friday, June 18, 1927, Dr. George F. Slater admitted 20-year-old Anna Mae Smith to a Chicago hospital, saying that she was suffering from appendicitis. The next day, Anna died from after telling a police detective-- as well as her husband and sister -- that Slater had perpetrated an abortion on her.
A police officer went to Slater's home the following morning to inform him of Anna Mae's death and to deliver a summons to appear at an inquest. Slater calmly breakfasted with his family, sent his kids off to Sunday school, then went into the bathroom and took poison, dying in his wife's arms after telling her to look after the children. Mrs. Slater told police that he was innocent of the abortion charge and that she was certain he had killed himself over some financial problems.
This was not the first time Slater had been implicated in an abortion death. He had been held in 1922 for the abortion death of Delia Campbell and had been indicted by a grand jury for homicide on May 1, 1926 for the 1925 abortion death of 23-year-old Helen Bain.

1928: The First of Two Deaths Attributed to Dr. Mike Roberson

Dr. Mike Roberson was convicted and sentenced to two to five years for the abortion death of 23-year-old Miss Irma Louise Robinson, a schoolteacher from Raleigh, North Carolina. A man named M. H. Davis said that he'd paid Roberson $50 to for the abortion, perpetrated in Roberson's office on June 1, 1928. The pair had made a total of four trips to arrange the abortion, Davis said, and he had waited in the waiting room of Roberson's practice while Irma had gone back to have the abortion done. He was there, he said, when Roberson gave Irma aftercare instructions and sent her to the home of Mrs. E. E. Forsythe, who was paid $40 to care for Irma as she recovered. The next day, Irma became seriously ill and was taken to the hospital where her condition deteriorated until she died on June 19. Two doctors who examined Irma said she'd died of blood poisoning from an incomplete abortion.
Roberson was either not tried a second time or was not convicted in the second trial, because he was free in 1932 to be implicated in the abortion death of Myrtle Gardner.


Elizabeth Geis original death certificate:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

From Self-Induced in 1910 to Safe and Legal in 1973

Early 20th Century Chicago: Self-Induced and Two Mystery Abortions

"Clara," identified as "Miss F." in the source document, was 21 years old when she used a catheter to perform a self-induced abortion in mid-May of 1910. Five days later, Clara began suffering chills, fever, and abdominal pain. She passed the fetus the nest day but did not pass the placenta. Her condition deteriorated, so on June 12, 1910 she went to Cook County Hospital. Her admission notes indicate, "Very weak and sick. Face drawn and anxious. Abdomen distended and tender. Muscles rigid." The following day, Clara's temperature began to fall below normal and her pulse became more rapid. She died on June 18 from streptococcal peritonitis.

On June 18, 1914, 39-year-old Bridget Murphy died at Post Graduate Hospital in Chicago from an abortion performed that day by an unknown perpetrator.

The Coroner was never able to identify the abortionist responsible for the death of 19-year-old Julia Suchora June 18, 1917, at her Chicago home. Given the plethora of physicians and midwives running abortion practices in Chicago, it is likely that she availed herself of one of them.

Safe and Legal in New York, 1972

"Sara" Roe is one of the women Life Dynamics notes on their "Blackmun Wall" of women killed by legalized abortionSara took advantage of New York state's legalization of abortion, and underwent a second trimester abortion in New York City in May of 1972. She was 18 weeks pregnant. She had problems with retained tissue, so three weeks after the abortion she had a D&C to remove the tissue. Sara had developed infection from the retained tissue, and on June 18, 1972, the infection took her life. She left one child motherless.

"Back Alley Butcher" in South Dakota, 1973

Dr. Benjamin Munson had been practicing criminal abortion in Rapid City, SD as early as 1967. In 1969, he was convicted of performing an abortion on a 19-year-old patient. Munson won an appeal in circuit court. When the state appealed, the South Dakota Supreme Court upheld the conviction. Munson was in the process of appealing this decision when Roe vs. Wadewas handed down, making the case moot. Munson was free to practice abortion at-will.

Into this situation walked 28-year-old Linda Padfield. On June 15, 1973, Linda had traveled about five hours from Groton, SD with her three small children and a friend. Her mother, Audrey Padfield, had thought that Linda was making the trip to visit friends. Munson, then 61 years of age, performed the abortion that evening, and then Linda went to a motel for the night. The next day she, her children, and her friend did some sightseeing and then headed home to Groton. They arrived on the 17th, and Linda was already sick with nausea and high fever. She told her mother about the abortion, and her mother took her to St. Luke's Hospital in Aberdeen for emergency surgery, but the infection had progressed too far and Linda died on June 18.

One of the doctors who treated Linda at the hospital, Dr. James Hovland, said that Linda had been conscious when she first arrived but that she deteriorated rapidly. She seemed to be going into kidney failure, and didn't even bleed from the incision made for exploratory surgery. When asked if an immediate hysterectomy would have saved her, Hovland expressed his doubts, given how gravely ill Linda was from the results of the infection raging through her entire body.

A pathologist found the remains of a five-month fetus in Linda's uterus, missing a leg, arm, part of its skull and part of its torso. The 240 grams of retained fetus caused the massive infection that had killed Linda.

Munson sued to enjoin prosecution, but the case went to court nevertheless. The prosecution focused on the fact that infection will inevitably result from that much retained tissue. The Attorney General commented, "You take a three-inch leg off something, you have to know that there's more in there than just the leg." The defense, however, argued that infection is an accepted risk of abortion, and that the state couldn't prove that Munson meant to harm Linda. The only standard of care, the defense said, was a local standard of care. What abortion doctors did in other areas, the defese argued, was irrelevant. Since Munson was the only dedicated abortionist in the state, whatever he did, therefore, was by definition the community standard of care.The judge bought it, ordered the jury to acquit. Munson later became a member of the National Abortion Federation (NAF).

In In 1985, Munson sent a teenage patient, Yvonne Mesteth, home with retained tissue. She, like Linda Padfield, died of infection. Again Munson was prosecuted for manslaughter, and again he beat the rap. Munson is the third former criminal abortionist I've learned of who had a clean record -- no patient deaths -- as a criminal abortionist, only to go on to kill two patients in his legal practice. The others are Milan Vuitch(Georgianna English and Wilma Harris) and Jesse Ketchum (Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner).

Friday, June 17, 2016

At Least It's Better Than Gosell's Clinic?

I was poking about online today for more documentation in anticipation of an upcoming post on the abortion death of Kelly Morse on June 22, 1992. What I found demonstrated that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is back to ignoring the goings-on inside abortion clinics. The authorities either learned nothing from the Kermit Gosnell fiasco, or they learned that they can get away with appalling lack of oversight for decades on end. I'm guessing that it's the latter. grabbed a screen shot of Google reviews for Hillcrest Women's Medical Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- the clinic where Kelly's fatal abortion was performed. (Click here to see the reviews currently displayed.)

I'll take the reviews in alphabetical order by reviewer name.

Christie says, "This place will not give you the information you need before having an abortion. .... They will even accept clients who are pushed through the doors by a man, crying .. and take her through the process."

Christie's comment on Hillcrest doing abortions even on women who are evidently being forced to go there is in keeping wiht what a prolife protester once told me she'd observed there shortly before the post-abortion suicide of Arlin della Cruz: a clinic escort holding the door open so that a couple could force a crying teen to go inside.

Kaylee went into quite a bit of detail, noting that Hillcrest "reminded me of an animal clinic, it even smelled like one."

Her description of the abortion paints a less than caring picture (exactly as in original):
Once you are in that room it is something you never forget. As you lay on the table... You see all the other girls dead babies blood seeping through the blue cloth that they put you on. The doctor doesn't speak one word to you he just goes and does what he has to do. You don't have the choice to be put to sleep... You hear everything from the Machine he uses... Which actually broke when they went to do mine. The doctor left after he did what he had to do and as I was laying on the table, the nurse cleaned up & the doctor came in several times asking her if she was done yet he had other patients. Nobody had any sympathy there.

Madison also lamented the shortcomings of what passed for counseling: 
This place is awful. Absolutely no compassion for the patients. Staff was rude and was talking about each and every woman that was there after they went back. Absolutely nasty old women. During counseling they rolled their eyes at every question I had asked.
She also had a ghoulish experience in the procedure room (exactly as in original):
The doctor laid out what was removed on a table in front of my poking at it .. I am mortified and I will never get the images out of head.

Vanessa went into the most detail. Like Kaylee, she describes a doctor who is rushing throuh his patients. She goes into more detail (exactly as in original):
The doctor, if that's what you even want to call him, was unprofessional and rushed for time. He showed no compassion for the patients. All he was concerned with was his turnover rate and when he was getting out. "Quickly! Quickly I have places to be after this, I don't have time for this" he shouted to the nurses to get the girls in and out as fast as possible. 
Vanessa's description of the conditions is dismaying:
The facility is dirty and beyond it's time. I felt like I was sitting in an old dusty school. The sink in the ultra sound room looked like there had been blood or fluids splattered on it and then barely wiped clean. The equipment and instruments looked old and outdated.
I'm going to call the state health department (1-877-724-3258) to point out that they are falling short in carrying out their duties, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the state to take action. They weren't exactly galvanic when Marcella Choung came to them with an eyewitness account of the appalling goings-on at Kermit Gosnell's "house of horrors." I don't expect any better when it comes to Hilldrest.

I'm also not holding my breath waiting for abortion-rights group to get up in arms. "Access" has always trumped safety, and Hillcrest is no exception.

PS: Hillcrest's web site claims that they are accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Centers. Either their standards are low or they don't look too closely.