Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Scanty Info from Chicago, 1929

On October 12, 1929, 33-year-old homemaker Agnes Johnson, a native of Tours, France, underwent a criminal abortion at office of Dr. Joseph Stern, 433 E. 119th St. in Chicago. On October 26, Agnes died.

Stern was arrested that day. On November 1, he was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury. Agnes's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Midwife's Work in Chicago, 1922

On October 25, 1922, 24-year-old homemaker Lillian Hulbert died at Chicago's St. Anne's Hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed on her there that day. The coroner identified a Mrs. M.C. Anderson as responsible for Lillian's death. Anderson's profession is given as nurse or midwife.

Abortion rights groups will blame the deaths of women like Lillian on the legal status of abortion at the time. Seeking out a midwife, ad Lillian did, rather than a doctor, wasn't because of abortion's illegality but because women of that era often went to midwives rather than doctors for all of their obstetric and gynecological issues.

Abortion-rights activists also forget that all surgery, including induced abortion, was riskier in the pre-legalization days. As the 20th century progressed, all maternal mortality, including abortion mortality, fell as medical care improved. Antibiotics and blood transfusions -- along with overall better health due to increasing prosperity -- deserve the credit for falling mortality, which was hardly caused retroactively by the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling striking down all the nation's abortion laws.

No doubt there was quackery prior to legalization -- but such quackery persists today. Removing the threat of jail for any but the most egregious behavior does not provide motivation to run a tight ship. Three erstwhile criminal abortionists that I know of -- Benjamin Munson, Milan Vuitch, and Jesse Ketchum -- didn't lose a single abortion patient until after legalization made them less fearful of repercussions and thus far more careless. Each went on to kill two legal abortion patients, not out of simple surgical complications, but due to appalling quackery.

It's time we got real about how little is different between illegal and legal abortion practice: the main difference is how much risk of being shut down or sent to prison the safe-and-legal abortionist faces.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

1915: A New York Doctor Leaves Two Kids Motherless

Margaret Buetelman died in New York's St. Vincent's hospital on October 22, 1914. She had been admitted suffering complications of an illegal abortion perpetrated on the 20th in the office of Dr. F. Waldo Whitney.

Whitney, age 61, was convicted of manslaughter in her death. He was sentenced to 2 - 19 1/2 years at Sing Sing.

While he was in prison, Whitney was sued by Margaret's husband, John, on behalf of himself and the couple's two children.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What a Post-Viability Abortion Practitioner Has to Say

An interview with one of the four abortion do ctors in America who opendly do post-viability abortions. Regarding some of her late-abortion patients:

Well, a large percentage of our patients had no idea that they were pregnant. People go, “How could this possibly be?” Well, look at that reality show. It happens. .... They have no idea they’re in their 24th week. So they make an appointment for an abortion, and it takes a few weeks, and they have their ultrasound and find out that they’re at 27 weeks, which is too far for an abortion anywhere. So then what happens? They either give up or have a baby, or they go on the Internet and they find us.

When asked where she draws the line on aborting health fetuses, she says,

It’s hard. Essentially I have to say to myself, “Is this a very compelling story?” ....How do we draw these lines? What is the ethical difference between doing an abortion at 29 and 32 weeks? Is there a meaningful ethical difference? Can I justify it? Will I have to justify it, and to whom? .... For example... I had a patient from France and she just desperately did not want to be pregnant — but she was 35 weeks, and gestational age is plus or minus three weeks, so she could’ve been at 38 weeks, and that’s just too far along. It wouldn’t be safe.

Facting Checking Trump's Claim

In the wake of Donald Trump's comments in the most recent debate, the abortion lobby, as well as mainstream media outlets, have been putting forth the unsubstantiated claim that late abortions are done only for serious maternal or fetal indications.

The most recent information we have about why later abortions are done are comments by Ron Fitzsimmons of the National Coalion of Abortion Providers back during the original "partial birth abortion" brouhaha and some contemporary research done by journalists who actually believe in fact checking instead of just passing along abortion-lobby "fact sheets." Those journalists found Fitzimmons's comments to be factual. According to the New York Times:
Mr. Fitzsimmons recalled the night in November 1995, when he appeared on ''Nightline'' on ABC and ''lied through my teeth'' when he said the procedure was used rarely and only on women whose lives were in danger or whose fetuses were damaged.
In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along, Mr. Fitzsimmons said. ''The abortion-rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it, and so, probably, does everyone else,'' he said in the article in the Medical News, an American Medical Association publication.
The reason we don't have more recent data is that the people able to collect it don't publish it. If any journalist wanted to fact check, as they did in 1997, we'd have more recent information. Does't it seem odd to you that, with all of the current debate on 20 week abortion bans, that the abortion lobby and the mainstream media only put out two kinds of information:

1. Anecdotes
2. Survey results lumping in post-viability abortions and post-20 week abortions with those taking place between sixteen and 19 weeks

Shouldn't they, if they wanted to be honest, be sharing recent data that's specific to the topic at hand?

What about what abortion providers themselves say that they do? At Abortion Clinics Onine, over two dozen abortion facilities advertise late abortions, including "outpatient elective abortions through 26 weeks," abortions to 28+ weeks," and "elective abortions to 27 weeks." Why would they adversise something they don't actually do?

Now, let's provide some anecdotes that contradict the abortion-rights narrative:

Emily Klett Here are some examples of ELECTIVE late abortions. The abortion lobby isn't the only people with anecdotes to offer.

Jamie Lee Morales died this year from complications of an elective 23-week abortion.

Sherika Mayo died of complications of a 25-week elective abortion in 2008.

Tamiia Ruseell died in 2004 from an elective abortion performed when she was at least six months pregnant:.

The elective abortion of Baby Boy A was started not in Gosnell's seedy Philadelphia mill but in a higly reputable National Abortion Federation clinic in Delaware.

The claim that late abortions are only done for severe indications is not only unsubstantiated, but is contradicted by a plethora of evidence.

Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers. Can You Really Do an Abortion Up To Birth in America?

Is Donald Trump right? Can you really perform an abortion in ths United Sates right up until the point of birth? Unlike the "fact checkers" which just go to their respecitive lobbying groups and reiterate talking points, I'll actually, you know, fact check.

I'll start with this excellent summary, Abortion Law in the United States: An Overview:

In a nutshell:

1. Roe vs. Wade, the most famous abortion case, allowed no "restrictions" on abortion in the first two trimesters. For the third trimester, the states were allowed to make some restrictions -- as long as they allowed abortions for "health" reasons. The companion decision, Doe vs. Bolton, then defined health so broadly that really, anything could suffice:
[M]edical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age - relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.
I must point out at this point that prior to Roe and Doe, there was no such thing as a third trimester abortion. Abortion was, by definition, killing the fetus prior to viability. So post-viability abortions were not only invented but enshrined as a supposed Constitutional right.

And unless you define "health" so broadly as to include family concerns (which no doubt would include financial considerations), the whole idea of a post-viability "health" abortion is nonsensical on its face. If a pregnancy is endangering the mother's life or health, the standard of care has been to induce labor or perform a c-section, based on the woman's particular needs. With a c-section, the baby can be out of the womb and in the NICU within the hour, the pregnancy is over, and the mother can be cared for by medical professionals. It's nonsensical to say that it would preserve her "health" or her life to take additional steps to ensure that the fetus emerges dead.

The only logical reason to perform a post-viability abortion -- to stop during delivery to kill the baby -- is to achieve the death of the fetus, either for social reasons or because the baby has a disability of some sort.

Again, a "health" justification for a post-viability abortion is nonsensical, but because of Roe and Doe, the states must include them in order to pass Constitutional muster. Occasionally you'll see an old pre-Roe law still on the books that 's not enjoined, either because there are no abortionists in that state who want to perform late abortions, or because the law isn't being enforced so there's no point in going to court over it.

2. As the summary notes, after the Webster decidion in 1989 and the Planned Parenthood vs. Casey decision in 1992, the Supreme Court allowed states to put some regulations (such as waiting periods or informed consent) into place, and allowed the states to be a bit firmer about exactly what constituted "health". Still, no state can actually ban third trimester abortions, because if this "health" requirement in Doe.

3. So now we have a hodge-podge. The Alan Guttmacher Insitute (AGI), an abortion-rights research and lobbying group, summarizes state policies on abortion late in pregnancy. Another abortion-rights source, The Diane Rehm Show, created a map based on the AGI summary breaking the laws down into when different states restrict late abortions, but doesn't include exceptiions.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion-advocacy organization co-founded by Bernard Nathanson (who later repented) and Larry Lader (who remained proud of his abortion activities up to his death), used to provide state-by-state informoation in great detail but now just provide a vague summary:
13 states ban abortion after 20 weeks without an adequate health exception: AL, AZ*, AR, GA, ID, IN, KS, LA, MS, NE, ND, OK, TX.1 state has an unconstitutional and unenforceable ban on abortion after 12 weeks without an adequate health exception: AR.
Sample post-viability abortion restrictions from 2010, back when NARAL actually provided them, were as follows (verbatim from NARAL). Notice that if the state just has a "health" exception to their "restriction", then it is the Doe definition of health, which could be anything the woman or doctor wants it to be.

  • Florida: 'Florida's post-viability restriction states that no abortion may be provided in the third trimester unless two physicians certify in writing that it is necessary to preserve the woman's life or health.  If an abortion is provided during viability, the physician must "use that degree of professional skill, care, and diligence" most likely to preserve the life and health of the fetus except that "the woman's life and health shall constitute an overriding and superior consideration to the concern for the life and health of a fetus when such concerns are in conflict."'
  • Kansas: 'Kansas' post-viability abortion restriction states that no abortion may be provided after viability unless the attending physician and another financially and legally independent physician determine that an abortion is necessary to preserve the woman's life or continuation of the pregnancy would cause a "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function" of the woman.  Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6703(a) (Enacted 1992; Last Amended 1998).  The Kansas attorney general has interpreted this exception to include mental health. Op. Kan. Att'y. Gen. 2000-020.
    In addition, Kansas bans the provision of certain post-viability procedures (not including the suction curettage procedure, suction aspiration procedure, and certain dilation and evacuation procedures).  Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6721 (Enacted 1998).  This ban states that performance of certain post-viability procedures is a felony, unless the physician and another legally and financially independent physician determine that the abortion is necessary to preserve the woman's life or that continuation of the pregnancy would cause a "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major physical or mental function" of the woman.'
  • Maine: 'Maine's post-viability abortion restriction states that no abortion may be provided after viability unless necessary to preserve the woman's life or health.'
  • New Hampshire: NARAL notes no restrictions on post-viability abortion.
  • Rhode Island: 'Rhode Island's post-viability abortion restriction states that no abortion may be performed on a "quick child," defined as "an unborn child whose heart is beating, who is experiencing electronically measurable brainwaves, who is discernibly moving, and who is so far developed and matured as to be capable of surviving the trauma of birth with the aid of usual medical care and facilities," unless necessary to preserve the woman's life.'
  • Wisconsin: No abortion may be provided after viability unless necessary to preserve the woman's life or health.  The physician must use the available method most likely to preserve the life and health of the fetus unless it would increase the risk to the woman.

    In closing, the following states have no late abortion restrictions whatsoever:
    1. Alaska
    2. Colorado
    3. New Hampshire
    4. New Jersey
    5. New Mexico
    6. Oregon
    7. Vermont
    8. West Virginia
    Others draw the line at some gestational age, but allowing excpetions for life and physical health (defined more or less broadly on a state-by-state basis), or for life and physical or mental health (defined more or less broadly on a state-by-state basis). 

  • The following allow late abortions only to preserve the life of the mother:
    1. Idaho
    2. Michigan
    3. Rhode Island
    So in eight states, a woman can legally decide at any point in pregnancy, up until birth, that she wants an abortion, and any doctor who chooses to perform it may, legally. In three states her life must be in danger in order to perform a late abortion, and in the remaining 39 states there must be a documented physical or mental health issue before the abortion may proceed.

    Thus, Trump was right, but left out a lot of detail.

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    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    One of Many Victims of New York's Abortion Law

    Carole and the New York Abortion Law, 1971

    Carole Schaner was 37 years old when she traveled from Ohio to Buffalo, New York, for a safe and legal abortion. to be performed by Dr, Jesse Ketchum. She had been referred by a local abortion advocacy organization, West Shore Center. Carole was divorced and caring for her four children.

    Black and white headshot of a middle-aged white man with brushed-back dark hair
    Dr. Jesse Ketchum
    Ketchum was a former criminal abortionist from Ypsilanti, Michigan who had relocated to New York specifically to open an abortion practice. He had allowed another abortion patient, Margaret Smith, to bleed to death in his office from a hysterotomy abortion just four months earlier. A hysterotomy was like a c-section, but with the intention of allowing the fetus to die of prematurity.

    Ketchum performed a vaginal hysterotomy on Carole on October 20, 1971. She was 14 weeks pregnant.

    After the abortion, Carole went into shock, and was taken to a hospital. She was in shock when she arrived. Despite all efforts, Carole died before doctors could even fully assess the extent of her injuries. She left behind four children.

    The autopsy found that Carole's cervix and uterus had been cut open, and an artery outside her uterus had been cut. It also noted sutures that had evidently been put in by Ketchum in an attempt to repair the damage. The sutures, however, completely closed Carole's cervix, allowing her to continue bleeding from the injured uterus and artery.

    Carole was the second woman to bleed to death after an outpatient hystertomy abortion performed by Ketchum; Margaret Smith had died four months earlier.

    Another former criminal abortionist, Milan Vuitch, also had kept his nose clean as a criminal abortionist, then went on to kill two legal abortion patients. Wilma Harris and Georgianna English both died under Vuitch's care. Benjamin Munson, likewise, had a clean record in his criminal abortionist then went on to kill two women in his supposedly safer legal practice -- Linda Padfield and Yvonne Mesteth.

    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 Margaret and Carole, 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:

    A Mystery Abortion in Chicago, 1921

    On October 20, 1921, 30-year-old Annie Sczepkowski died at Jefferson Park Hospital in Chicago from complications of an abortion perpetrated by an unknown suspect. Tillie Pawlowski was arrested, but exonerated by the Coroner.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    Nasty in New York and Three Other Abortion Deaths

    One of Many Hachamovitch's Dead, New York, 1990

    Nineteen-year-old Christina Goesswein ("Patient A" in medical board documents) was almost 23 weeks pregnant when she went to the office of Dr. Hachamovitch on October 17, 1990. The first part of the three-day abortion procedure was started that day. She was sent home and told to return the following day to have her cervix dilated even further for the abortion, which would take place on the 19th.

    She came back on the 18th and had more laminaria inserted then returned home. That evening, her boyfriend called the doctor's office because Christina was having cramping. He was told to give her pain medicine. Christina's boyfriend called again several hours later because he felt that she was running a fever, but Christina told Dr. Hachamovitch's employee who was taking call that evening that she was okay.

    Early in the morning of the 19th, the boyfriend called the employee again because Christina was experiencing heavy bleeding, cramping and vomiting. Christina stated that she felt that she was in labor. The employee instructed Christina to go to Hachamovitch's office where she and the doctor would meet her.

    They all met at the office some time between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. After arriving at there, Christina lost control of her bowels. Hachamovitch then delivered her 24-week fetus in one piece.

    Because Christina was not recovering as she should have, Dr. Hachamovitch decided to admit her to an area hospital, but before this could be done, Christina quit breathing and her heart stopped. Somebody called 911 at about 4:20 a.m., and Dr. Hachamovitch began CPR. Christina was taken to a Bronx hospital where she was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m. on October 19, due to an amniotic fluid embolism.

    Hachamovitch's license was suspended over his false documentation regarding administration of oxygen, and the Christina's blood loss. The medical board also found a plethora of faults in Hachamovitch's treatment of his patient.

    Christina wasn't the only patient to lose her life due to Hachamovitch's unwillingness or inability to manage his practice. Two other patients, Tanya Williamson in 1996 and Luz Rodriguez in 1986, had died of malpractice under his care. Three patients died after abortions in clinics he owned and managed elsewhere -- Lisa Bardsley and Lou Ann Herron in Arizona and Jammie Garcia in Texas.

    A Naturopath in Texas, 1954

    Sylvia Redman, who had a license to practice naturopathy in Texas, signed a written confession on October 20, 1954 regarding the death of Betty Ledel the previous day. Redman' confession said that Betty came to her on October 8, saying that she thought she was pregnant. Betty asked her "if I could help her get rid of the baby. I told her the danger of everything and she said she was not afraid. I told her I would rather her to go somewhere else and have the baby stopped in twenty four hours, because my work is slow. I do it by shooting a little air up into the womb. (uterus) By going through the cervix into the uterus, where the embryo is carried. She told me she wanted me to do it." Redman complied, repeating the process daily. 

    On October 19, Betty again went to Redman, who took her upstairs, "laid her on a table used for females," and inserted a canula into Betty's uterus. She pushed five syringes full of air into Betty's uterus and asked Betty if she could feel it. Betty said that she could, a little. "And she looked up at me and said I feel choky, and then she passed out." Ladel also noticed that Betty was bleeding vaginally.

    Redman said, "I used artificial respiration. I picked her up in my arms and laid her on the floor. And I slung water at her to try to revive her, and then I had a lady downstairs to call an ambulance. The ambulance came and got her and took her to Harris Hospital.

    Redman threw away the instruments but police quickly found them and got a confession. An autopsy verified that Betty had indeed been pregnant, and blamed her death on the introduction of air into her uterus to produce abortion. The six or seven week old embryo was intact and undamaged. Betty's blood vessels had air in them, and she had died from an air embolism.

    Redman was convicted of murder by attempted abortion, and was sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary for four years.

    Two Chicago Deaths in the Early 20th Century

    Russian immigrant Anna Kelson, age 20, died at her Chicago home on North Talman Avenue on October 19, 1918. Dr. Virginia Johnson, who had been called in to care for Anna, supposedly for influenzal pneumonia. She found a nurse attending to Anna but did not get the nurse's name. Dr. Johnson determined that Anna had died from an abortion and reported the death to the police.

    Pelagia Usoraki, age 32, died on October 19, 1910 in a Chicago residence after an abortion perpetrated in Chicago by  Rosalie Tomajoski on October 13. Tamojosky, who was indicted by a grand jury for murder in Pelagia's death, is identified in the Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database as an "abortion provider."

    Sunday, October 16, 2016

    Doubly Deadly Docs and Other Abortion Tragedies

    Safe and Legal in Los Angeles County, 1974

    Maria Lira was a college student when she went to Riveria Hospital in Los Angeles on October 14, 1974, to undergo an abortion. After she'd been discharged, Maria had problems and returned. Staff performed a D&C, then discharged her again. That night, she went to the emergency room due to excessive bleeding.

    She was sent to Torrance Memorial Hospital for treatment, where she died on October 16. The autopsy found a decomposing fetus in her uterus, which had caused infection and DIC (disseminated intravacsular coagulopathy), which prevented clotting, causing the hemorrhage that killed Maria.

    A Twice-Deadly Doctor in Seattle, 1954

    Martha Alit, age 40, died October 16, 1954 after an abortion perpetrated in Seattle by Dr. James Unosawa.  Born in Juneau, Alaska, Martha had lived in Seattle for twenty years with her Filipino husband and was already the mother of nine children. Her husband, Felicisimo, was away on Coast Guard duty when she sought the services of Unosawa, an osteopath known to perform abortions. She died in his office. Unosawa had served time in prison after an earlier fatal abortion in 1946. He was convicted again of manslaughter in the death of Martha Alit, but the Supreme Court reversed the decision two years later, holding that the prosecution had not disproved his claim that he was trying to save her life. He would be arrested for a third time in 1963, after another patient required emergency hospitalization. Convicted, he was granted probation after agreeing to stop practicing medicine. Unosawa's previous victim was identified as Beulah LeClair, who had died in 1946.

    A Mystery Abortion in Chicago, 1923

    On October 2, 1923, 16-year-old homemaker Loretta Schranz underwent a criminal abortion somewhere in Chicago. On October 16, she died at Chicago Hospital from complications of that abortion.

    Ethel Davis and Lena Rumenstein were held by the coroner in Loretta's death. Their professions were not listed on my source document. Davis was indicted by a grand jury for felony murder on November 15.
     A Doubly Deadly Doctor in Chicago, 1923

    On October 16, 1923, 19-year-old Lydia Nelson died at Chicago's Englewood Hospital from an abortion performed there that day, evidently by Dr. Charles Klinetop. On January 15, 1924, Klinetop was indicted by a grand jury for felony murder in Lydia's death. Back in 1912, he had been identified by a coroner's jury as the doctor responsible for the abortion death of Minnie Miller.

    Self-Induced in Quincy, Illinois, 1922

    On September 20, 1922, Dr. E. L. Caddick, a staff surgeon at St. Mary's Hospital in Quincy, Illinois, was called in to perform an emergency appendectomy on 18-year-old Corrine Comstock of Palmyra. During the surgery, he noticed "the condition of the patient" -- though whether this was alluding to her pregnancy or post-abortion complications is unclear.

    After the surgery, Caddick spoke to Corrine, who admitted that she had attempted an abortion.

    Her condition deteriorated for nearly a month until Corrine's death the night of Monday, October 16. An inquest was held the following night at White Funeral Home and found her cause of death to be blood poisoning brought on by the attempted abortion.

    Investigators found that Corrine had been "keeping steady company" with a married man who lived near her in Palmyra. It had been common knowledge that he had been planning to divorce his wife.

    Corrine's mother, Mrs. Mina Nixon, said that Corrine had first taken ill the Monday after a September 16 visit to the Palmyra Fair.

    Thursday, October 13, 2016

    A Mix of Lethal Abortions, 1838-1971

    A Philadelphia Physician, 1838

    A Philadelphia boarding house owner named Mary Kingsley reported that on October 4, 1838, a Dr. Henry Chauncey appeared at breakfast time. "He made me make some tea of a powder that looked like black pepper." The tea was given to 21-year-old Elizabeth "Eliza" Sowers, who until the previous May had been a worker at a paper mill in Manayunk, NJ. She'd been brought to the boarding house -- one of unsavory reputation -- by Chauncey the day before.

    At around 2:00 the following morning, Eliza called to the boarding house owner. "She said she was very bad. She said, 'I won't take any more of that doctor's medicine; it will kill me.'"

    Chauncey returned later, performing some sort of procedure upon Eliza with something "which shined and looked like a knitting needle," according to the owner of the boarding house. Chauncey said that Eliza was "the most difficult person he had ever operated on. Said the medicine he gave her was too powerful, and had acted too quick."

    Eliza died on October 13 from the ministrations of Dr. Chauncey. Chauncey and Nixon arrived at Eliza's family home that evening to say that she had died of "impacted bowels." A second doctor, William Armstrong, had signed a death certificate to that effect.

    Eliza's brother was having none of it. He demanded that Eliza's body be exhumed and examined, revealing the real cause of her death.

    The three men went to trial using a defense based on attacking the reputations of Eliza, her family, her fiance, and the woman who ran the boarding house. Armstrong and Nixon won acquittals, and Chancey was convicted only of malpractice, not the double murder of Eliza and her unborn baby.

    Self-Induced in Chicago, 1908

    Nineteen-year-old "Cathy," identified in the source as "Miss R," used a catheter on herself to abort a six-week pregnancy. She went to a doctor for aftercare, and the physician packed her uterus with gauze.

    Two days later, on September 25, 1908, she was admitted to Cook County Hospital. Her condition wasn't alarming. Her pulse of 90, respirations of 24, and temperature of 99.6 indicated a mild infection. Her uterus was enlarged and tender. Upon examination, a doctor was able to put two fingers through Cathy's dilated cervix, and noted "blood clots" in the uterus.

    The next day, Cathy's condition was very much the same, if not slightly improved with a pulse of 80, respirations of 28, and temperature of 99.4. She was subjected to a uterine curettage, followed by irrigation and packing.

    All the surgery did was make things worse. The localized infection had, through the scraping of the uterus, become a generalized case of toxemia. Cathy's condition deteriorated over the course of 17 days until her death on October 13.

    A Lay Abortionist in Boston, 1939

    A black-and-white headshot of a young white woman, her hair pulled back and wearing a military-style hat
    Barbara Hanson
    On October 13, 1939, the body of Barbara Hanson, age 21, was found in a Boston motel room. Barbara had checked into the motel herself under an assumed name the previous day. At about 2:00 a.m., other guests at the motel complained to management about loud noises, described in some accounts as screams, coming from the room.

    A hotel employee detective went to the room and found Barbara dead on the bed. She was tentatively identified by the I.D. found in her purse. The identification was verified by her uncle.

    Police found fingerprints on four empty cocktail glasses and an open bottle on the bedside table.

    Four men were in the room with her: I. Bernard Gannon, age 23, James Carter, 27, Raymond Fermino, 26, and George F. Norton, 26. Reports say that one of them admitted on the spot to having perpetrated an abortion on Barbara, but the reports to not specify which one.

    An autopsy showed that immediately after the abortion, Barbara had suffered a fatal heart attack. Barbara's father, Frederick S. Hanson, a Penn State building engineer, went to New York to claim her body. When questioned by reporters, he said, "I just received worth that Barbara had passed on. I don't know any of the circumstances."

    After their trial started, James Carter and George F. Norton pleaded guilty to performing the abortion that killed Barbara, and each received a 5-7 year sentence. Bernard Gannon, who was the baby's father, and Raymond Fermino each pleaded guilty as accessories and were sentenced to one year.

    Safe and Legal in New York, 1971

    "Tammy" traveled from Ohio to New York to undergo an abortion under New York's liberal abortion law. Her abortion was performed on September 25, 1971. She was 33 years old.

    After the abortion, Tammy developed an infection which finally ended her life on October 13, 1971.

    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 "Tammy," 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:

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

    Queens Doc Charged With Manslaughter for July, 2016 Abortion Death

    Snapshot of the face of a young Hispanic woman giving the camera a Mona Lisa smile.
    Jamie Lee Morales
    On July 9, 2016, 30-year-old Jamie Lee Morales of Buffalo, New York, had her sister drive her to Liberty Women's Health in Flushing, Queens, for a second-trimester abortion. The doctor, 53-year-old gynecologist Robert Rho, specialized in "vaginal rejuvenation" but also did what his attorney described as "difficult" abortions.

    Jamie Lee signed in under an assumed name, Thaycha Ruiz, and underwent the procedure. In the recovery room, she noticed that she was bleeding heavily. Dr. Rho performed another procedure that was intended to stop the bleeding.

    Though Jamie Lee was weak and woozy, and at one point collapsed, Rho discharged her in the care of her sister with instructions to go to a hospital if the bleeding resumed.

    Jamie Lee was riding in the back seat on the way to her sister's home in the Bronx when she lost consciousness, falling to the floor. Her sister took her to a hospital, where, in spite of being transfused with six units of blood, she died that night. It turned out that during the abortion, Rho had lacerated her cervix, put a hole in the wall of her uterus, and cut into a uterine artery.

    A middle-aged Korean man with eyeglasses and a mustache
    Dr. Robert Rho
    Rho was charged with second-degree manslaughter in Jamie Lee's death because he injured her so severely and then failed to provide necessary life-saving care. Adding to the unprofessionalism of the case is the fact that Rho disposed of Jamie Lee's fetus in a black plastic trash bag outside the door of his clinic.

    As of this writing, Rho is free on $400,000 bail. He was required to surrender his passport and is not to practice medicine until the case is resolved. His attorney said that Rho was "devastated" by Jamie Lee's death and immediately and voluntarily closed his clinic.

    Monday, October 03, 2016

    Who Was to Blame in the Death of Rosie Jimenez?

    In 1976, the Hyde Amendment went into effect, banning the use of Federal funds to pay for abortions except to save the mother from an immediate threat to her life. The measure was named for its author, Congressman Henry Hyde. Abortion advocates had been keening from the moment the Hyde Amendment was up for vote. They painted a ghastly picture of coathanger-impaled women littering the streets as poor women were driven to desperation by lack of "access",

    When the Hyde Amendment went into effect, abortion advocates ramped up the hysteria and waited for a death, any death, they could hang around Henry Hyde's neck.On October 3, 1977, the abortion advocacy vultures got what they'd been waiting for: a dead woman they could use as leverage in the fight to once again force taxpayers to fund elective abortions.

    On September 26, 1977, 27-year-old Rosie Jimenez had shown up at the emergency room of McAllen General Hospital in the Texas border town of McAllen, with septic shock. She was put in intensive care, but died on October 3 from renal and cardiac failure caused by disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (failure of the blood to clot properly) triggered by gas gangrene from a criminal abortion. She left behind one child.

    The initial response of the abortion lobby to news of Rosie's death was little short of euphoric. They had their trophy, their dead woman whose story they could leverage, they hoped, into the restoration of tax money flowing into abortion clinics.

    A Voice in the Wilderness

    One voice stood out from the crowd: Ellen Frankfort, author of Rosie: the investigation of a wrongful death. Frankfort was disgusted with the bulk of the prochoice movement, who seemed content to make note of the death and then milk it for political gain. She began an investigation into what had led Rosie to her death, and she found a lot that neither the Centers for Disease Control nor abortion advocacy organizations had been willing to look for, since all they'd wanted was political leverage. They weren't looking for the real culprit behind Rosie's death: they'd had a bogeyman in mind even before she'd died, in the form of Henry Hyde.

    Off to McAllen Frankfort went, to learn all she could.

    The Whole Story

    Rosie had already undergone two abortions at taxpayer expense, one performed by her private ob/gyn, the second at a facility Rosie had been referred to by a local Planned Parenthood. In September of 1977, she suspected that she was again pregnant, and consulted with a cousin and a friend, who told her that Medicaid would no longer pay for elective abortions.

    Rosie had also gone to her family physician, Dr. Homer, in McAllen for treatment of pain in her sternum. She mentioned that she might be pregnant. He did not arrange for a pregnancy test or discuss her options with her in any way, but simply informed her that Medicaid would no longer pay for abortions, and let it rest at that. A referral seemed to have been in order, either to a prolife center that would help her with the expenses of continuing the pregnancy, or to the local Planned Parenthood, that could arrange an abortion on a sliding scale and could possibly help her tap into private funds for elective abortions. Dr. Homer effectively abandoned his patient.

    The week of September 19, Rosie went to Mexico for some sort of injection to cause an abortion. She had the shots at a pharmacy, at $5 each. On September 25, she consulted with her cousin, saying that she wanted to find a cheap abortionist quickly. Rosie's cousin brought her to a lay midwife in McAllen, who charged $120 to insert a catheter into Rosie's uterus. Fifteen minutes later, she sent Rosie home.

    Rosie had pain and cramping upon returning home. Over the next 12 hours, she developed an increasing fever, and had nausea, vomiting, chills, dizziness, and increasing vaginal bleeding. The next afternoon, Rosie was unable to get out of bed. She asked a friend to take her to the hospital where in spite of heroic efforts, doctors were unable to save her life.

    The Reaction

    The doctors reported the death to the CDC, the CDC notified their allies in the abortion lobby, and Rosie's death was quickly trumpeted nationwide as proof that Henry Hyde was a murderer and taxpayers should immediately resume funding elective abortions to prevent another such death.

    What is particularly telling in Rosie's death is that prochoice groups had been very successful in spreading the word that public funding for abortion had been cut -- Rosie's friend and cousin, as well as her physician, were well aware of this fact -- but they had pointedly failed to also pass out the word that Planned Parenthood still referred for abortions on a sliding scale, and that private funds were available. It's almost as if the public-relations departments of Planned Parenthood and other abortion-advocacy groups had deliberately increased the odds of a tragedy like Rosie's death in order to provide the corpses needed in order to prop up a drive to restore tax monies to abortion facilities.

    Frankfort was particularly disgusted with the response of public health officials, who likewise simply announced Rosie's death and began a call to restore abortion funding, but made no effort to close down the illegal abortion practice where Rosie had undergone her fatal abortion.

    Frankfort took it upon herself to orchestrate a sting, with local law enforcement. She coordinated a dramatic raid that put the lay abortionist out of business.

    "The FIRST!" Of how many?

    And what of the hysteria? Had it been justified? Was Rosie's death the first of a new trend of women dead from being "forced" to resort to criminal abortionists?

    There was indeed a small spike in reported illegal abortion deaths after the Hyde Amendment (from 2 in 1976 to 4 in 1977 to 7 in 1978). But there was likewise a spike in reported legal abortion deaths as well -- a far larger spike, from 11 in 1976 to 17 in 1977. (I don't believe that the CDC's reported death numbers are accurate, but they're all we have to work with, and more to the point, abortion supporters place great faith in them.)

    Lest abortion rights activists attribute this jump to women having later abortions because they need time to get funds, we'll note that the trend toward earlier abortions continued unabated, as this chart based on one by the Alan Guttmacher Institute shows:

    Despite predictions of a surge in carnage from criminal abortions, a study by the Centers for Disease Control, "The Effect of Restricting Public Funds for Legal Abortion," found "no evidence of a statistically significant increase in the number of complications from illegal abortions." In fact, they found that while there was no change in the illegal abortion complications, there was a significant decrease in publicly funded hospitalizations for legal abortion complications in cities where funding was restricted, compared to cities in areas where state or local government picked up the tab for elective abortions.

    In other words, cutting funds for elective abortions actually had a measurable positive impact: Fewer women were ending up hospitalized for complications of elective abortions. Which strikes me as a good thing, personally.

    The Verdict

    So was Rosie's death a fluke? Probably not. The heavy publicity put out by the prochoice movement about how poor women would be "forced" to resort to dangerous criminal abortions probably left Rosie, and some others like her, with the mistaken impression that criminal abortion (rather than birth or even sliding-scale legal abortion) was their only option.

    I agree with abortion advocates that the death of Rosie Jimensz was avoidable. But I disagree with them that lack of public funding was to blame. Prochoice organizations had ample opportunity to tout other resources. Prochoice people all around Rosie had opportunities to steer her toward a "safe and legal" abortion, had they chosen to do so. Not a one of them did. And the bigger problem was that nobody ever seemed to entertain the notion that abortion might not be the answer in the first place.

    What's additionally puzzling about this whole turn of events is that the facility to which Planned Parenthood referred abortion patients charged only $130 for an abortion for poor women, just $10 more than Rosie paid for the amateur abortion that took her life. It's difficult to believe that a $10 price difference put the legal abortion out of Rosies's reach, especially if we consider that the day before her abortion she'd spent $8 on a cake for a friend's baby shower, and when she died she had a $800 scholarship check in her purse.

    Rosie Jimenez remains a poster child of the abortion lobby. Their own role in her death is never acknowledged. Henry Hyde is blamed instead -- in spite of his key role in passing a law that reducedabortion injuries among women like Rosie, and in reducing complications, surely also reduced abortion deaths -- in spite of the abortion lobby's best efforts.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice.

    Saturday, October 01, 2016

    Medical Complications and a Suicide After Abortions

    Three Early 20th Century Chicago Abortion Deaths

    On October 1, 1908, 21-year-old Mary Rahn died in a Chicago hospital from complications of an abortion performed that day. Mary was a Chicago native, a single woman who did housework for a living. She was the daughter of German immigrants. her father was a glassmaker, her mother a homemaker. She had three older brothers. Midwife Frida Trappe was arrested and held by the coroner's jury on October 14. The case went to trial, but Trappe was acquitted on July 12 0f 1909. Trappe's employment status is recorded as "Outside labor force (incl. criminals)", which may be an indication that she was a professional lay abortionist.

    On October 1, 1914, eighteen-year-old Lillian Giovenco died at Wesley Hospital in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. Dr. Eva Shaver, Dr. Leopold Pijan, and Dr. John Fernow were held by the coroner in Lillie's death. Shaver had been identified as the abortionist by Lillie's husband, Frank. The coroner concluded that the fatal abortion had been preformed on September 5 in a medical facility that my source describes as "Abortion place". It was most likely Shaver's practice in her Chicago home. Eva Shaver convicted in Lillie's death, appealed, and was granted a new trial while under indictment for the 1915 abortion death of Anna Johnson, which Shaver had tried to disguise as a suicide by shooting the dead woman in the head as she lay on the floor of Shaver's home.

    On October 1, 1922, 21-year-old bookkeeper Margaret Sullivan died in her Chicago home on Peck Street from hemorrhage and infection caused by an abortion performed at an undetermined time and place. The person or persons responsible were never caught and it is thus impossible to learn if Margaret went to one of the many physician-abortionists or midwife-abortionists practicing in Chicago at the time.

    Safe and Legal in Washington, DC, 1989

    Brenda Banks was 35 years old and 13 weeks pregnant when she went to Hillcrest Women's Surgi-Center in Washington, DC, for a safe, legal abortion. The abortion was performed by Llewelyn Crooks on September 30, 1989.

    Brenda went into shock, and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. Doctors performed an emergency hysterectomy and transfused Brenda with 20 units of red blood cells, to no avail. She died the following day, October 1, 1989. Brenda's uterus had been perforated and several major blood vessels had been cut or severed entirely.

    Her survivors were unable to collect damages from Crooks and Hillcrest because Crooks' insurance company was insolvent, and Hillcrest carried no insurance. I have been unable to determine if the Hillcrest where Brenda had her abortion is affiliated with the Hillcrest in Pennsylvania where Kelly Morse had her fatal abortion.

    Suicide in New Jersey, 2001

    A smiling young white woman with long, straight blond hair, dressed in white graducation cap and gown
    Stacy Zallie
    Stacy Zallie, then a 19-year-old college student, wanted to become an elementary school teacher. Though she loved children and wanted to become a mother, she went to  Steven Chase Brigham's "American Medical Services" in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on July 6, 2001 for an abortion. There, Stacy was provided with a "Fact Sheet on Surgical Abortion" which did not address the risks of major depression or suicide but merely recommended that a patient should talk to a counselor or psychiatrist if she thought she needed help.

    She kept the abortion a secret from her family, but they noticed behavior changes. Her parents arranged psychiatric care after Stacy took an overdose of pills. Four months later, without saying why, Stacy quit going to therapy and resumed her drinking binges. On October 1, 2002, mere days before she was to serve as a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding, Stacy took her own life after at least three failed prior attempts at suicide.

    After learning of the abortion and Stacy's unbearable anguish afterward, her parents started the **Stacy Zallie Foundation** to provide post-abortion care so that nobody else's daughter suffers the fate their daughter did. The Zallie family takes no stand on abortion, seeking to keep their focus on providing desperately-needed aftercare to suffering women, regardless of politics, creed, or religion.

    Abortion is associated with an increase in all forms of violent death: accident, homicide, and suicide. Other post-abortion suicides include:

    • "Sandra Roe," age 18, who killed herself using an unidentified means in April of 1971
    • Sandra Kaiser, age 15, who threw herself off an overpass into traffic in November of 1984
    • Carol Cunningham, age 21, who shut herself in her garage, ran her car, and died from the exhaust fumes in August of 1986
    • Arlin della Cruz, age 19, who hanged herself in the woods near her house in October of 1992
    • Haley Mason, age 22, who overdosed on pills and alcohol in April of 2001
    • Laura Grunas, age 30, who fatally shot her baby's father and then herself in August of 2006