Wednesday, March 03, 2021

March 3: Patricia Chacon

The National Abortion Federation, an organization of abortion practitioners and their for-profit and non-profit abortion facilities, is highly reputable in abortion-rights circles. Sixteen-year-old Patricia Chacon lost her life after placing her trust in one of those NAF members. 

Patricia had no way of knowing, as she climbed onto the abortion table at Avalon Hospital, that 24-year-old Denise Holmes had died at Avalon in December of 1970. She also had no way of knowing that she would become the second of more than a dozen women for whom a safe, legal abortion at Family Planning Associates would be the last choice she would ever make.

Edward Allred
Patricia, 24 weeks pregnant, underwent a safe and legal abortion at the hands of Edward Allred, assisted by Leslie Orleans at Allred's Avalon Hospital in Los Angeles on the morning of March 3, 1984. The abortion took five hours to complete.

Patricia retained fetal tissues, so she was scheduled for a second procedure that afternoon to complete the abortion.
There are conflicting stories as to what happened next. Allred pronounced Patricia dead at 4:30 pm, saying that Patricia died of an embolism during the second surgery.  Patricia's parents claim that their child bled to death while left unattended.

An autopsy found numerous catgut sutures in Patricia's vagina and hemorrhage in her uterus. Death was attributed to disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC, a clotting disorder) due to abortion-induced amniotic fluid embolism (amniotic fluid in the bloodstream).  

Patricia's parents sued Allred and Orleans for their daughter's death. Since one of the things DIC causes is massive hemorrhage, Patricia's parents are probably correct in blaming her death on blood loss. They also asserted that Patricia had been given substandard care due to Allred's racism. Given Allred's public statemen about wanting to set up an abortion clinic in Calexico so that he could abort the babies of women crossing the border from Mexico, they might have had a point.

Avalon Hospital was part of Edward Allred's Family Planning Associates Medical Group, a National Abortion Federation member facility. Allred claimed that Patricia had been the first dead patient at one of his clinics, overlooking the fact that he had owned the hospital where Denise Holmes had died from abortion complications in 1970.

Other women known to have died after abortion at the chain of facilities founded by Allred include:

  • Mary Pena, age 43, 1984
  • Josefina Garcia, age 37, 1985
  • Laniece Dorsey, age 17, 1986
  • Joyce Ortenzio, age 32, 1988
  • Tami Suematsu, age 19, 1988
  • Susan Levy, age 30, 1992
  • Deanna Bell, age 13, 1992
  • Christine Mora, age 18, 1994
  • Ta Tanisha Wesson, age 24, 1995
  • Nakia Jorden, 1998
  • Maria Leho, 1999
  • Kimberly Neil, 2000
  • Maria Rodriguez, age 22, 2000
  • Chanelle Bryant, age 22, 2004

  • Watch Callousness or Racism? on YouTube.

    Newly added sources:

    Tuesday, March 02, 2021

    March 2: "This Baby Won't Stop Breathing!"

    Most people presented with a breathing newborn -- even a tiny, premature newborn -- would not hesitate to seek care for the baby. It seems to go without saying that a medical facility would be the safest place for a vulnerable baby. Thus, people tend to be shocked into disbelief at the idea that a newborn could be left to die or outright killed. But the world of abortion is not the world that most people live in. The 1977 case of Dr. William Baxter Waddill Jr. and "Baby W" illustrates how the abortion facility culture -- what I call Abortion Land -- views babies very differently from the way the rest of us do.

    Mary W., a high school student, was examined by an ob/gyn on February 22, 1977, and found to be 28 weeks pregnant. This ob/gyn counseled that Mary's pregnancy was too advanced for an abortion, and advised her to consider an adoption plan. Somehow, Mary learned that 43-year-old Waddill would be willing to do an abortion. Justifying the late abortion on the grounds of "mental health," Waddill initiated it by saline injection on March 2 at Westminster Community Hospital in California.

    Mary's baby, a 2 lb, 8 oz infant girl, was expelled that evening and discovered by a nurse.

    The nurse clamped the cord and was about to put the baby in a bucket for transport to the pathology lab, when she noticed that the baby was moving and crying. In a normal hospital, the nurse would have, without hesitation, taken the baby straight to the nursey for care. But this nurse was not working in a normal hospital setting. She was on an abortion ward. She was working in Abortion Land. Live babies weren't to be expected. They constituted a dismaying surprise. Thus, the nurse was uncertain about how to proceed. 

    Another nurse suggested that regardless of any signs of life, the baby should just go into the bucket and off to the pathology lab per routine. Yet another nurse testified that she had seen the infant move but said nothing about this to avoid distressing Mary. Thus a third Abortion Land nurse, presented with a crying baby, was left uncertain about how to proceed. 

    The first nurse summoned the nursing supervisor, who quite likely supervised the entire ob/gyn department and thus was not a resident of Abortion Land like the three other nurses. The supervising nurse noted that the baby was pink and making sucking motions. She did whatever any normal person would do. She sent the baby to the nursery and summoned the mother's attending physician -- in this case, Waddill.

    Once the baby was in the nursery, she was no longer in Abortion Land, so the nurses there responded to her as they would to any baby. One nurse cleared the infant's throat, placed her in an isolette, and charted a heartrate of 88. A neonatal ICU nurse began providing respiratory assistance on the little girl, and asked for help performing an intubation, which is routine NICU care.

    Waddill arrived and chased everybody away. Several witnesses heard Waddill instruct staff "not to do a goddam thing for the baby." An ER doctor -- who evidently had noticed that something was up and had popped in to see for himself what was going on -- saw Waddill squeeze the umbilical cord, whereupon the "child jerked its body and gasped for air."

    Waddill evidently had prepared for the birth of a living baby -- though not, one would guess, one that had been removed from Abortion Land and transported to the NICU. A tape was entered into evidence of a call from Waddill to a pediatrician, Dr. Ronald Cornelsen. In this call, Waddill told Dr. Cornelsen to come to the hospital, because the law required a pediatrician to assist when a newborn was in distress. Waddill said, "If we all tell the same story, there will be no trouble. ... So long as we stand together, no one anywhere can make any accusations anywhere. ... Do not get squirrely. Just tell them exactly as we've discussed. Just say you went in, there was no heartbeat and you left."

    Dr. Cornelsen testified that when he arrived at the hospital the infant, a baby of about 31 weeks gestation, was breathing and had a heart rate of 60-70. There were bruises on her neck. Dr. Cornelsen said that Waddill told him, "Sorry to get you in this mess. We had a baby that came out live from a saline abortion, and it can't live!" Dr. Cornelsen testified that he saw Waddill press on the infant's neck, saying, "I can't find the goddam trachea," and "This baby won't stop breathing." 

    Dr. Cornelsen testified, "I said, 'Why not just leave the baby alone?' He said, 'This baby can't live or it will be the biggest mess you ever saw.'" Cornelsen said that Waddill told him that the baby would have suffered brain damage during the abortion and that if the baby lived, "There would be big lawsuits and it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the baby."

    Waddill requested potassium chloride for an injection to stop the baby's heart, but Dr. Cornelsen wouldn't let the nurse get it. Waddill then suggested trying an injection of insulin. Dr. Cornelsen said Waddill also asked for a bucket so he could drown the baby.

    Waddill later claimed that he hadn't strangled the baby, that she had died of natural causes before he even arrived at the hospital to deal with the delivery. He asserted that all of his actions were done in the best interests of the mother and the baby. However, having died in the nursery rather than in the abortion ward meant that rather than going into the medical waste incinerator, Mary's baby was afforded an autopsy, which backed what the witnesses said.

    A pathologist examined the baby's lungs and concluded that she'd been alive for at least 30 minutes. Though saline causes capillaries to break down and thus gives the aborted baby a mottled, bruised look, the neck trauma was "consistent with manual pressure, and inconsistent with saline." The pathologist also testified that only the infant's placenta and small bowel seemed to have been "significantly affected by the saline," meaning that Mary's baby had not suffered fatal injury from exposure to the saline in-utero. Had the nurses in the NICU been allowed to proceed, Mary's baby would almost certainly have lived, and perhaps even thrived like Giana Jessen, who would be born under similar circumstances in Los Angeles just one month later. The autopsy found the cause of the baby's death to have been "manual strangulation." Her gestational age was determined to have been 29 to 31 weeks at autopsy, consistent with the observations of Dr. Cornelsen.

    Before the judge in the Waddill's April, 1978 trial, Waddill's defense team argued that the jurors should be permitted to consider whether or not the baby, had she lived, would have suffered brain damage from the abortion. The judge agreed to allow this line of defense. The judge also instructed the jury that they could not take into account whether Mary's baby would have been disabled due to the saline and that it didn't matter if Waddill had strangled the baby or allowed her to die through lack of the same care any other infant would have received. "A child's right to medical treatment is not diminished by what the quality of the child's future life may be."

    All told, over 13 weeks of testimony, the witnesses described three unsuccessful attempts by Waddill to strangle Mary's baby, and the fourth, successful, attempt. During deliberations, though, the jury asked for clarification of a procedural point. A few phone calls to clarify the point led to the discovery by the attorneys and judge that there was a definition of "death" in the California health and safety code that had not been brought into the case yet. This definition? "Total and irreversible cessation of brain function." 

    A doctor testifying on Waddill's behalf had argued that Waddill had been right to forbid the nurses to provide care to the baby. "We call these babies monsters. These monsters are born and they continue to live for a while.... They finally die, of course. They breathe and they have a heartbeat, but there is no brain function." The jurors became hopelessly deadlocked over whether Waddill's actions, though clearly causing what laymen would consider the "death" of the baby, had stopped the baby's "brain function" because it had never been established that the baby had any brain function in the first place.  

    Two jurors asserted that they had to give Waddill the benefit of the doubt. Nobody had proven that the mewling, squirming, gasping infant in the hospital nursery had actually had any brain function, and therefore it could not be proven that Waddill had caused any brain function to cease by strangling her. Those jurors held firm against the two jurors who argued in favor of common sense. The remaining jurors just wanted the thirteen-day ordeal to end.

    The judge had to declare a mistrial. A second jury was also deadlocked, and the charges against Waddill were eventually dismissed.

    Mary later sued Waddill, saying that he'd never told her that her baby might been born alive, and that she never would have consented to the abortion had she known this was possible. She said that Waddill "willfully and unlawfully used force and violence upon the person of the baby [W.] ... causing the decedent baby [W.] to die."

    Waddill continued to perform abortions in California, and as of 2000 was working for National Abortion Federation member Family Planning Associates Medical Group, a chain where over a dozen women and girls suffered fatal abortions.

    In a society where a jury can't even convict a man who strolls into a NICU and strangles a baby in front of witnesses, it truly is astonishing that Kermit Gosnell was ever convicted in the deaths of the babies he killed.

    Newly-added sources:

    March 2: Jammie Garcia

    Of all the justifications for the current state of abortion in the United States, this is the one that probably steams me the most, personally is the argument that abortion has to be legal to prevent gruesome back-alley deaths. I've reviewed about 6,000 abortion injury and death cases. I've gone through boxes of nothing but autopsy reports on young women and girls dead for no good reason. The idea that it's okay to kill some women legally in order to prevent other women from being killed illegally gets to me.

    We can start with Jammie Garcia.

    When the documents for Lime 5 were pouring in, I was an abstracting machine. I had a three to four foot stack of documents in my office on any given day that I had to plow through, skim, highlight, read, summarize. I learned to be very detached and clinical, to just get the words and ideas and not let it get to me. But Jammie Garcia got to me.

    The first document I reviewed was a March 1994 report on an inspection done in response to a patient death in a clinic owned by 
    Dr. Moshe Hachamovitch. The report said that the staff were inadequately trained in how to properly sterilize instruments. The administrator was evidently aware of the fact that the autoclave used to sterilize instruments was not functioning properly. As for the instruments themselves, "two loop forceps, two tenaculums and one curette were found to have small particles of dried brownish-dark red material on them. Three speculums were found to have small particles of dried clear material on them." "The only sterilized abortion tray in the procedure room was found to contain a curette with a loop whose edge was visibly jagged instead of smooth." 

    Untrained staff? Dirty instruments? Indifferent administration? That's not enough to even get my attention. I'd read one report in which the inspectors asked the staff to demonstrate that the emergency generator was functioning properly. The generator caught fire. I'd seen reports of dogs in clinics, bloody bare mattresses, drunken abortionists falling on the floor. So Moshe Hachamovitch's little abortion mill didn't stand out for its flaws.

    Then there was the case of the patient whose death had brought on the inspection. She was identified as 15-year-old "J.G." "J.G." had her abortion performed by John Coleman at Hachamovitch's A to Z abortion facility on February 18, 1994. Four days later, on February 23, she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of a Houston hospital, with spiking fever, chills, nausea, pain, respiratory distress, a distended abdomen, low blood oxygen levels, and foul-smelling discharge. An examination revealed inflammation and a tear in her cervix.

    "J.G." died on March 2.

    This was all tragic, very sad, but again, typical for what I'd see in an abortion death. I dutifully wrote up the case while Mona tried to get more information. She got a copy of the autopsy report.

    When I hear about how we need legal abortion to prevent those horrible back-alley abortions, I can see Mona and me sitting and reading that autopsy report. Mona came across the hall with Jammie's autopsy report in one hand, and another autopsy report in another. She wanted me to really grasp how swollen and boggy Jammie's organs were. Jammie's liver and lungs weighed twice what they should have weighed.

    Then Mona and I sat down together and read the rest of the autopsy report. By the time we were done, we were both crying, telling each other, "She was unconscious by then. She had to have been unconscious."

    Jammie's body was wracked with abscesses, spreading infection that had entered her body through the damage the abortion had done to her uterus. Her brain was swollen. As near as Mona and I could figure, Jammie's fetid fluids had made their way up through her damaged bowels and into her lungs.

    Nobody can convince me that Jammie's death was an improvement on the old back-alley abortions. No drunken, trenchcoat-clad pervert with a rusty coathanger could have done more damage, could have killed her any more horribly.

    I will never understand the stubborn instance that when a pregnant woman faces challenges, somebody has to die. Why? Why, with so many adoptive homes for her child, did Jammie have to die? Why, with so many prolife pregnancy centers standing by to help her, did Jammie have to die?

    Abortion laws didn't kill Jammie Garcia. An abortionist did. Does the fact that he did it in a legally operating "clinic," with medical instruments instead of with a coathanger, make her any less dead?

    Women -- and little girls like Jammie Garcia -- will continue to die, as long as they continue to perceive abortion as an escape. And they will continue to perceive it as an escape as long as there is a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign shouting from the rooftops the wonders and benefits of safe-n-legal abortion.

    Five other patients are known to have died either under Hachamovitch's direct care or under the care of an employee at one of his clinics.

    Tanya Williamson
    This young woman was inadequately monitored in recovery and allowed to lapse into respiratory arrest. She died on in September of 1996

    Luz Rodriguez
    Allowed to bleed to death in 1986 under Hachamovitch's direct care in the Bronx.

    Christina Goesswein
    Hachamovitch brought her to his office at 4 a.m. to treat grave complications. She died in October of 1990.

    Lisa Bardsley
    Bled to death on the way home from her safe, legal abortion at one of Hachamovitch's facilities in Arizona in 1995. 

    Lou Anne Herron
    Her pleas for help went unheeded as she bled to death in Hachamovitch's Arizona abortion clinic in 1998.

    Monday, March 01, 2021

    March 1: The Chloroform Murder

    Late on the chilly morning of March 2, 1937, two engineering students at the University of Virginia at Charlotte took time between classes to visit the grave of a friend who had recently been killed in a car crash. The cemetery was separated from the campus by a low stone wall. A stile offered an easy way over.

    As they crossed the stile, the young men spotted something out-of-place on the campus side of the wall. A young woman lay in the leaves, her face covered with a cloth. The students thought that perhaps the woman was sleeping. They went on their way to pay their respects to their friend.

    When the students crossed the stile again to return to campus, they saw that the woman was still lying there, utterly unmoving amid the leaves on the cold ground. They were disquieted. When they got to class they told the Dean of Engineering. The dean called the Albermarle County sheriff.

    Sheriff J. Mason Smith had a good idea who the young woman was. The previous evening a frantic Lula Sprouse had reported that her 18-year-old daughter, Cleo, was missing. The high school junior had left home at 4:00 to take in a movie, promising to be home by 6:30. It wasn't like the quiet, studious honor student to stay out late. Cleo was always where she said she'd be when she said she'd be there. Something terrible must have happened to her.

    Friends and neighbors had combed the area, looking for Cleo and speaking to anybody who might have seen her. A schoolmate said that he'd seen Cleo walking near the movie theater some time after 6 p.m.  One of Cleo's friends, Ethel Sealock, said that Cleo had pulled up outside her home at around 7:30 p.m. Cleo had been the passenger in a brown sedan driven by a man that Ethel couldn't see. Cleo, the young woman said, had asked Ethel to come driving with her but Ethel said she declined and didn't even get off the porch to approach the car because she didn't have shoes on. 

    None of Cleo's other friends or acquaintances could remember having seen her after she'd gotten home from school.

    Now Sheriff Smith had to go to the campus to see if the widow Sprouse's worst fears were realized.

    He and his men had to shoo away the crowd of curious onlookers who had gathered. Fortunately, nobody had disturbed the body or the leaves that still partially covered it. Sheriff Smith carefully began moving aside the leaves. The young woman lay almost primly, her clothing in perfect order. A small cloth the size of a hand towel covered her head and some object that was propped on her face. 

    Was this Cleo? The clothing matched the description given by her mother: green polka dot dress, brown cloth coat, brown stockings, and brown suede pumps Cleo's rings -- one gold and another costume jewelry -- were on the fingers. Sheriff Smith removed the towel. An empty chloroform can was upended over the woman's face. Her nose and mouth were stuffed with cotton. Her mouth and nose appeared swollen and burned. In spite of the injuries, Smith was certain that the auburn-haired young woman was indeed Cleo Sprouse.

    As Sheriff Smith finished uncovering the body, five police officers combed the area for any other items that might be related to the grim find. Two looked for footprints. Two canvassed the neighborhood to find out what anybody might have seen or heard. Two others checked the railroad station and taxi stands.

    A gas station owner said that Miller, with Cleo in the car, had stopped for gas at his business before heading north away from the city.

    A bus driver told the police that he had seen a brown sedan parked near a railroad underpass at the university golf course, which was about 400 yards from the cemetery, between 1:30 and 1:45 on the morning Cleo's body had been discovered. The motor was running, both car doors were open and a bottle was lying on the road.

    Meanwhile Sheriff Smith pondered the choice of dump sites. Had the killer placed the young woman's body on the cemetery side of the wall rather than the campus side, it might have gone undiscovered for quite a while. Why had he hidden her where she could be easily stumbled across?

    Sheriff Smith carefully packaged the towel and chloroform can and handed them off for immediate transport to the FBI laboratories in Washington, DC. Police took plaster casts of tire tracks near the dump site and collected samples of the mud that might be found on the suspect's tires.

    Sherriff Smith went to the Sprouse home and broke the news to the distraught widow. Mrs. Sprouse, prostrated by grief, managed to recount, between sobs, the last time she'd seen her daughter. Cleo's brothers and sister could add nothing of any use in the investigation and struggled to comfort their mother.

    Sheriff Smith turned the body over to Dr. W. H. Weaver, University of Virginia pathologist, who took it to the mortuary for a postmortem examination.

    The coroner's office bungled their handling of the autopsy. Rather than sending Cleo's organs to experts in Charlottesville, somebody sent them to Richmond, Virginia, where they had ended up in a laboratory at the Department of Agriculture rather than the laboratories of the Department of Health. Once they were located they were taken to the proper laboratory for analysis.
    Dr. Weaver concluded that though there were traces of ether in her lungs, Cleo had died from an overdose of chloroform. The cotton that was found in her nose and mouth had been soaked in chloroform. She had also been about three months pregnant. There were no marks on the young woman's body to indicate that she had fought off an attacker. There was no evidence of rape. But the fact that her nose and mouth were stuffed with cotton and the position of the chloroform bottle -- and the fact that her underpants were missing -- led the coroner to rule out suicide. By that afternoon local papers reported, "NO CLUES IN CAMPUS CHLOROFORM MURDER."

    The report arrived from the FBI: The corners of the towel showed marks of toothed clamps, similar to what a dentist would use to fasten a napkin to protect the clothing before examining a patient. The towel itself was the type that dentists used for this purpose. A technician had recovered a thumbprint on the bottom of the chloroform can. 

    The type of chloroform was not intended for use as anesthesia but, according to a University of Virginia professor of pharmacology, was the type typically used for euthanizing animals. Anesthetic chloroform was dispensed in small bottles, while "technical" chloroform, which was not purified to remove elements such as hydrochloric acid and phosgene, was sold in cans like the one found on Cleo's face. 

    Given the presence of a dental napkin with the tooth marks of clips, Sheriff Smith concluded that his suspect would be one of the sixteen dentists in the Charlottesville area. Sheriff Smith had prints made of the teeth of a recently discovered body that had nothing to do with the case and sent plainclothesmen out to visit the dentists, hand them the photos in order to get thumbprints, and bring them back. One of the prints collected this way matched the print that the FBI had recovered from the cloth: the print of 52-year-old Richard D. Miller DDS.

    Miller had a very positive reputation in town, considered a pillar of the community. He told police that a can of chloroform had been missing from his office since February. He kept it in his office as a solvent to use in making fillings, not as an anesthetic. He said that he had been treating Cleo and had stepped out of the exam room to take a phone call. Upon returning to the exam room, he said, he had found Cleo closing the cabinet door.

    According to Miller's clinic records, Cleo had indeed been a patient. He'd been treating her roughly twice a week for over a year.

    That evening, after Miller had gone home, police entered his office with the help of a skeleton key. In a cabinet of the immaculate premises police found dental napkins that appeared to be identical to the one found on Cleo's face. Cleo's name was in Sprouse's appointment book for a 4 p.m. appointment on March 1.

    This was considered sufficient to bring Dr. Miller in for questioning. The next day, police arrested Miller at his office, leaving a patient still in the dental chair. They walked him the six blocks to the police station through a growing crowd of people who wanted to see the Chloroform Murderer. As the evening wore on, so many people gathered that the porch collapsed under their weight.

    Miller denied that he had been involved in Cleo's death. Then he got up and looked out the window. When the crowd of perhaps a thousand people outside saw him they started shouting in outrage. He begged police to keep him safe from the crowd. Police slipped him out the back door to the station and loaded him into a vehicle for transport to jail. During the ride he made a confession.

    He said that he had known Cleo for about nine months and had been treating her for problems with her gums. She had come to him requesting an abortion, and when he had refused she threatened to claim that he was the father of her baby. Under this pressure, he said, he had agreed.

    Rather than do the procedure in his office, he had driven her in a borrowed car to a place about six miles north of Charlottesville with the intention of doing the abortion in the vehicle. The place where Miller said he'd pulled the car over to do the abortion matched the location where a bus driver said that he'd seen a brown sedan parked, engine running and doors open, the night Cleo had died.

    Miller told police that he had accidentally administered too much chloroform, resulting in the girl's death within about a minute.

    He said that he had waited until dark then driven back to town, intending to bring Cleo's body to an undertaking establishment and confess to the police, but that he had panicked and decided to pose her body in hopes that her death would be deemed a suicide.

    Miller spoke at greater length during a nearly five-hour questioning at the jail. He then wrote out a confession.

    The police went to the site where Miller said that Cleo had died and took plaster casts of tire tracks there, as well as mud samples. They also searched for surgical instruments that Miller said he'd brought along then thrown away in panic. They were never able to locate them.

    J. Hubert Carver, a car salesman, went to the police voluntarily and told them that Miller had expressed interest in buying a car and had borrowed a brown sedan to try it out. He had picked it up at around 4:00 pm and returned it about four hours later, "reeking of chloroform." Carver said that he also found fragments of absorbent cotton in the vehicle.

    Once Cleo's body was released it became a bit of a tourist attraction as people streamed through the undertaking establishment to see it in an open casket. Perhaps 200 children made their way through the building between when school was dismissed at 2 pm and when Cleo's body was relocated to the family home. There, her distraught mother wept over the coffin as her surviving children struggled with their own grief.

    Though some people had suggested that classmates from Lane High School serve as pall bearers, Cleo's family said that her classmates really didn't know her well and "she rarely went around with boys."

    At the burial, Mrs. Sprouse collapsed as around 400 mourners and curious townspeople gathered around the grave. The pastor had to stop the ceremony to berate photographers.

    Miller was indicted for first-degree murder because prosecutors believed that he had deliberately killed Cleo. They believed that his story about an intended abortion was concocted to allow a lesser charge. Wouldn't Miller have performed an abortion in his office, where he had safe and familiar anesthetics on hand, rather than in a borrowed car using chloroform that  he ordinarily used as a solvent? Why couldn't he lead police to the place where he said he'd ditched the instruments? 

    His attorneys originally planned to plead insanity on the grounds that Miller had suffered brain damage when he'd accidentally shot himself while hunting seven weeks earlier, grazing his temple. Since the middle-aged father of two had been otherwise perfectly normal since the incident, this defense didn't fly. 

    Miller eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Mrs. Sprouse had originally opposed a plea deal, wanting the man who had been not just the family dentist but a family friend to face trial for first-degree murder.

    Watch The Chloroform Murder on YouTube.


    Sunday, February 28, 2021

    February 28: Planned Parenthood's Fatal Haste

    A portrait of a young Hispanic woman with her hair dyed an orange shade, holding two little boys on her lap.
    Diana Lopez and her children
    Diana Lopez, age 25, was 19 weeks pregnant when she went to a Planned Parenthood for a safe and legal abortion on February 28, 2002. Before the day was over, Diana had bled to death. She left two sons, 4-year-old Frankie and 2-year-old Fabian, motherless. The taxpayers of California paid for the fatal abortion, courtesy of Medi-Cal.

    Diana‘s husband, David, filed suit, alleging that the abortionist‘s haste caused severe lacerations that killed his wife. The suit says that Diana‘s abortion was rushed through in only six minutes, although Planned Parenthood‘s own web site says such a procedure should take 10 to 20 minutes. The lawsuit also blames Planned Parenthood for proceeding with an abortion even though her hemoglobin levels were abnormally low prior to the procedure.

     Dr. Mark Maltzer
    After the abortion, Diana had been rushed by ambulance to County Women‘s Hospital. Dr. Mark Maltzer, who performed the abortion, neither accompanied his patient to the hospital nor spoke to the physicians who were taking over her care. Those doctors performed a hysterectomy was performed and gave Diana five units of whole blood in a futile attempt to save her life. She was pronounced dead at 2:45 p.m. Diana‘s autopsy noted that she had hemorrhaged from a perforation of her cervix.

    The family‘s attorney also noted that in 2000, the same Planned Parenthood rushed another woman though a similar 6-minute abortion, lacerating the patient‘s cervix, rupturing her uterus, perforating her sigmoid colon and causing the loss of 2 liters of blood. Planned Parenthood also delayed three hours before transferring the patient to a hospital. Fortunately, this patient survived her ordeal.

    A review of Los Angeles County civil cases indicates that this patient was probably Kimberly Thomas, who sued on April 19, 2002, after her abortion by Joseph Marmet. Kimberly‘s suit was one of roughly 50 filed against the Los Angeles Planned Parenthood from 1983 to 2002. The medical board took no action against Marmet.

    The medical board took no action against Diana‘s abortionist, Maltzer, either. However, after being pestered by prolifers the California Department of Health Services investigated the facility and cited Planned Parenthood for:

    • Failing to institute a necessary change in medical protocol relating to the use of laminaria (used to expand the cervix) in the dilation and evacuation procedure.
    • Lacking the evidence to show a completed assessment of the competency and credentials of the physician who carried out the abortion.
    • Inadequately advising against a potentially dangerous second-trimester D&E procedure based on low hemoglobin levels which made Diana a high-risk patient.
    • Failing to follow proper surgical abortion policy and procedure by administering Cytotec to Diana on day one of the two-day abortion procedure, when policy requires it to be administered 90 minutes before the abortion procedure.
    • Having a "reproductive health specialist" rather than a physician do the informed consent on this high-risk patient.
    • Failing to inform Planned Parenthood‘s governing body of any adverse outcome related to patient care within the facility.
    • Failing to notify the Health Department of a patient's death within 24 hours of the occurrence.
    • Keeping incomplete records describing the services provided to Diana.

    The fact that the Planned Parenthood has made "corrections" to satisfy the state does not satisfy Diana‘s family. "It was wrong. It was wrong," said Judy Lopez, Diana‘s older sister. "She was healthy. She was fine."

    I also have some skepticism about how the "corrections" were made, since five years later, at another Southern California Planned Parenthood, a nurse placed laminaria in the cervix of patient Edrica Goode in spite of obvious signs of a vaginal infection. Since laminaria absorb whatever moisture is in the area so that they will expand and dilate the cervix, it's no surprise that the laminaria inserted into Edrica's cervix pulled the infection into her uterus and killed her.

    The failure to assess the competency and credentials of a staff member also seems to me to be a Planned Parenthood failure of long standing and large geographic span, since in 1981 abortion patient Elise Kalat suffered a severe asthma attack after her abortion at a Massachusetts Planned Parenthood. When the medics arrived to take over Elise's care they found that nobody on site evidently knew how to perform even layman-quality CPR, much less the type of advanced CPR that would be expected of medical professionals. 

    Far too many other women have died from screw-ups and bad judgement at Planned Parenthood. 

    Cree Erwin-Shephard, age 24, suffered internal injuries during an abortion at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her mother found her cold and stiff in the guest bedroom on the 4th of July, 2016. 

    Tonya Reaves, age 24, left a one-year-old child motherless when she bled to death in July of 2012 after an abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood staff had delayed for four hours before transporting Tonya to a properly equipped hospital.

    In 2009, 17-year-old Roselle Owens died from apparent anesthesia complications after an abortion at Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger Center in New York. Her family said that the staff had failed to monitor her properly and delayed transport to a properly equipped hospital. 

    Holly Patterson, age 18, died in mid-September of 2003 from sepsis caused by abortion drugs she got at a Planned Parenthood in Hayward, California. Instead of instructing Holly to place the second dose inside her cheek and letting it dissolve, as the FDA instructed, Planned Parenthood told her that she could insert it vaginally. Researchers believe that the vaginal insertion of this second drug makes otherwise healthy young women particularly vulnerable to sudden death from toxic shock syndrome.

    Vivian Tran, age 22, and died in late December of 2003, six days into a medical abortion process started at another California Planned Parenthood. Like Holly Patterson, she had been told to use the second drug vaginally instead of placing it in her cheek in keeping with FDA recommendations.

    Planned Parenthood doesn't seem to be upholding the standards they want everybody to believe they're upholding.

    Watch Fatal Haste on YouTube.


    February 28: A Fatal Referral and Other Tragedies

    1993: A Fatal Referral by Planned Parenthood

    Andrea Corey was 31 years old when she was referred by nearby Planned Parenthood to Southern Tier Women's Services in New York for a safe and legal abortion. Andrea  was sent home after her abortion, but she had retained tissue that caused clostridium perfringens septicemia ("gas gangrene"). She died at Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland, Vermont on February 28, 1993.

    1992: Scant Information from the US Virgin Islands

    Diane Adams died February 28, 1992 after an abortion most likely performed by Angel Acevado Montalvo in the US Virgin Islands. The only information I've been able to gather on Diane I. Adams comes from pro-life web sites. Human Life International mentions that abortionist Angel Acevado Montalvo was charged with manslaughter in two cases of maternal deaths from safe and legal abortion. HLI also notes that after his conviction, Montalvo went right back to business doing abortions. Priests for Life posts a list of women who have died from legal abortions, including Diane Adams, whose date of death they give as February 28, 1992. They cite a March 5, 1992 article in the Virgin Islands Daily News. They cite one other death, that of Rosael Rodriguez, from that article. Rosael Rodriguez and Diane Adams are most likely the two women referred to by HLI. 

    1918: A Likely Lay Abortionist in Chicago

    On February 28, 1918, 27-year-old Mrs. Catherine Lurandowski died at Chicago's County Hospital from an abortion perpetrated by Katerine Eichenberg on November 20 of 1917. Eichenberg, whose profession is given only as "abortion provider", was also noted as "known to police" and operating sometimes under the alias of Ekowski. She might have been a midwife, since they were very common abortionists in Chicago at the time, though she might also have been a lay abortionist with or without a doctor providing training, instruments, medications, and back-up.

    1914: An Unknown Perp in Chicago

    On February 28, 1914, 23-year-old homemaker Martha Kwasek died at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Chicago from septicemia caused by an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

    Saturday, February 27, 2021

    February 27: Deaths Before Roe, Chicago and New York

    1926: Lethal Chicago Midwife

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chicago had an underground abortion culture populated primarily by doctors and midwives. In February of 1926, 36-year-old Anna Barg Wilger, or somebody else who wanted to keep her pregnancy from ending in the birth of a living baby, sought out one of those midwives, Theresa Struhala. On February 27, Struhala perpetrated the abortion on Anna in the Wilger home. Anna died there that day. Struhala was indicted for felony murder in Anna's death. I don't know the outcome of the case, but do know that Struhala went on to be implicated in the 1934 abortion death of Evelyn Yazitt (possibly Vavitt).

    1971: Safe and Legal in New York

    "Roseanne" is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a safe and legal abortion. Roseanne was in the second trimester of pregnancy when she chose safe and legal abortion, permissible under New York's liberalized abortion law, in 1971. She was 37 years old, had had four children. Roseanne's doctor chose the saline abortion method, which is performed by injecting a strong, sterile salt solution into the amniotic fluid. The fetus swallows and inhales the salty fluid, which causes massive internal bleeding and death. The woman then goes into labor. Roseanne was infused with saline for the abortion. Two days later, she began vomiting and having seizures. She aspirated some of the vomit and developed pneumonia. The pneumonia took its toll. Roseanne died on February 27 from the pneumonia and anoxic brain damage.

    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 "Danielle," 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, 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
    • "Linda Michelle Hoffman", 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
    • "Tammy" Roe, October, 1971, massive post-abortion infection
    • 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
    • "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

    Friday, February 26, 2021

    February 26: Precursor to an Epidemic of Abortion Deaths

    Marie Epperson, a 19-year-old telephone operator, died February 26, 1929 after an abortion in Oklahoma City. Two physicians were suspected: Richard Thacker and John W. Eisiminger. There wasn't even news coverage of the case and everything seemed to just blow over. 

    Three years later all hell broke lose.

    The spring of 1932 brought a sudden string of criminal abortion deaths to Oklahoma City, attributed to Thacker and Eisiminger either singly or as a pair:
    • March 18: Margaret Ann Kuenkel  (Thacker)
    • April 3:  Ethel Hestand (Thacker)
    • April 14:  Isobel Ferguson (Eisiminger and Thacker)
    • April 15: Ruth Hall (Eisiminger and Thacker)
    • April 20:  Robbie Lou Thompson (Thacker)
    • April 23: Virginia Lee Wyckoff  (Eisiminger)
    • April 23: Lennis May Roach (Eisiminger and Thacker)
    • April 24: Nancy Joe Lee (Thacker)
    A little bit more attention from the authorities after Marie's death could have prevented the deaths of as many as eight other women.

    Watch Fatal Foot-Dragging on YouTube.

    February 26: A Doctor, a Midwife, and an Abortifacient

    Cordelia Calkins, age 18, died in Brooklyn on February 26, 1860 from the effects of an abortifacient

    In August of 1859, the two Calkins sisters, age 16 and 18, moved to Brooklyn to live in the boarding house of Mrs. Young. "Both were possessed of good figures and considerable personal attractions, and were employed from time to time at the different theatres as ballet girls".

    The elder, Cordelia, took up with the landlady's son, Charles, "which resulted in the girl's ruin and death." In mid February, 1860, Cordelia discovered that she was pregnant, and prevailed upon Charles to help arrange an abortion. Charles asked his brother William to buy a bottle of oil of tansy. William testified that he didn't know what the oil of tansy was for.

    Cordelia started a regimen of the tansy, while Charles made "other efforts of abortion", which succeeded in making her very sick. "For several days she was confined to her bed, suffering the most intense physical pain."

    About this time, Mrs. Young relocated to another part of the city, leaving the Calkins sisters looking for new lodgings. Since Cordelia was so sick, a young man living next door to the original Young house set the sisters up in his room.

    Cordelia's condition continued to deteriorate. Dr. H.W. Fowler, who had an office nearby, was summoned. He found out about the abortion attempt and administered witch-hazel and ginger tea to finish off the abortion, thinking that this would save Cordelia's life. "The decoction, however, while it added to her sufferings, did not answer the purpose for which it had been administered, and after lingering in great agony till Sunday afternoon, death came to her release."

    On her deathbed, Cordelia insisted that she had attempted the abortion entirely on her own, with no help from anybody. But the coroner's inquest recommended the arrest of both Charles Young, as the primary, and Dr. Fowler as an accessory.

    Young, for his part, made three unsuccessful suicide attempts after his arrest. The first time, in March, was attempted by dosing with laudanum. The doctor who treated him for the overdose asked him why he had taken it, and Charles said to him, "I am persecuted for an offense of which I am not guilty. I am in trouble; and the shortest way to end it is to die. I am not afraid to die."

    Don't blame the legal status of abortion for Cordelia's decision to go herbal -- some women continue to embrace herbal abortion. (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!)

    Wanda Szidzewicz, age 23, died on February 26, 1924 from complications of an abortion perpetrated by midwife Ida Cantor in Worchester County, Massachusetts.

    In Templeton, Worchester County, Massachusetts, on February 6, 1924, Ida Cantor performed an abortion on 23-year-old homemaker Wanda Szidzewicz. Wanda, an immigrant from Poland, developed septicemia after the abortion, and went to a Massachusetts hospital on February 11. She was treated there until her death on February 26.

    Testimony at Ida's trial indicated that Ida's profession was midwife, since she delivered at least one baby that Dr. Sawyer and Ida's own husband testified to.

    The jury found that Ida used improperly sterilized or non-sterile instruments in the abortion. A key part of the prosecution's case was a deathbed statement by the injured woman. The medical examiner found "no evidence of violence outside or in", but did find evidence that instruments had been used to perform an abortion. He also testified that Wanda had said that Ida Cantor had performed the abortion in question. A Dr. Sawyer testified that he'd told Wanda that she was dying, testimony intended to add credibility to her deathbed statement.

    A doctor from the hospital, however, testified that the death and expulsion of the fetus, along with Wanda's injuries, might have been brought about with "an accidental abortion", such as that caused by lifting a heavy box. Hospital records stated that Wanda had lifted a heavy box at some point, "four days before".

    Ida's attorney's launched a scattershot and ineffectual defense. Part of it was putting forth Ida's assertion that she she'd had to ask the police why she was being arrested -- she claimed that this proved that she'd not known anything abut Wanda's abortion or death. Her lawyer asked an expert witness if the "constant jarring operation of a sewing machine" could have caused Wanda to miscarry, but never introduced any evidence that Wanda had operated a sewing machine. The defense had tried to place Ida's grandchild's birth certificate into evidence as proof that she'd been at the child's birthday party in New York at the time of the abortion and thus couldn't have performed it. Ida's husband's testimony did nothing to aid her; in fact, it contradicted her.

    After her conviction, Ida appealed, but her conviction was upheld. Wanda's widower, Waclaw , also successfully sued Ida.

    Dorothy Weber died February 26, 1943 after an abortion perpetrated by Dr. Henry Gross.

    Dr. Henry Gross was investigated for the February 26, 1943 abortion death of 20-year-old waitress Dorothy Webber of Altgeld Street in Elmwood Park, Illinois.

    During that investigation, Gross was tried and convicted for the abortion death of Lavern Perez.