Monday, November 14, 2022

Lime 5: Ignoring Pre-existing Conditions

I've discovered the identity of the unnamed woman with whom Mark Crutcher opened this section of Lime 5: She was Barbara Riley. She was in her first trimester of pregnancy when she underwent the abortion on July 11, 1970 at Harlem Hospital. The abortion had been recommended by hospital staff because Barbara had a history of sickle cell disease. Barbara's abortion would have been completely and unambiguously legal under New York's old, restrictive, pre-1970  abortion law because it was intended to save Barbara's life. After the abortion, though, instead of improving, Barbara's health deteriorated. Her blood started to break down. Nine days after the abortion, July 20, Barbara died of sickle cell crisis triggered by the abortion.

Mark next described a woman with a history of asthma who traveled from Michigan to New York to take advantage of the new law allowing safe, legal abortion. On the Blackmun Wall, Mark gave her the pseudonym "Colleen." In early March of 1972, she  took advantage of the new law and traveled from Michigan to New York for a safe and legal abortion. She was 21 years old and 20 weeks pregnant. Colleen had a history of asthma. During the abortion, she went into respiratory arrest. She died March 8.

Dr. Christopher Dotson Jr.
The next death was Margaret Davis. She was a 33-year-old homemaker who underwent an abortion at Windsor Hills Hospital in Los Angeles County. Christopher Dotson (John Roe 305) began the abortion at about noon on July 15, 1972. Dotson said that Margaret started to have breathing and heart problems after the abortion, and that he was unable to revive her. He declared her dead at 3:30 PM of cardiopulmonary failure. An autopsy revealed that Margaret had suffered acute sickle cell crisis triggered by the abortion.

Dr. Ronald Tauber (John Roe 35) performed an outpatient 15-week abortion on Gloria Small on March 7, 1978 despite her obesity, asthma, chronic lung disease, and family history of high blood pressure. He punctured her uterus so badly that she required a hysterectomy, but this was unable to save her life. 

Dr. Robert Crist

Diane Boyd, a 19-year-old intellectually disabled woman, became pregnant because she had been raped at her residential facility. Diane was taking medications due to her existing health conditions, which contraindicated using Valium and Sublimaze. Robert Crist (John Roe 326) performed administered them anyway during an abortion he performed at Reproductive Health Services, a National Abortion Federation member clinic in St. Louis, Missouri. Diane had a reaction to the anesthesia and died.  Crist also performed the fatal abortions on Latachie Veal and Nichole Williams.

For some reason, Mark gave Sheila Hebert the pseudonym "Jane" in Lime 5. She had a history of asthma and went to Delta Women's Clinic (Acme Reproductive Services 28) in Baton Rouge for an abortion on June 6, 1984. Shortly after the abortion, performed by Richardson Glidden, Sheila complained of chest pains and difficulty breathing. She lost consciousness, and staff injected her with adrenaline, but were unable to revive her. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she died. (Note: Due to a dyslexic mix-up on dates, I accidentally wrote up a Jane Doe at Delta as having died two years later; our fact checker failed to catch this so the second dead woman is a duplicate.)

Dr. Vern Wagner
Tami Suematsu, age 19, underwent an abortion by Vern Wagner at Riverside Family Planning Center August 19, 1988. Tami went into bronchial spasm and asthma-related respiratory failure then cardiac arrest. She was transported to a hospital, but died shortly after arrival. (Sources needed: LA County Autopsy File No. 64442; California Death Certificate 38833005990)

Angela Hall

When Angela Hall went to Dr. Thomas Tucker's office in Alabama on June 7, 1991, the office manager felt that she was a poor candidate for an outpatient abortion due to her low hemoglobin and fever. She called Tucker (John Roe720), who was not yet at the clinic, and he told her "You know we need the money. Just put her through." Staff put Angela under general anesthesia in preparation for Tucker's arrival. He performed the 21 1/2 week abortion, puncturing Angela's cervix in the process. Though Angela was gasping for breath, Tucker sent her to the recovery room, which lacked monitoring equipment. When she began to hemorrhage, the clinic director called an ambulance, but Tucker cancelled it, screaming at his director, "I'm the goddamned doctor here. If anybody's going to call the fucking ambulance, it will be me." The clinic director tried to stop the bleeding and finally told Tucker that Angela was going to die if he didn't do something. "Fine, call the goddamned ambulance," he said before leaving the premises. Angela died in the hospital three days later. (Additional source needed: Jefferson County Circuit Court Case No. CV93-00632)

Watch Lime 5: Ignoring Pre-Existing Conditions on YouTube.

No comments: