Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The 1976 Death of "Gloria Roe"

"Gloria" was a 35 year old women with six living children and a history of two miscarriages. In 1976, she went to her doctor due to nausea and abdominal pain. Her last period had been two weeks earlier. Her doctor diagnosed her with either gastritis or a peptic ulcer. She was given antacids. Her doctor also ordered x-rays, which showed no abnormalities.

Two months later, Gloria was still ill, so she returned to the doctor with symptoms of lethargy and morning sickness. Her doctor told her that she was about 10 weeks pregnant. Gloria was "counseled on the potential risk of her previous x-ray exposure to the fetus, and she elected to terminate her pregnancy."

Gloria was referred to a doctor for her abortion, but for some reason there was a four-week delay before she went to his office. He examined her and determined that she was about 14 weeks pregnant. The abortion was scheduled for ten days later.

Gloria was then estimated to be 15 weeks pregnant. The doctor chose his routine approach to second trimester abortions, which was to inject prostaglandin into the amniotic fluid while the woman was in his office, then later admit her to the hospital to go into labor and expel the baby. The violence of the labor induced by prostaglandin was typically sufficient to kill the fetus.

Shortly after the prostaglandin was administered, Gloria began to experience nausea and vomiting, then became unresponsive and went into cardio-respiratory arrest. CPR was begun, and Gloria was transferred to a hospital emergency room. On arrival, Gloria was comatose, without detectable pulse or blood pressure. Doctors intubated her and continued resuscitation efforts. She was in ventricular fibrillation. After 90 minutes, they were able to restore normal heart function.

The next day Gloria expelled the dead fetus. She was provided with intensive care and eventually transferred from the ICU to a general hospital. She remained severely neurologically impaired, able to respond to pain and to move her arms but not her legs. She died five months after the prostaglandin injection.

Her autopsy showed that she suffered a pulmonary embolism, triggering the cardiac arrest that deprived her brain of oxygen.

The CDC, in reviewing the case, faulted her doctor with not urging her to seek an immediate abortion at 10 weeks, but not with failing to reassure her that the x-rays had likely not caused any substantial harm to her baby

They then faulted the abortionist for not doing an immediate D&E, instead delaying ten more days before initiating the prostaglandin abortion. They didn't seem to entertain the idea that Gloria might have been dragging her feet about the abortion because she wanted her baby and was only agreeing to an abortion reluctantly after being "counseled" about the purportedly teratogenic effects of the x-rays.

They do legitimately find fault with the abortionist for administering prostaglandin in his office rather than in a hospital, where aggressive means of resuscitation would have been available rather than just CPR.

Watch Counseled Into Death on YouTube.

Source: Centers For Disease Control, Abortion Surveillance, Annual Summary 1976, Issued August 1978, p. 8-9

No comments: