Legal Abortion Death: Margaret Paula Clodfelter, 19

Margaret Paula Clodfelter was 19 years old when she had a safe and legal abortion at Richmond Medical Center For Women on June 2, 1989.

The abortion was performed by William Fitzhugh.

After she was discharged from the clinic, Margaret had pain and bleeding. She called the facility to consult with them, but they did not tell her that she needed any further care.

On June 4, she sought treatment at a hospital, where she was diagnosed with retained fetal tissue and a perforated uterus. She underwent a D&C.

She developed infection, so doctors performed a hysterectomy. Their efforts were in vain. Margaret died on June 16, 1989.

She left behind a husband and a one-year-old son.

Sources: Richmond City Circuit Court Case No. LU-441-1, Virginia Death Certificate #89-020384; Life Dynamics “Blackmun Wall”‘ The Abortion Injury Report, April 1995, page 2

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Sophie McCoy, 17

On September 17, 1990, 17-year-old Sophie went to the office of National Abortion Federation member Abu Hayat.

Sophie was accompanied by her mother and by the husband of the operator of a facility identified as “the Willoughby Avenue Clinic.” She had been referred to him, but medical board documents do not say by whom.

Sophie and her mother returned to Hayat’s office the next day and paid $300 for the safe, legal abortion. Sophie was given intravenous medications which put her to sleep. She was kept about four hours and discharged with another prescription for antibiotics.

That evening, Sophie was bleeding, had abdominal pain, and was having trouble breathing.

The next day, September 19, she was taken to a hospital, reporting vaginal bleeding, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Dr. Harding, who treated her, discovered that Sophie had a perforated uterus and serious sepsis. An emergency hysterectomy was performed, but Sophie developed disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (a clotting disorder) and septic shock.

Sophie died on September 26. She left a one-year-old son motherless.

After Sophie’s death, Hayat originally denied having treated her at all. But Sophie’s mother identified Hayat by name and from a photograph.

While continuing to deny having treated Sophie, Hayat told one of the physicians who had tried to save her life that she had expelled a fetus at home and come to him for treatment, whereupon he’d sent her to the hospital. But Margie, an employee of his, recognized Sophie from a photo and said that Hayat had indeed treated the girl on two occasions. Margie added that after the second visit, Sophie’s mother had called, hysterical and crying. Margie further said that she had seen medical records for Sophie at the facility, and that Hayat had argued with the referring clinic about payments for Sophie’s treatment.

The case was reported to the district attorney and the New York Health Department, but nobody took any action against Hayat until he pulled the arm off an infant during an abortion attempt in 1991.

(Sources: New York Daily News 11/21/91; Washington Times 11/21/91; New York Post 11/21/91, 11/22/91; New York Times 11/22/91, 11/23/91, 11/24/91; New York Department of Health Case No. BPMC-92-13-A, Medical Board Determination and Order)

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Laniece Dorsey, 17

Seventeen-year-old Laniece Dorsey underwent a safe and legal abortion at a Family Planning Associates Medical Group facility in Orange County, California, on February 6, 1986. FPA is a National Abortion Federation member facility.

Laniece lapsed into a coma, was transferred to a nearby hospital, and died later that day.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department medical examiner blamed the death on cardiorespiratory arrest due to the anesthesia, although he also found “a thick adherent layer of fibrinous material containing moderate numbers of inflammatory infiltrates” in Laniece’s uterus.

Laniece wasn’t the first or last young woman to die from abortion at a facility owned by FPA head honcho Edward Campbell Allred. Others include:

* Denise Holmes, age 24, 1970
* Patricia Chacon, age 16, 1984
* Mary Pena, age 43, 1984
* Josefina Garcia, age 37, 1985
* Joyce Ortenzio, age 32, 1988
* Tami Suematsu, age 19, 1988
* Susan Levy, age 30, 1992
* Deanna Bell, age 13, 1992
* Christina Mora, age 18, 1994
* Kimberly Neil, 2000
* Chanelle Bryant, age 22, 2004

Allred’s facilities remain members of the National Abortion Federation despite these deaths.

Sources: Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Case No. 86-0682-AK and Orange County Superior Court Case No. 51-04-15

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Maureen Espinoza, 16

Life Dynamics lists 16-year-old Maureen Espinoza on their “Blackmun Wall” of women killed by legal abortions.

Citing an article in the San Antonio Express-News dated April 24, 1997, LDI notes:

# Maureen’s abortion was performed at a doctor’s office in San Antonio on March 28, 1997.
# The abortionist punctured Maureen’s uterus, but took no note of the complication.
# Maureen was admitted through the emergency room at NE Baptist Hospital on April 3.
# She underwent two surgeries to try to save her life.
# She died on April 15, 1997.

LDI’s source: “ME’s office verifies teen died from legal abortion,” San Antonio Express-News, April 24, 1997

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Christina Goesswein, 19

19-year-old Christina Goesswein, (“Patient A” in medical board documents) was almost 23 weeks pregnant when she went to the office of Dr. Braz Bortot to get a safe and legal abortion. Dr. Bortot referred her to Dr. Moshe Hachamovitch in Bronx, New York.

Christina went to the office of Dr. Hachamovitch on October 17, 1990, and 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 the office, 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.

In its documents, the medical board notes that Hachamovitch failed to record “identity of the individual who performed and interpreted a sonogram of Patient A;” “failed to record the size and type of laminaria;” “failed to properly address the possibility that Patient A might require emergency medical care near her home” in the course of the two days between the insertion of laminaria on October 17 and the scheduled performance of an abortion on October 19;” “made no effort to provide for more local and immediate medical care for Patient A at or about 3:05 a.m. on October 19, when he learned that Patient A was experiencing heavy bleeding, vomiting and severe cramps.”

The board faulted Hachamovitch for doing an abortion “in the face of heavy bleeding, severe cramps and vomiting and involuntary bowel movements.” “Respondent failed to arrange for Patient A to be taken to a hospital before performing any procedure on her so that her condition could be properly managed;” “performed the abortion and D&E without proper monitoring and resuscitative equipment;” “failed to adequately prepare the patient for foreseeable complications;” “failed to have a licensed physician or certified nurse anesthetist present during the surgery…;” “inappropriately sedated Patient A.”

“Once Patient A went into cardiopulmonary arrest Respondent failed to properly attempt her resuscitation.” The board also found fault with Hachamovitch because he did not “describe adequately” the procedure used to terminate the pregnancy;” “failed to perform and/or record the findings of a gross examination of Patient A’s uterine contents immediately post-abortion;” “intentionally represented in his record for patient A that she received continuous oxygen by mask despite knowing that this was untrue;” “intentionally represented in his record that Patient A had no bleeding at all despite knowing that this was untrue.”

Note: Hachamovitch had killed or maimed women before, but no action had been taken against him and he went on to kill Christina.

The medical board had already slapped him down for letting Luz Rodriguez bleed to death in 1986. He was allowed to continue to practice, and to cause Christina’s death. Even then, he wasn’t stopped. He let Tanya Williamson stop breathing and die in his recovery room in 1996.

Not only did Hachamovitch kill patients directly with his own quackery. He owned and oversaw abortion mills elsewhere in the country, and they were just as poorly run as the one in New York.

In Texas, Jammie Garcia died of a massive infection in 1994 after a botched abortion in Hachamovitch’s filthy mill. And in Arizona, Hachamovitch gave free rein to John Biskind, who let two patients bleed to death: Lisa Bardsley in 1995, and Lou Anne Herron in 1998. (Biskind’s license wasn’t revoked until 1998 — after he was convicted of manslaughter in Lou Ann’s death.)

As for Hachamovitch, he simply let his New York and Texas licenses expire in the late 1990s — when he was already in his 60s and due for retirement anyway. His Arizona license wasn’t revoked until 2004, over the New York disciplinary actions (which hadn’t been enough to get his New York license yanked) and the way he allowed his Arizona mill to be operated. The situation had originally been brought to the attention of the board in 1998.

Sources: New York State Board For Professional Medical Conduct No. 93-127; State Board of New York Statement of Charges September 16, 1992; “History of trouble at clinics,” Arizona Republic, January 17, 1999; United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Docket No. 97-9065; “Clinic head faces complaints,” Arizona Republic July 15, 1998

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Michelle Madden,18

Eighteen year old Michelle Madden, a coed, sought a safe and legal abortion from O.B. Evans at Family Planning Medical Center of Mobile, Alabama. It was performed on November 18, 1986. Michelle had been taking medication for epilepsy, and a doctor had told her that her baby would have birth defects.

When Michelle’s parents arrived at the college to take her home for Thanksgiving, the house mother had sad news for them. Three days after the abortion, Michelle had collapsed. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors found a leg bone, two pieces of skull, and some placenta still in Michelle’s uterus. The surgery to save her life was too late. Sepsis had already set in, and Michelle died November 24, three days after she was admitted. According to FindLaw, she bled to death.

Her parents sued Evans and the facility, and in 1991 a jury awarded them $10 million in damages. Evans appealed on the grounds that this would “devastate him financially”, because his malpractice insurance would only cover $1 million. During the appeal, the parties agreed to settle for $5 million, with the insurance company paying the entire amount. Evans then sued his insurance company for not having settled with the family for $1 million prior to the trial, thus subjecting him to “emotional distress, humiliation, damage to his reputation, and loss of business” — such “emotional distress”, he asserted, was “so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.”

Interesting, that the lawsuit, and not the needless death of an 18-year-old girl who had trusted him, is what caused Evans such emotional distress. Though, of course, he had nobody to sue for that other than himself.

Sources: Mobile Press Register 6/6/91, 6/16/91; FindLaw, Evans vs. Mutual Assurance

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Denise Montoya, 15

Denise Montoya was fifteen years old when her parents brought her to Women’s Pavillion in Houston for an abortion on May 13, 1988. Denise was 25 weeks pregnant.

The abortion was performed by Douglas Karpen, an osteopath.

Denise suffered severe bleeding, and was admitted to Ben Taub hospital. Her condition deteriorated, and she died on May 29, 1988.

Her parents filed suit against Karpen and the clinic, saying that they had faied to adequately explain the risks of the procedure, and had not provided consent forms, or had the parents sign any informed consent document, prior to the fatal abortion.

According to their 1991 Annual Report, Women’s Pavillion was a National Abortion Federation member.

Sources: Harris County District Court Case No. 89-16747

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Beverly Ann Moore, 15

Beverly Ann Moore, age 15, died after her abortion by Tuckey Hayes at Chattanooga Women’s Clinic.

Hayes assured Beverly’s parents that she would be “all right” just fifteen minutes before she died.

Chattanooga Women’s Clinic was written up for continued deficiencies even after Beverly’s death. Noted flaws included (with dates of citation):

* “Wrist, knee or foot controls not provided on lavatories used by physicians and nurses” (3-8-79)
* No system for referring patients to other health care providers (3-8-79)
* No emergency transfer arrangements (3-8-79)
* Lack of written job descriptions (3-8-79, 10-10-89)
* Lack of documentation of staff qualifications (10-10-89)
* Inoperable emergency lighting (3-8-79, 3-12-87, 3-17-87, 4-5-93)
* Re-use of disposable curettes (3-12-87) * Medications out-of-date (5-22-85, 3-12-87, 3-17-87, 10-10-89, 4-6-92)
* Outdated IV solution (10-10-89)
* Medications improperly stored (3-8-79, 3-12-87, 3-17-87, 6-18-87)
* Unwrapped speculums stored in examining table drawer (6-18-87)
* Used disposable curettes stored on shelf with clean supplies (6-18-87)
* Blood in procedure table (10-10-89)
* Dirty floor and equipment in lab (10-10-89)
* “[O]ut of date sterile instruments are in autoclave area” (6-18-87)
* “Sterile instruments in treatment room observed to have stains” (4-6-92)
* Patient records lacking documentation of required testing for sexually transmitted diseases (10-10-89).

Sources: Kevin Sherlock Death Log; Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Survey Form 3-12-87; Statement of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction 3-8-79, 5-22-85, 3-17-87, 6-18-87, 4-24-90, 4-16-91, 4-6-92, 4-5-93; Licensing Board Docket No. 17.17-D-89-1104A

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Christine Mora, 18

Eighteen-year-old Christine Mora underwent a safe, legal abortion at Doctors’ Surgical Center in Cypress, California — an FPA (Family Planning Associates Medical Group) facility. She was about 17 weeks pregnant and a high school senior. The date was November 2, 1994.

A nurse practitioner inserted laminaria to dilate Christine’s cervix. Christine went hom and returned the following day for the abortion. Dr. Thomas Grubbs performed the D&E and sent Christine to recovery.

Preparing to leave the clinic, Christine fell while unattended. Grubbs was called to check her, and noticed slurred speech and inappropriate responses.

Somebody called an ambulance, and Christine was taken to La Palma Hospital, where she spent several hours in the emergency room, attended by her friend Robert. When Christine’s father was finally located, Robert had to tell him about the abortion as well as about the hospitalization.

Christine was admitted to the intensive care unit, where her condition deteriorated until she was finally taken off life support at noon on November 8, and pronounced dead. Christine left an 18-month old child motherless.

The autopsy showed acute septicemia and hemorrhage in the brain, along with some small cervical lacerations. It also revealed that Christine had a congenital heart defect called “foramen ovale,” in which a connection between the two sides of her heart had not closed at birth as it was supposed to do. Her family filed a wrongful death suit.

The attorneys for Grubbs, Allred, and FPA claimed that Christine’s heart defect, not the abortion, caused her death. But an expert reviewing the case for Christine’s family said that the care provided to Christine at the FPA facility “fell below applicable standard” and that the “breach of standard care was the direct cause of Miss Mora’s death.” In particular, he faulted FPB because:

* Grubbs had never examined Christine prior to the surgery. In fact, he’d had no contact with her at all prior to beginning her abortion.
* “The anesthesia record says that Dr. Bruggs did the entire extraction procedure in three minutes (emphasis in original),” and that this haste caused the cervical lacerations.

The expert concluded that the amniotic fluid entered Christine’s bloodstream through the cervical lacerations, causing her death. Oddly, Dr. David Grimes, the expert defending FPA, agreed that Christine’s death was due to an amniotic fluid embolism and not to her heart defect. Grimes, however, claimed that the amniotic flued had entered Christine’s bloodstream when the placenta had detached, and not through the cervical lacerations. Grimes considered three minutes to be adequate time for a 17-week abortion. (Grimes had also spoken on behalf of notorious California abortionist Leo Keneally.)

The lawsuit had gone to trial, with Allred himself taking the stand, when prolifers discovered that Allred was being sued and complained that the medical board and news media were ignoring the death. As soon as the prolifers began agitating, FPA quickly settled with the family, stipulating confidentiality as part of the settlement.

Christine wasn’t the only young woman to die from abortion at a facility owned by FPA head honcho Edward Campbell Allred. Others include:

* Denise Holmes, age 24, 1970
* Patricia Chacon, age 16, 1984
* 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
* Kimberly Neil, 2000
* Chanelle Bryant, age 22, 2004

Allred’s facilities remain members of the National Abortion Federation despite these deaths.

# Sources: California Certificate of Death # 94-180853, Orange County Coroner’s Report # 94-06863-AB
# Mega-Abortionist Settles in a Hurry, San Diego News Notes May 1997

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook

Legal Abortion Death: Sara Niebel, 15

Fifteen-year-old Sara Neibel went to Midtown Hospital in Atlanta for a safe and legal abortion at 17 weeks. She was given a clean bill of health and sent home.

The next day, she reported a severe headache, sore neck, neck stiffness, and trouble seeing. Her parents began the drive to take her to the hospital.

On the way there, Sara began screaming and behaving strangely. When they got to the hospital, she refused to get out of the car. She was disoriented and stuporous upon admission.

Sara went into respiratory arrest, and was admitted to the ICU. She was pronounced dead May 11, 1994. The cause of death was determined to be Group B Streptococci Meningitis caused by infected amniotic fluid in her bloodstream.

The autopsy performed on Sara found dead tissue and a fetal bone fragment in her infected uterus.

Midtown Hospital was a member of the National Abortion Federation.

(Georgia Autopsy Report No. A1994-13; Georgia Certificate of Death # 023154)

Credit: Christina Dunigan

Share on Facebook