Former Clinic Worker: Joy Davis

Davis went from working at one abortion clinic to directing six clinics and eventually began to perform abortions without a license. She originally got into the abortion business to help women. Here is her story:

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“Fourteen years ago, I was offered a job in an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. I thought about the offer for some time and came to the conclusion that it was a good opportunity to help women and the money was real good (keep in mind I was a single parent of two children, Jeff and Allen). So I accepted the job.

A very short time after working there, I realized one thing — we were not there to help women. We were a business — a money-making organization….The conditions in the clinic that I worked at were very, very poor. We had no life support systems. Our people were not very well trained — most of them did not even have a medical background. The doctors rotated in and out. We never had the same doctor…

It was a real bad experience. But because the money was good and because I had two children to take care of, I put it all out of my mind. I didn’t let it make me feel guilty. I met a doctor at the clinic. His name was Tommy Tucker, and he came up to me one day and said that he wanted to open his own clinic. He said he wanted to do things right. He wanted to have the best equipment possible. He wanted to have highly trained and qualified people working at the clinic. He wanted to do general anesthesia and have anesthetists come in and put these women to sleep so they wouldn’t suffer, because in the clinic we worked at they did suffer a great deal.

I thought that this was a wonderful idea and I accepted Dr. Tucker’s offer. I became the regional director of six abortion clinics in Mississippi and Alabama. We had the best equipment, a highly trained, qualified staff, and we would only see a very few women a day because we didn’t want to rush them through like cattle. We wanted to take time and give them the kind of medical attention that they needed.

But we still lied to the women, it was just something we had to do to make money.

But that didn’t last long. After just a few months, his greed took over. He wasn’t making enough money, so the first thing to go was the anesthetist, because they made a lot of money. Through just the few months of watching them put patients to sleep, we started putting patients to sleep ourselves and we had no idea what we were doing. We just knew what we had seen them do, so we started doing it.

Then our registered nurses that worked in our recovery room were the next people to go. Then our lab technician and on and on.

I started interviewing people that had no medical background at all, bringing them in to do the job of anesthetist, lab technicians, nurses and even physicians. The people that I looked for when I was interviewing would always be one thing and that was a single mother. If they had a husband that made a good living, I wasn’t interested in them. I wanted the women that needed us and needed the money. That way I knew that I would have their loyalty and that they would stick with it no matter how tough it got. So I brought in people off the street with no medical background and trained them.

We were seeing approximately ten women a day in the clinics, but that wasn’t enough. We started seeing as many as we could get in every clinic.

The doctor’s schedule would start out in Birmingham, Alabama, on Monday morning. Monday afternoon he was in our clinic in Montgomery. Monday night he was in our clinic in Tuscaloosa. Tuesday morning he was back in the Birmingham office, then he would catch a plane, fly to South Haven, Mississippi. He would see patients there, then fly to our clinic in Jackson, Mississippi. And it would just keep going on and on.

We soon ran into another problem: there was not an airline fast enough or efficient enough to get the doctor to all of the clinics. So he trained me to be a physician.

I never spent the first day in medical school. I was just an ultrasound technician. I really knew nothing about medicine, other than what I had seen other doctors do, but

I started doing abortions. I started actually performing surgery on women. I did norplants, cryosurgery, pap smears, pelvic exams — anything he did, I did.

And I was real proud of that because I felt I did it better than he did. All of the employees would say, “Oh you need to see Dr. Davis today,” because they felt that I was better than he was. I never had any problem patients. I never put a woman in the hospital, and he was putting them in the hospital almost every month, in very critical condition — hysterectomies, retained tissue, everything that could go wrong with his patients, did go wrong.

So I really had a big head. I thought I was great, because I didn’t have those problems. I took my time and I gave all this love to those patients. So they really loved me. But the truth is, I wasn’t giving those patients love. I was risking their lives very negligently. Out of the thousands and thousands of patients we saw, I couldn’t remember one name or a face because they were just a number to me. I would refer to them by how much money they paid, “Oh, that’s a $400 case,” or “Oh, that’s a $5000 case.”

Then one day a young girl came to us for a late second trimester abortion. You see, we did pregnancies all the way up to term. We’ve terminated up to 38 weeks of pregnancy. And this young girl came to us and she wanted an abortion. She was a single mother, working, going to school and she found herself pregnant again. She was ashamed of what had happened to her and she did not want to tell her family or her friends that she was pregnant again. So she came to us. I evaluated her and realized that she was very sick. She was running a fever. I didn’t know why. I didn’t know what was wrong with her, but one thing I did know was that she was not healthy enough to go through a late second trimester abortion.

So I turned her down. I told her that we couldn’t do it, that she needed to go to a hospital where they could take care of her and find out what was wrong with her. Dr. Tucker found out that I turned her down and came in and insisted that I put her through. He said she had paid an $1800 deposit and that he was not going to give her the money back.

I argued with him. I told him my reasons for turning her down, but it just wasn’t good enough. He insisted that I put her through.

Her procedure took two days and in those two days, I grew very close to her. Not because I really wanted to get to know her, but because I was mad at Dr. Tucker for overriding my decision. And I felt sorry for her. I found out that she was so much like me. She was struggling so hard, being a single parent, working a full-time job, going to school, trying so hard to make it in this life and she just couldn’t handle another child.

The doctor came in and did her abortion. I monitored on ultrasound while he was doing the abortion. And as soon as he was through he walked out of the room. She was still under general anesthesia, that a non-qualified person had administered As she started coming to, she started having difficulty breathing. Her blood pressure bottomed out. Everything was going wrong. I sent for the doctor to come back in the room. There was a lot of panic, a lot of confusion. We were running around, trying to resuscitate her, trying to do everything we could to stabilize her. And the other patients that were waiting to have abortions were in the very next room.

When the doctor walked in the room, he got angry, because we were making so much noise. He told me to get that patient out of the room and take her to the back recovery room so the other patients could not hear her or us.

I took her to the back recovery room. I stayed with her and did everything I could do to stabilize her, but then she started bleeding. She was bleeding uncontrollably, I couldn’t stop it. I ran back to the doctor and I said “You’ve got to help me. She’s bleeding and I don’t know what to do.” He said to take her to the examining room, examine her, find out why she’s bleeding and stop it. “It’s that simple.”

So I did. I took her to the examining room and tried to find out what was going wrong, but there was so much blood. I did everything I had been trained to do. I used petosin, petresin, I packed the uterus. I did everything that I knew to do, but she kept bleeding. I then called an ambulance so we could get her to the hospital and they could help her.

When the doctor found out that I called the ambulance, he was furious. He canceled the ambulance. He told me, “I’m the doctor here. I’ll make those decisions. We cannot send this patient to the hospital in this condition. They’ll hang us. Now try to stabilize her.”

And I did. I tried. At this point she couldn’t talk. She was in such serious condition that all she could do was just look at me with very frightened eyes — just look at me. And I tried so hard to help her. Blood was just pouring out of her like a faucet and I couldn’t stop it.

So I ran back to him and said, “Please help me. If you don’t help me she’s going to die.” He said, “Fine. Call the ambulance. I have a plane to catch.” And he left the building.

I called the ambulance. It took twenty minutes for them to get to the clinic. During that twenty minutes I realized that I was not a doctor and it scared me to death to realize that I was put in that position — that I let myself be put in that position — to try and save a life that I was not qualified to try and save.

The other thing that ran through my mind was the doctor. He was my hero. He brought me up from nothing to making approximately $100,000 a year and doing real well. But at that moment I finally saw him for who he really was. He was a coward and he had run out on a patient that needed him.

So they transported her to the hospital. I felt relieved that she was just gone and that the responsibility had been taken off of me. I then received a phone call from the hospital, which informed me that she had died. At that point I started having nightmares. Every time I would close my eyes I would see her face. The guilt and the anger that I was experiencing was overwhelming, it almost destroyed me.

The medical board then subpoenaed her records. Tucker went one step further and change her records to make it look like he was not as negligent as he really was. He gave me the original records and ordered me to go to the basement and burn them. He said, “We can’t go to court like this. They’ll hang us. We’ve got to cover this up. Go burn those records right now.”

I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t burn those records. I put them in my briefcase. I couldn’t lie for him on this one. I couldn’t cover for him any longer…I went to the medical board; I went to the D.A. — I turned over all the information of all the negligence that we had done. I turned myself in for practicing medicine without a license and gave them the proof that I was doing so.

They told me that they wanted me to stay employed with him. They wanted me to continue to gather information for them. They said they had a clear-cut case of negligent homicide, but they wanted more. So I continued to work for him and continued giving them information. But this kept going on and on, nothing was being done.

Then one day, Dr. Tucker came back to Alabama, where I was. He had been working in Mississippi. He said, “I had a real hard time in Mississippi, we had a problem and you need to go out and try to calm down the employees.”

I said, “What happened?”

He said, “There was a girl who came in for an abortion. I thought she was eighteen weeks. She ended up being closer to term. I inserted the laminaria and she went into labor. She went into labor and delivered a live, healthy baby.”

I said, “What did you do?”

He said, “What could I do? I killed the baby. But all the employees are really upset, so you need to go and take care of this.”

I caught a plane and went to Mississippi. But before I caught that plane, I called the District Attorney in Mississippi and told him what had happened. Before I could get to the clinic, he was there questioning the employees. The case went to the grand jury, but they couldn’t prove that Tucker had killed the baby, because they did not have a baby. The baby disappeared and they couldn’t prove it. So the case did not go on any further, even though the employees testified that it did happen. They still couldn’t prove the case.

I went back to the medical board in Alabama and I said, “Why aren’t you doing anything? Why haven’t you done something about the death of this girl?” They said abortion was a hot political issue and they really didn’t want to touch it…You see the abortionists don’t care about the women and they certainly don’t care about the baby. Women and babies are dying. Fr. Pavone showed me a list of women who had died in this country form abortions. And as I looked at that list, I couldn’t believe the names of hundreds of girls that have died.

And you know what I found right beside each name? It was a number. And that’s how we used to see them, as just numbers. The girl that died in our clinic. I will never, ever forget her. I’ll never forget her face, her smile. She was not a number. None of them are just numbers. I encourage you to get a copy of that list from Fr. Pavone and just read the names. And know that they were just like you and I.”

This is the story of just one abortion death due to negligence. There are many more. Read about a few here.

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