And Then There Were Nine

The Professor and I went down to Legislative Plaza as planned. I did end up inadvertently showing the guard my underwear, because it’s so windy, but I didn’t flash my cooter at anyone, since no senators showed up for the press conference to explain themselves.

So, yes, here in Tennessee we are one step closer to enshrining a woman’s second-class citizenship in our constitution. Only nine senators voted against the amendment.

The press conference was a little like a good Irish wake. Folks were crying and hugging, but also catching up with each other and there was some laughter and some smiles. Still, everyone in the room knew that the amendment was going to pass; I think for most of them, it was just seeing it happen, and hearing the vitriol during the debate that made it hard.

As for me, I have deeply mixed feelings. I already thought there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that they wouldn’t pass the amendment, and so to hear these folks get up in front of the microphones, some of them still sobbing, talking about how this will be the first time the state’s constitution is amended to deny rights to a group of people, was really sad. One woman asked how she was supposed to tell rape victims that they can’t have abortions and then she started to cry. I did too.

But I also am deeply glad I went, because the wide spectrum of women in that room made me really deeply proud. There were grand Southern women in their fancy hats with their refined accents and old hippies and medical students from Vanderbilt and Meharry and women in their work clothes and some just in jeans and t-shirts. And they all seemed grand and noble in a way that made me cry, too.

Shoot, maybe I really am becoming a Southerner, after almost a decade. Look at me waxing nostalgic about the inherent honor and dignity of folks fighting a lost cause.

Edited to add that Egalia has a great post about the morning’s proceedings and explains that we have time to work to educate people and stop this. So, things are dire, but they are not hopeless.

13 thoughts on “And Then There Were Nine

  1. That’s how we get you. As soon as you reference Gone With the Wind you can never leave.
    My great aunt chained herself to the fence in front of the Tn Capital building way back when, in order the get women the vote in this country. We may have to do it again.

    How soon until someone finds a publishes a list of how these senators voted? I would certainly like to let mine know why I am/or am not voting for them in the next election.

  2. this will be the first time the state’s constitution is amended to deny rights to a group of people

    Wrong. The yet to be born have had their rights shit on by selfish women for too long. Get over it.

  3. Anonymous, are you unclear about the meaning of the word “wrong” or are you in such a hurry to gloat that you formed the best half-assed response to this post you could?

    Am I actually going to waste any time arguing semantics with someone who’s never coming back to Tiny Cat Pants? Yes, yes, I am.

    See, I said “this will be the first time the state’s constitution is amended to deny rights blah, blah, blah” and you said “wrong, the yet to be born have had their rights shit on blah blah blah” but those two things are not mutually exclusive. One can have their rights shit on by another without it being sanctioned by the state.

    So, technically, even if you believe that the yet to be born have rights, I am not wrong about what’s happening with the constitution.

    But thanks for stopping by. I hope you sleep well thinking of a future full of defenseless babies in the homes of those “selfish women.” Or do you not give a shit about the well-being of the already born?

  4. Thanks for this Aunt B., I really appreciate hearing your account of the press conference. A family crisis kept me away, I’d hoped to be there.

    I don’t know why anyone cares what the senate does, most of them are lost causes on everything left of the Taliban. I hope we can throw some of their arrogant asses out come November. But we have a very good shot with the House Committees. If that should fail, some of us may want to be out of here by 2010.

  5. Well, I must say, from the get go that you show yourself (no pun intended) to be quite the classy lady (and I use the term “lady” loosely, as “loose” appears to do you up just about right). No, I’m afraid you’ll never be a Southern lady…we don’t go around talking about showing our private parts jokingly…our mothers taught us better than that, fortunately.

    Anyway, I digress from the reason for my being here…although you’ll probably like that even less (which will do my heart so good!). Since you’re having such a fine time spreading your propaganda about women dying from “back-alley” abortions…which, by the way, will NOT begin to occur again WHEN we overturn Roe v. Wade (I’m sorry to say)…all that will accomplish, as you well know but choose not to tell, is that abortion rights/laws will revert back to the states and each state legislature will make/enforce laws for its own state, which is as it should have been all along, since no “privacy” clause ever existed in our Constitution to give the right to an abortion!

    Further, before Roe v. Wade, certain states did have access to legal abortion…I know this because a friend of mine flew to New York in early 1973 to receive her THIRD abortion! So you see, it wasn’t even “rare” back then.

    Now…since I know you’re waiting breathlessly to know why I’m writing…here it is! Somebody printed a lovely photo of a young woman lying facedown where she had died from an embolism after receiving a (supposedly) illegal abortion. I suppose the premise is that since your revered Roe v. Wade, deaths from abortions have never occurred. Well, I always hate to burst bubbles, but take a look at the following and you’ll see just how wrong you are about that too. And, don’t forget that women who receive abortions are about six(!) times more likely to commit suicide in the year following her abortion than a woman who carries a pregnancy to term…not to mention other risks and complications (up to 1 out of every 3 abortions).

    Well…it’s been so nice visiting with you…I hope you enjoyed our time together as much as I did. And now, enjoy a little light reading that I found for you:

    Nicey Washington, 26, died June 6, 2000, in Brooklyn, NY.
    Washington went to the Ambulatory Surgery center in Sunset Park for an abortion and died shortly afterwards. She was rushed to a local hospital and declared dead about an hour later, after suffering heart failure.
    (“City, state probe patient death at abortion clinic,” New York Post, June 9, 2000.)

    Kimberly K. Neil, age unknown, died May 22, 2000, in Fresno, CA.
    Abortion provider Kenneth Wright and the Family Planning Associates Medical Group face a malpractice lawsuit filed by Neil’s family, which claims Neil was not properly treated after she went into respiratory arrest during the May 5, 2000 abortion. Neil slipped into a coma and died on May 22. (“Fresno doctor is sued in death,” Fresno Bee, August 18, 2001.)

    Tamika Dowdy, 22, died December 2, 1998, in Brooklyn, NY.
    Paramedics were called to the Brooklyn Women’s Medical Pavilion and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Dowdy when her heart stopped after having an abortion. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
    (“Abort-linked death turns rapper’s joy into heartbreak,” New York Post, December 7, 1998.)

    Lou Anne Herron, 33, died April 14, 1998, in Phoenix, AZ.
    Abortion clinic employees told police that Herron suffered in a recovery room for three hours after her abortion, bleeding heavily and complaining of numbness. Employees say abortion provider John Biskind left the clinic while Herron was still in distress. An employee called 911, but by the time help arrived, Herron had bled to death due to a perforated uterus. In May 2001, Biskind was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison in connection with Herron’s death.
    (“BOMEX faces suit, Family of (“BOMEX faces suit, Family of woman in botched abortion cites doctor’s record,” Arizona Republic, March 12, 1999; “Abortion doctor sentenced to five years,” Associated Press, May 5, 2001.)

    Nichole Williams, 22, died April 25, 1997, in St. Louis, MO.
    Williams went to Reproductive Health Services in St. Louis for a first-trimester abortion. According to news reports, her vital signs began to deteriorate during the abortion procedure, and she was announced dead at Barnes-Jewish Hospital a short time later. Kansas City-area abortion provider Robert Crist performed Williams’ abortion. Williams was Crist’s third patient to die during or after an abortion-related procedure, including 19-year old Diane Boyd, who died in 1981 after reacting to a painkiller she received after the abortion.
    (“City’s examiner clears doctor in abortion death,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 13, 1997.)

    Tanya Williamson, 35, died September 7, 1996 in the Bronx, NY.
    Williamson was 13 weeks pregnant when she had an abortion at Gynecological Surgical Services. She received a general anesthetic, went into cardiac arrest, and stopped breathing. Although a hospital was across the street, an ambulance was not called for at least 25 minutes. Williamson died, leaving behind a husband and four children. (“A Woman’s Right, A Woman’s Risk,” ABC News 20/20, March 8, 1999; “Abortion doctor tied to six deaths,” Journal News, Westchester County, NY, January 31, 1999)

    Gracealynn T. Harris, 19, died September 16, 1997 in Stanton, DE.
    Harris had her abortion early in the day at the Delaware Women’s Health Organization, and by 10:00 p.m., she was declared dead at a local hospital. According to medical reports, Harris bled to death from a perforation of her uterus caused by the abortion. Harris’ family filed a civil lawsuit against the abortion clinic and Mohammad Imran, the doctor who performed the abortion. In January 2002, a jury found both the clinic and Imran responsible and awarded $2 million to Harris’ 5-year-old son.
    (“Trial under way in lawsuit filed over abortion death,” Associated Press, January 8, 2002; “Jury awards more than $2 million in lawsuit over abortion death,” Associated Press, January 16, 2002.)

    Sharon Hamptlon, 27, died December 13, 1996, in Moreno Valley, CA.
    Abortion provider Bruce Steir pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Hamptlon’s death. Hamptlon bled to death on the way home from the abortion clinic.
    (“Guilty plea entered in fatal-abortion trial,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 7, 2000, p. A7.)

    According to the Sacramento Bee, “the California Medical Board already knew of five other similar surgeries mishandled by Steir that had resulted in serious complications.”
    (“Botched abortion: An issue of medical negligence, not politics,” Sacramento Bee, February 19, 1999.)

    Linda Boom, 35, died September 22, 1995, in Milwaukee, WI.
    According to press reports, Boom died of fatal heart damage after a doctor at the Sinai Samaritan Medical Center in Milwaukee mistakenly injected chemicals into her bloodstream rather than into her womb in an attempted abortion. A jury found that the doctor’s negligence caused her death.
    (“Malpractice caused woman’s death, lawyer says,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 24, 2001; “Negligence finding won’t benefit family,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 5, 2001.)

    Lisa Bardsley, 25, died in 1995 in Phoenix, AZ.
    Bardsley was discharged about an hour after her abortion, but as she and her boyfriend were driving back to Flagstaff, she became ill and later died of massive hemorrhaging. John Biskind, who was later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison in the abortion death of Lou Anne Herron, performed Bardsley’s abortion.
    (“BOMEX faces suit, Family of woman in botched abortion cites doctor’s record,” Arizona Republic, March 12, 1999; “Abortion doctor sentenced to five years,” Associated Press, May 5, 2001.)

    Pamela Colson, 30, died June 26, 1994 in Panama City, FL.
    Colson was about 12 weeks pregnant when she went to the Women’s Medical Services in Pensacola, FL. After an abortion, Colson and a friend were driving home to Port Joe, FL when Colson experienced difficulty breathing. Shortly thereafter, Colson went into full cardiac arrest. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where she died. A medical examination attributed her death to a torn uterine artery, which caused heavy and uncontrolled bleeding. (“Police investigating death of woman after abortion,” St. Petersburg Times, June 29, 1994; “Abortion death spurs activists,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 30, 1994)

    Magdalena Ortega-Rodriquez, 23, died December 8, 1994, in San Diego, CA.
    Ortega-Rodriquez, from Tijuana, Mexico, died in a San Diego-area hospital after having an abortion at the El Norte Clinica Medica. Her uterus was reportedly cut during the abortion, causing her to bleed to death. Clinic staff called emergency personnel when Ortega-Rodriquez went into cardiac arrest.
    (“O.C. doctor investigated in abortion death,” Los Angeles Times, December 15, 1994.)

    Jammie Garcia Yanez-Villegas, 15, died in 1994 in Houston, TX.
    According to press reports, Yanez-Villegas died from an infection after an abortion by abortion provider John Coleman at the A to Z clinic in Houston. Coleman, who suffered from emphysema, died three days after Yanez-Villegas. Clinic employees reported being concerned about Coleman’s ability to operate given his health problems.

    A subsequent health department inspection revealed dirty and unsafe surgical instruments, inadequately trained personnel and incomplete patient records. The state went to court to shut down the clinic; in response, owner Moche Hachamovitch voluntarily closed it. Yanez-Villegas’ family later named Hachamovitch in a wrongful death suit.
    (“Abortion centers accumulate record of 6 deaths, 28 suits,” Arizona Republic, January 17, 1999.)

    Guadalupe Negron, 33, died July 9, 1993, in New York, NY.
    Abortion provider David Benjamin is currently serving a 25-year-to-life sentence in connection with Negron’s death. During her abortion, Negron suffered a three-inch rip in her uterus and bled to death at a nearby hospital. At the time of her death, Benjamin was facing state disciplinary charges in connection with his treatment of other patients.
    (“State’s top court refuses to hear abortion murder case,” Associated Press, June 22, 2000.)

    Angela Sanchez, 26, died January 19, 1993 in Santa Ana, CA.
    Authorities believe a drug reaction caused Sanchez to go into a seizure and die. Abortion clinic owner Alicia Ruiz Hanna said she tried to save Sanchez after the patient went into convulsions. A jury, however, found Hanna guilty of second-degree murder in Sanchez’ death and sentenced Hanna to 16 years to life in prison. (“Ex-owner sentenced for role in death at abortion clinic, Orange County Register, January 28, 1995; “Clinic owner guilty in client’s death,” Orange County Register, December 13, 1994)

    Latachia Veal, 17, died November 2, 1991, in Houston, TX.
    Veal began bleeding after her abortion at the West Loop Clinic. She was rushed by ambulance to Ben Taub Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Three months after Veal’s death, officials at Ben Taub hospital treated a 17-year old girl who was hemorrhaging and in critical condition after an abortion at the same abortion clinic.
    (“Death of teen after abortion leads to probe of care at medical clinic,” Houston Chronicle, November 6, 1991; “Secrecy veils state probes of abortion clinics,” Houston Chronicle, February 9, 1992.)

    Angelica Duarte, 21, died October 30, 1991, in Las Vegas, NV.
    Within hours of having an abortion at the Woman’s Place abortion clinic in North Las Vegas, Duarte was taken to the emergency room at Lake Mead Hospital Medical Center where physicians said she had lost all but one-tenth of her blood supply.
    A hospital official said they were told she had been bleeding for four hours before coming to the hospital. A hospital spokesman said Duarte was comatose and bleeding from her uterus when she arrived at the hospital. She died shortly thereafter.
    (“Bleeding may have killed victim of abortion,” Las Vegas Sun, November 2, 1991.)

    Angela Hall, died in 1991 in Birmingham, AL.
    After an abortion, Hall experienced a drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing and excessive bleeding. Abortion clinic staff called an ambulance to take Hall to the hospital, but abortion provider Thomas Tucker cancelled the call. Hall was eventually taken to the hospital, where she died three days later. In December 1996, an Alabama judge ordered Tucker to pay $10 million to Hall’s five children. The state of Alabama stripped Tucker’s medical license in 1994 and Mississippi followed suit the next year after a series of incidents involving Tucker. (“Alabama: Abortion doc ordered to pay $10 million for wrongful death,” Abortion Report, December 6, 1996; “Abortion doctor loses his license,” The Times-Picayune, March 18, 1995)

    Sandra Milton, 28, died April 27, 1990, in Toledo, OH.
    Milton died of internal hemorrhaging from a laceration of the uterus during an abortion.
    (“Demonstrators arrested at Toledo abortion protest,” United Press International, May 22, 1990.)

    Christina Goesswein, 19, died in 1990 in New York, NY.
    According to press reports, Goesswein had sponges inserted a day prior to her abortion to dilate her cervix, but was vomiting and experiencing severe pain. The abortion provider, Moshe Hachamovitch, opened the clinic in the middle of the night and proceeded with the abortion; Goesswein died hours later.

    A medical examiner ruled that Goesswein died from an embolism of amniotic fluid. A lawsuit is still pending against Hachamovitch in the case, alleging he should have recognized her symptoms and should not have performed the abortion.
    (“Abortion centers accumulate record of 6 deaths, 28 suits,” Arizona Republic, January 17, 1999.)

    Marla Cardamore, 18, died in August 1989 in Pittsburgh, PA.
    Cardamore reportedly died from infection after an abortion at the Magee Women’s Hospital. A lawsuit filed by Cardamore’s parents against the hospital was settled in 1997.
    (“Lawsuit over fatal abortion is settled,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 14, 1997.)

    Debra Gray, 34, died in July 1989 in Suitland, MD.
    During her abortion at the Hillview Women’s Medical Surgical Center, Gray was given the anesthetic Brevital. Gray reportedly began having problems breathing minutes into the procedure, but abortion provider Gideon M. Kioko continued the abortion. Gray went into full cardiac arrest and was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation. She was taken to a hospital where she was declared brain dead and removed from life support three days later.

    In September of the same year, Suzanne R. Logan, 26, was also given Brevital during an abortion at the same clinic and had a reaction similar to Gray’s. Published accounts reported that no trained anesthesiologist was available when Logan stopped breathing, went into cardiac arrest and, as a result, was left completely paralyzed and unable to speak.
    Logan eventually won a multimillion-dollar settlement in her case against the abortion clinic but died of complications from pneumonia three weeks later. She remained paralyzed from the abortion complications at the time of her death.
    (“Suitland clinic’s ex-chief turns in Md. License,” Washington Post, December 11, 1991; “Botched-abortion victim dies in Baltimore,” Washington Times, December 2, 1992.”)

    Erica Richardson, 16, died March 2, 1989 in Prince George’s County, MD.
    Richardson died following an abortion procedure, in which her vagina, cervix, and uterus were punctured, causing severe hemorrhaging and an air embolism, which entered her heart. (“A tale of two abortions,” The Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal, February 24, 1991)

    Stacy Ruckman, died 1988 in Springfield, MO.
    A jury found that Ruckman received an overdose of the local anesthetic Lidocaine during an abortion and therefore awarded her family $25 million in damages. The abortion provider, Scott R. Barrett Jr., did not carry liability insurance, so it’s unknown if the family collected any of the award. The state of Missouri revoked Barrett’s license after Ruckman’s death. (“Drug was fatal in ’88 abortion: anesthetic also used in death last week,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 30, 1997)

    Luz Maria Rodriguez died in 1986 in New York, NY.
    Right before she was discharged from a Bronx clinic, Rodriguez reportedly turned blue from lack of oxygen. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed and paramedics were called. Rodriguez was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where she remained in a coma for four days until her death.
    A medical-malpractice review found that the abortion provider had not removed all the contents from Rodriguez’s womb, which led to hemorrhaging. A $1.5 million dollar malpractice settlement was paid to Rodriguez’s daughter.
    (“Abortion centers accumulate record of 6 deaths, 28 suits,” Arizona Republic, January 17, 1999.)

    Sylvia Moore, 18, died December 31, 1986 in Chicago, IL.
    According to press reports, Moore bled to death at a Chicago-area hospital after abortion provider Arnold Bickham called her “lazy” and pushed her out of the abortion clinic in a wheelchair when she was unable to walk on her own. Less than two years later, officials with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation revoked Bickham’s license after finding him guilty of “gross malpractice” in Moore’s death. Bickham’s license was previously suspended for performing abortions on women who were not pregnant and sometimes not fully under anesthesia. (“Charges sought against doctor in woman’s post-abortion death,” Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1987; “Abortionist who lost license being probed,” Chicago Tribune, September 9, 1989)

  6. I had to log back in, because when I read my post, I noticed that I did say one thing very incorrectly…my comment implied that I’m sorry women won’t start dying again when Roe v. Wade is overturned. Of course I’m NOT sorry women will not start dying again, because back alley abortions will not begin to occur again, as pro-aborts constantly insist. I had something else inserted there and reworded that, but the parenthetical got left in. I’m terribly sorry it made it sound like it did.

  7. Dear Anonymous,

    For the sake of my dear mother, I must say for the record that, of course, she did not bring me up to behave this way. She did, however, bring me up to make my own decisions and to stand up for what I believe in, and so here I am, and there she is, and we enjoy each other’s company, and she’s proud of me, even when I mortify her.

    I don’t read Egalia as often as I should, so I just went over there and poked around and noticed that, even though almost all of what you’re bitching about here–with the exception of the gratuitous attack on my morals–is stuff you read over there.

    So, I must say, I have to wonder why you would post your objections to her arguments here instead of there.

    Did your mother raise you to be a passive-aggressive coward?

    Because, really, posting anonymously some place you hope the person you’re really pissed at will read it, without having to post it where you KNOW she will read it, seems to me to be both passive-aggressive and cowardly.

    Anyway, I’m afraid that your comment reveals such a difference in views of what makes a healthy woman that I’m not sure we can actually reach any common ground.

    I believe that a woman must be able to make her own choices about what happens to her body, even if, in the cases of the women you cite, the consequences are terrible.

    You believe that everyone has a right to have a say in what women do. Look here: you think you have a right to call me–a total stranger–out in public on my moral behavior, as if I have some obligation to you to behave in ways you find inoffensive. Then you say that you don’t misbehave because your mom told you not to. Then you gleefully argue that there’s no consitutional right to privacy. Who in their right mind would be thrilled by the idea of the government sticking its nose into individuals’ private affairs except someone who believes in the appropriateness of a busy-body state? And you seem to put total faith in whoever it is who’s telling you that women won’t die from back alley abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. As for me, I choose not to believe the psychic friend of an anonymous passive-aggressive coward who establishes rapport by calling me a whore. Instead, I like to look at what happened the last time abortions were illegal and figure that’s probably a pretty accurate picture of what will happen now.

    Anyway, the glee you take in slut-shaming and recounting the deaths of women, as if they are justified because they dared to have a medical procedure, kind of grosses me out. In your tiny sanctimonious heart have you no room for compassion? These women died and you cut and paste their tragedies like those weren’t real lives worth mourning.

    So, as the boys say, grow some balls and go argue with Egalia at her blog. (Whew. I just realized that, with as much as you love to be told what to do, you’re probably relieved now that I’ve ordered you to Egalia’s. Well, I like to accomodate my readers’ kinks when I can.)

  8. I’m replying to this quite late, but you should read Dorothy Parker’s short story “Mr. Durant.” It’s from 1923 or 24 (I forget) and it has a very interesting take on the issue of abortions/women/men/etc. within the context of a society that has outlawed abortion. But beware: it’s depressing.

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