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Read This First:
How can you know how much you can trust what you are told by a prolife or prochoice organization's communications? How do you know if what a web site or newsletter says is accurate or not?
There is one easy rule to follow: Truthful sites provide reliable sources for their information.
As you look over the information on the Cemetery of Choice, you'll find that whenever possible, I provide either links to information or actual copies of documents such as news articles and death certificates. In other cases, I at least cite my sources in a way that they can be researched and verified.
Are other sources as reliable? Do they tell you where they got the information upon which they are basing their claims? If they don't, why not?
If there are conflicting claims, such as prolife versus prochoice assertions about the death of
, check to see which site provides more reliable sources. In Becky's case, prochoice sites provide only assertions made by other abortion rights organizations or statements made by Becky's parents, who were recruited and coached by abortion-rights organizations. Prolife sites typically quote a crucial source: Becky's actual autopsy report,* which shows her reproductive organs to be perfectly healthy. Which sources can you trust?
Consider also the case of
. Prochoice pages typically post the following unsubstantiated story verbatim:
Pauline Shirley and her six children were living with her mother in Arizona while her husband sought work in California. After an illegal abortion, she began to hemorrhage and was hospitalized. She needed massive transfusions. While Pauline’s mother searched the community for donors, Pauline bled to death.
I looked deeper and found an original and reliable source: Pauline's death certificate, which indicated that she died not from an induced abortion but from a miscarriage. Perhaps a family member saw "incomplete abortion, spontaneous" and didn't understand that a spontaneous abortion is the medical term for a miscarriage. My write-up of Pauline's death actually includes an image of the death certificate. Whose word is more trustworthy: the one based on the actual death certificate, or the unsubstantiated one repeated uncritically?
Never, never take anything you are told without question. Check the original sources.
*I read Becky Bell's autopsy report myself shortly after abortion-rights groups began taking them on speaking engagements around the country. I'm still trying to find an online copy and as soon as I find one I will share it, as I share my other sources.
Abortion Deaths - T
Each woman's story includes whatever documentation I can find to substantiate her death.
Explore More by Time Frame
All Deaths by Name
" December 22 or 23, 1908 Age: 25
, August 14, 1984 Age: 22
5th of 6 known deaths at Inglewood Women's Hospital; coma and death
, November 6, 1914 Age: 25
January 1, 1886 Age: 23
Second of two deaths attributed to Dr. Guilford; outcome of case unknown to me
November 17, 1987 Age: 18
Last of four known deaths at Her Medical Clinic; failure to resuscitate
, August 1, 1994 Age: 28
Perforated uterus, peritonitis
, February 19, 1986 Age: 36
First of two deaths by Dr. Rudolph Moragne at Hedd Surgi-Center; failure to diagnose ectopic pregnancy
December 9, 1957 Age: 17
Lay abortionist convicted of first-degree manslaughter
Robbie Lou Thompson
, April 23, 1932 Age: 21
One of four confirmed deaths of Dr. Richard Thacker; convicted of murder in one case
, December 22, 1891 Age: 21
, December 16, 1911 Age: 34
Last of four deaths linked to Dr. Paulina Bechtel; outcome of case unknown to me
, July 28, 1928 Age: 21
, June 9, 1917 Age 38
Second of two deaths connected to Dr. George Lotz, who confessed
, August 29, 1925 Age: 31
Nurse or midwife implicated; outcome of case unknown to me
Hoa Thuy "Vivian" Tran
, December 29, 2003 Age: 22
Catastrophic sepsis during medical abortion process through Planned Parenthood
March 9, 1921 Age: 28
Third death (second in one week) linked to Dr. C. W. Milliken; outcome of case unknown to me
February 8, 1967 Age: 24
Lay abortionist pleaded guilty to manslaughter
, March 2, 1978 Age: 21
Third of 6 deaths at Inglewood abortion hospital.
, November 22, 1913 Age: 33
Physician indicted; outcome of case unknown to me
, August 8, 1975 Age: 29
Uterine rupture during risky saline abortion
, February 20, 1966 Age: 34
Possible lay abortionist; outcome of case unknown to me
, July 6, 1930 Age: 34
Possible lay abortionist implicated; outcome of case unknown to me
, October 23, 1913 Age: 22
, April 18, 1908 Age: 36
Physician acquitted for reasons not indicated in source.
, August 4, 1913 Age: 40
Physician implicated; outcome of case unknown to me
, August 12, 1839
Self-induced by drinking oil of tansy
May 31, 1983 Age: 21
Complications of mitral valve prolapse after high-risk abortion in outpatient facility
The Colonial Era
The 19th Century
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