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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.
SUMMARY: Emma Dep died under mysterious circumstances under the care of abortionist Dr. Louisa Hagenow on August 24, 1888 in San Francisco.
"Mrs. Emma Dep, who had been an inmate of the Maternity Home [operated by Mrs. Louisa Hagenow], died at 537 Second street on the 24th of August. Dr. Erenberg signed her death certificate, ascribing the cause to peritonitis. the Coroner has held no investigation in this case, as the woman herself admitted to Dr. Erenberg that she herself was the cause of her death." -- "Another Body Exhumed," San Francisco Bulletin, August 29, 1888
I've been unable to find out anything else about Emma.
Lucy "Louise" Hagenow
I find it a bit odd that there was no investigation of the death. There is simply no explanation that makes any sense other than that Emma had gone to known abortionist
, had an abortion at the maternity home, thought she was recovering and went home.
Considering that there had recently been three Hagenow patients dying from botched abortions --
(June, 1888) and
(June, 1888) -- one would think that they'd dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding Emma's death. Furthermore, a man named Franz Krone had died on August 13 at Hagenow's maternity home, leaving behind jewelry and money that was never accounted for.
Hagenow, who also operated under the name Lucy Hagenow, relocated to Chicago and began piling up dead bodies there as well. She was implicated in numerous abortion deaths, including:
Nina H. Pierce
Another Body Exhumed SFBullitin 20 July 1879.jpg
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