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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.
Friendship Medical Center
Friendship had been opened by
T. R. Mason Howard
(pictured) as a hospital providing needed care to the poor. He let it degenerate into a seedy abortion mill.
Reports on death of
, age 38, alleged that she was treated at Friendship Medical Center in Chicago in mid-March, 1973. Later, at home, she collapsed in the driveway. She was taken to a hospital, where attempts to save her failed. Her death was due to shock,
from a ruptured cervix and vagina, from "remote abortion."
T.R. Mason Howard
stated that Evelyn was treated at Friendship for infection sustained in an abortion in Detroit. But Evelyn's brother stated that she had come to Chicago specifically to have the
also died after abortions at Friendship Medical Center.
Julia L. Rogers
, age 20, alleged that she underwent a
safe and legal
Theodore Roosevelt Mason Howard
Friendship Medical Center
in Chicago in April of 1973.
Julia's death certificate states that her death April 28 at Tabernacle Hospital was due to "bronchopneumonia and generalized peritonitis complicating extensive necrotizing endometritis and myometritis with sealed perforation."
In other words, she developed pnuemonia on top of peritonitis. A hole had been poked in her uterus, causing an
that made the muscle tissue of her uterus start to rot inside her.
also died after an abortion at
Friendship Medical Center.
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