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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.
Hermione Fowler, a 20-year-old coed at the Oklahoma A&M University, died at her Red Oak, Oklahoma home on June 27, 1934, nine days after an abortion perpetrated by noted local philanthropist Dr.
Guy E. Brewer
Dr. Guy Brewer
Hermoine was one of six women to die after abortions perpetrated by Brewer.
, a 20-year-old mother of two, died in mid-April, 1935.
died on the first of April, 1934.
Wanda Lee Gray
, age 20,
, age 21, and
, age 23, evidently died in early June of 1935.
Brewer entered guilty pleas and served six concurrent four-year sentences.
The most likely reason that Brewer's punishment was so light for the deaths of six women was how popular he was in town for his benevolence toward young men. He ran a home for them to live in while he put them through college. So beloved was Brewer that one victim's husband was fired from his job in retaliation for reporting Brewer to the police.
"Doctor Named in 2nd Murder Charge,"
Rockford (IL) Morning Star
, May 5, 1935
"Death of Co-Ed Laid to Doctor Hit as "Jekyll,"
Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch
, Sunday, May 5, 1935
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