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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: Holly Patterson, age 18, died from massive infection on September 17, 2003 after being given abortion drugs at a Planned Parenthood in Hayward, CA.
Holly Patterson, age 18, died September 17, 2003, from sepsis caused by a fetus incompletely expelled in a
safe and legal
medical abortion. Holly got the drugs for the fatal abortion at a Planned Parenthood in Hayward, California, on September 10.
Rather than follow the recommended protocols for chemical abortions, Planned Parenthood followed the more popular American approach of giving Holly the mifepristone at the facility, then giving her misoprostol to self-administer at home.
Holly had experienced severe cramping and pain, and went to the emergency room. She was examined, given pain medication, and discharged.
At her boyfriends insistence, she returned to the emergency room on September 17, but by then her condition had deteriorated and efforts to save her were futile.
Monty Patterson, Holly‘s father, told the San Francisco Chronicle, "The medical community treats this as a simple pill you take, as if you're getting rid of a headache. The procedure, the follow-ups, it's all too lackadaisical. The girl gets a pill. Then she's sent home to do the rest on her own. There are just too many things that can go wrong."
For an extensive, in-depth look at Holly's death and the surrounding political firestorm, see:
The Making of a Martyr, Holly Patterson‘s death
Other women were identified as dying after RU-486 abortions include:
Chanelle got her abortion drugs at a Planned Parenthood, and Oriane and Vivian got theirs from
National Abortion Federation
For an extensive set of links on RU-486, go to:
The RU-486 Files
An Open Letter from Holly's Father
Pregnant teen‘s death under investigation
Investigation Into RU 486 Abortion Death Begins
Autopsy Results Show Abortion Drug Caused Holly Patterson‘s Death
California woman‘s death re-ignites abortion pill debate
"No Magic Pill"
Mifepristone Questions and Answers
CWA Calls on FDA to Act After Another Woman Dies From Abortion Pill
Holly Patterson Received Proper Care Before Abortion Death, Hospital Says
Woman dies after taking abortion pill
FDA Investigating Holly Patterson‘s RU 486 Abortion Death
California Teen Dies After Complications From Abortion Pill
Dad seeks answers in death
Teen‘s death is linked to use of abortion pill
Abortion Pill Culprit In Death?
Behind the Holly Patterson story
The Death of Holly Patterson: RU-486 Claims Another Victim
Officials Comment On 'Abortion Pill'-Related Death
Teen dead after abortion pill
Abortion Pill Death May Re-Ignite Debate
Abortion Pill Death
After daughter‘s death, father wants close look at RU-486
Girl 18, dies after taking RU-486 dispensed by Planned Parenthood
Death at 18 Spurs Debate Over a Pill for Abortion
FDA Investigating Death of California Teen Given Abortion Pill by Planned Parenthood Clinic
"Teen's death rekindles abortion pill battle,"
, Nov. 30, 2003
"Deaths after abortion pill use to be studied by regulators,"
The (Palm Springs, CA) Desert Sun
, Nov. 24, 2005
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