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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.
Richard E. Thacker
abortionists -- male
Dr. Richard E. Thacker
Richard E. Thacker and
John W. Eisiminger
were not ordinary doctors who just did abortions on a few patients. They were abortionists, and quack abortionists at that.
, just 19 years old, was an early victim, who died in February of
. Thacker and Eisimger seemed to have grown skittish after Marie's death, since they managed to go for three years without killing another patient.
That all changed in 1932.
was the second known victim that year, with both doctors implicated in her April death. The very next day,
died of suspected abortion complications. Once again, Elsiminger and Thacker were suspects.
, age 30, had died earlier in April from a criminal abortion; Thacker had signed her death certificate.
Eisiminger alone was the suspect in the abortion death of
Virginia Lee Wyckoff
, a 21-year-old student at the University of Oklahoma who died the 24th of April. That same day,
Lennis May Roach
died of suspected abortion complications, with both Elsiminger and Thacker suspected in the case. The next day, 17-year-old
Nancy Joe Lee
, a University of Oklahoma co-ed, died under the care of Thacker, who had had also been charged with murder in the abortion death of
Robbie Lou Thompson
, age 21, the previous week.
, age 19, admitted before her death in mid-March, 1932, that she had undergone a criminal abortion. After Eisiminger and Thacker had been fingered in the string of abortions in April, suspicion in Geraldine's death naturally leaned toward the two known quack abortionists.
Thacker fled the state after the deaths of Robbie Lou Thompson and Nancy Jo Lee, leading to a multi-state investigation, including an inquiry by the secretary-treasurer of the California Board of Medical Examiners regarding a suspicious man who applied for a medical license on April 26, three days after his disappearance from Oklahoma.
] He was finally found and arrested in Springdale, Arkansas on July 19.
Thacker was sentenced to life in prison for Ruth Hall's death. "The 12 men on the jury, eight of them fathers, deliberated a little more than an hour last night, taking only four ballots." Thacker "maintained his composure at the verdict, but flinched as the clerk read the sentence." Thacker's attorney announced an immediate motion for an appeal, on the grounds that Thacker's other abortions should not have been admitted as testimony.
Thacker, age 60, was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor. He was incarcerated at McAlester Penitentiary on December 1, 1932.
His friends tried to rally supporters to gain parole for Thacker, including asking for support from the Oklahoma City American Legion Post in 1936 since Thacker had been an Army doctor in WWI. The parole was not forthcoming.
Despite the sentence, he did not do hard labor but instead worked providing medical care to prisoners. He died of a heart attack shortly after midnight on April 1, 1937, while at his work in the trusty building.
A practical nurse, Mrs. Luther Bryant Price, operated a private sanitarium in the Oklahoma City area. She told the County Attorney that several young women had come to the sanitarium for treatment after being injured by Thacker, but insisted that the abortions had not been perpetrated on-site.
"At Least Five Girls Dead After Illegal Operations in Oklahoma City District,"
Mexia (TX) Weekly Herald
, Apr. 29, 1932
"Probe 'Epidemic' Of Illegal Operations in Oklahoma City,"
Elyria (OH) Chronicle Telegram
, Apr. 29, 1932
"Accused Slayer Reported Found,"
Salt Lake Tribune
, Jul. 20, 1932
"Legion Aid Enlisted in Thacker's Behalf,"
Miami (OK) Daily News-Record
, May 28, 1936
"Doctor Dies in Prison,"
Miami (OK) Daily News-Record
, Apr. 1, 1937
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