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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.
illegal - doctor
SUMMARY: Virginia Wyckoff, age 21, died April 24, 1932 after an abortion by Oklahoma City physician J. W. Eisiminger.
Virginia Lee Wyckoff, a University of Oklahoma student, age 21, died from complications of an abortion on April 24, 1932 Hers was one of a string of deaths in the city that year..
Dr. J. W. Eisiminger
Dr. J.W. Eisiminger
, an osteopath, was tried and convicted of murder in Virginia's death. He admitted to having treated her in his office on April 3, but said that he didn't believe she was pregnant. Nevertheless, Virginia spent several days in a private home where Eisiminger kept recovering abortion patients under the care of Mrs. Luther Bryant Price.
Dr. Richard Thacker
also used Mrs. Price's home as a recovery center for his abortion patients.
Virginia was transferred from Mrs. Prices's home to Oklahoma City General Hospital, where she died of septicemia, first having told doctors there that Eisiminger had performed the fatal abortion.. A deathbed statement absolving Eisiminger was proven to be a forgery.
Eisiminger was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder in her abortion death. The sentence was later reduced to 15 years.
Eisiminger also got in trouble when allegations arose that his wife, Marie, paid a bribe to try to secure his release.
Eisiminger was also implicated in the abortion deaths of
Mrs. Isobel F. Ferguson
Lennis May Roach
in April of 1932.
Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see
Abortion in the 1930s
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see
The Bad Old Days of Abortion
, Apr. 4, 1937;
"Eisiminger is Given Parole",
, Feb. 6, 1942;
"Eisiminger to Face Renewed Death Charge",
, Mar. 26, 1937;
"Fixings of 'Real Guilt' Pledged by Eisiminger",
, Nov. 16, 1943;
"Second City Doctor Faces Death Charge",
, Apr. 29, 1932;
, Monday, May 9, 1932
"Report Confession in Death of Girl,"
, Mar. 28, 1937
"Investigation of Many Suspected Cases Under Say,"
Oshkosh Daily Northwestern
, Apr. 29, 1932
"Illegal Surgery Kills Seven Girls,"
Asbury Park (NJ) Pre
ss, Apr. 29, 1932
"Jail Osteopath, Seek Doctor in Co-eds' Deaths,"
Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette
, Apr. 29, 1932
"Osteopath Faces Charge of Murder,"
Newport News (VA) Daily Press
, Apr. 29, 1932
abortionists -- female
abortionists -- male
delay in transport
delay in treatment
district of columbia
former criminal abortionist
illegal - doctor
illegal - midwife
illegal - nurse
illegal - paramedical
illegal - post roe
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illegal - untrained
national abortion federation
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