A to Zmills
We can start with Jammie Garcia.
When the documents for Lime 5 were pouring in, I was an abstracting machine. I had a three to four foot stack of documents in my office on any given day that I had to plow through, skim, highlight, read, summarize. I learned to be very detached and clinical, to just get the words and ideas and not let it get to me. But Jammie Garcia got to me.
The first document I reviewed was a March 1994 report on an inspection done in response to a patient death in a clinic owned by Dr. Moshe Hachamovitch. The report said that the staff were inadequately trained in how to properly sterilize instruments. The administrator, Kristen Hing Fehr, was evidently aware of the fact that the autoclave used to sterilize instruments was not functioning properly. As for the instruments themselves, “two loop forceps, two tenaculums and one curette were found to have small particles of dried brownish-dark red material on them. Three speculums were found to have small particles of dried clear material on them.” “The only sterilized abortion tray in the procedure room was found to contain a curette with a loop whose edge was visibly jagged instead of smooth.” (Source: Travis County District Court Cause No. 94-07517)
Untrained staff? Dirty instruments? Indifferent administration? That’s not enough to even get my attention. I’d read one report in which the inspectors asked the staff to demonstrate that the emergency generator was functioning properly. The generator caught fire. I’d seen reports of dogs in clinics, bloody bare mattresses, drunken abortionists falling on the floor. So Moshe Hachamovitch’s little abortion mill didn’t stand out for its flaws.
Then there was the case of the patient whose death had brought on the inspection. She was identified as 15-year-old “J.G.” That was a bad one. It was always hard to read details on a death, but dead kids get to me. I have a daughter myself.
“J.G.” had her abortion performed by John Coleman at Hachamovitch’s A to Z abortion facility on February 18, 1994. Four days later, on February 23, she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of a Houston hospital, with spiking fever, chills, nausea, pain, respiratory distress, a distended abdomen, low blood oxygen levels, and foul-smelling discharge. An examination revealed inflammation and a tear in her
This was all tragic, very sad, but again, typical for what I’d see in an abortion death. I dutifully wrote up the case while Mona tried to get more information.
She got a copy of the autopsy report.
When I hear about how we need legal abortion to prevent those horrible back-alley abortions, I can see Mona and me sitting and reading that autopsy report. Mona came across the hall with Jammie’s autopsy report in one hand, and another autopsy report in another. She wanted me to really grasp how swollen and boggy Jammie’s organs were. Jammie’s liver and lungs weighed twice what they should have weighed.
Then Mona and I sat down together and read the rest of the autopsy report. By the time we were done, we were both crying, telling each other, “She was unconscious by then. She had to have been unconscious.”
Please, God, let her have been unconscious.
Jammie’s body was wracked with abscesses, spreading infection that had entered her body through the damage the abortion had done to her uterus. Her brain was swollen. As near as Mona and I could figure, Jammie’s fetid fluids had made their way up through her damaged bowels and into her lungs.
Nobody’s little girl should have to die that way.