Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Abortion Profiteers"

Operation Rescue reminds us that 30 years ago today, the Chicago Sun-Times began running its eye-opening "Abortion Profiteers" series — for which, even now, three decades later, we still occasionally get requests for reprints.

On February 13, 1978, the Chicago Sun-Times, aided by pro-life activist Joe Scheidler, published the first of a seven part series titled “Abortion Profiteers” that exposed unsafe and downright horrifying conditions at Chicago area abortion mills.


The result?


Two abortion mills were closed, one abortionist lost his license and a grand jury convened to investigate them further.


If anything, conditions at America’s abortion mills are even worse today.



Operation Rescue has followed Scheidler’s example and worked hard to document and “expose the unfruitful works of darkness” as manifested in the abortion industry, and now the word is finally starting to get out.


The LA Times published a shocking story about a Southern California abortion mill chain last week, and the Chicago-Tribune ran a front-page story on the grand jury investigation of late-term abortionist George Tiller earlier this week. These are just the latest in a growing number of news articles that have revealed the seedy reality of today’s shockingly hazardous abortion industry. We pray such exposés will help our nation to wake up to the dangerous and predatory nature of America’s abortion mills, and bring a permanent end to decriminalized abortion.



The Sun-Times today said this about the series:

n 1978, the Chicago Sun-Times wasn't interested in the morality of abortion when it spent five months looking at the procedure. The paper wanted to know: Were women who had abortions here receiving the safe, competent care the U.S. Supreme Court said they were entitled to back in 1973?

What Sun-Times investigative reporters Pam Zekman and Pamela Warrick -- working with the Better Government Association -- found in their series "The Abortion Profiteers" was, in some cases, downright terrifying.

The Sun-Times/BGA team had people work undercover in six Michigan Avenue clinics. The team uncovered incompetent and unqualified doctors who performed abortions without giving their patients anesthetics. Sometimes, it made no difference if a woman was actually pregnant -- she'd still be sold an abortion.

In one truly horrifying case, a couple was sent to a disreputable Detroit abortionist whose dog accompanied the nurse into the operating room -- then lapped up blood from the floor.

The series prompted immediate action. Within two weeks, two abortion clinics were closed down, a doctor's license was revoked, a criminal investigation was launched and a governor's task force was appointed to re-evaluate the state's regulation and licensing of abortion clinics and counselors.

One abortion doctor highlighted in the Sun-Times' series renounced his work and became a member of the Moody Church on North La Salle. The doctor, Arnold Bickham, once described himself to Zekman as "the most notorious physician in this city." He indicated he made $1 million a year performing abortions. His medical license was temporarily suspended because, according to the state, he had operated on women who weren't pregnant and rushed abortions so much that he didn't even wait until the anesthesia set in.

Bickham eventually quit the church and returned to performing abortions. His medical license was revoked in 1988. He later became an administrator at Chicago Public Schools.


See also a PDF of the Sun-Times front page from 13 February 1978 here.

Related


If you're ever looking for incomparably comprehensive, thoroughly documented information about just anything having to do with abortion, check thou out Christina Dunigan's Real Choice blog.

3 comments:

GrannyGrump said...

Thanx for the plug!

GrannyGrump said...

BTW, I just blogged the anniversary of Sherry Emry's death. I remember the Sun Times published a photo of her opening Christmas presents. Do y'all have a copy of that photo?

John Jansen said...

As luck would have it, we do. I've uploaded it here [PDF].

As you'll see, it's rather grainy (not surprising, I guess, considering it's a copy of a copy of a 30-year old original).

Needless to say, feel free to use it.