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Abortionist Arnold Bickham
Ran the notorious Water Tower Reproductive Center in Chicago
 Bickham's Dead
• Sherry Emry
• Sylvia Moore
 
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Abortionist Arnold Bickham ran Water Tower Reproductive Center, where Sherry Emry underwent her fatal abortion just before New Years Eve of 1977. He also performed the fatal abortion on Sylvia Moore on New Years Eve of 1986.

At some point, evidently in the wake of the bad publicity of the Chicago Sun TImes "Abortion Profiteers" series, Bickham had a temporary change of focus, giving up abortion and joining a church, but he later abandoned the Church and returned to the abortion business (long enough to kill Sylvia Moore) and get his license yanked in 1988. He is now an administrator at Chicago Public Schools. (Chicago Sun-Times, "!978: Series exposed unsafe abortions", February 13, 2008)

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Frances F. alleged that she submitted to an abortion by Bickham in 1982 in Illinois. She sued for malpractice, but was unable to obtain a settlement due to Bickham's malpractice insurance situation. The insurance company offered Frances $15,000, but Bickham would not agree to the settlement unless the insurance company would agree to resume his malpractice coverage after he got out of prison. (N.D. Illinois District Court No. 80 C 0547)

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According to the Chicago Sun-Times "Abortion Profiteers" expose, Anna G., age 19, submitted to an abortion by Pawan K. Rattan under Bickham's supervision at Water Tower Reproductive Center in 1978.

Rattan began the abortion without anesthetic. Anna screamed in pain, and was told, "Lean your head back and shut your mouth!" Suddenly Rattan stopped, and told Anna "Stay in this position."

Rattan brought Bickham in, who "stuck his hand up me and said, 'Too far along." Anna protested that the abortion was already half done, but Bickham told her, "We didn't even touch you. All you had was a pelvic exam."

Anna requested that staff call an ambulance due to severe pain and bleeding. She told reporters, "The whole examining table was covered with blood." Bickham told her to get dressed, told her mother that her pregnancy was too advanced for a clinic abortion, did not indicate that Anna needed emergency care.

Anna was driven home, but by evening was so pale and in such pain that a friend took her to a hospital. There she underwent emergency care that corrected a vaginal perforation and an incomplete abortion.

Bickham had noted a 16-week pregnancy on Anna's chart, but a doctor at the hospital estimated Anna's pregnancy at 6-8 weeks.

****

A Chicago Sun-Times alleges that Bickham refused follow-up care to 17-year-old girl suffering complications from a 1978 abortion he'd done on her at Water Tower Reproductive Center, because her mother did not have $25 cash to pay him.

***

Bonnie D. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Bickham at Biogenetics December 6, 1975. She suffered infection, causing her to become "grievously ill to the point of death." She incurred medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The summons for this case was served to Bickham at the Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, where he was serving sentence for fraud. (Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 76L 12753)

***

Seong K. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Bickham and/or Myriam Wilson at Biogenetics on December 10, 1975. She faulted her doctor with failure to properly examine her, failure to obtain an adequate medical history, and improperly performed surgery. She faulted the clinic with employing an unqualified doctor, and failure to consult qualified physicians. She suffered internal and external injury, and endured pain and suffering. (Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 77L 23879)

***

Phyllis M. alleged that she suffered a perforated uterus during an abortion performed by Bickham at Water Tower on February 25, 1977. She was discharged while hemorrhaging, and ended up being hospitalized for emergency surgery. It was an extended hospitalization. Phyllis suffered impaired sexual relations. Her suit alleged improper use and selection of instruments, and failure to inform her of the risks. Her suit also said that Bickham "performed such a multitude of procedures on such a large number of patients on the day of the occurrence complained of that he did not allocate and use the amount of time necessary adequately and properly to attend to the plaintiff." (Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 79L 452; Chicago Sun-Times 1-11-79)

***

According to "The Abortion Profiteers," an undercover investigator reported that a woman came into Bickham's Water Tower clinic for a pregnancy test, and was awaiting an exam. Bickham noted in her chart an entry of a negative pregnancy test, but did not answer the patient when she asked if she was pregnant. Instead he said, "Let me examine you." Bickham examined her briefly, then did an immediate suction procedure, and told the woman, "Yes, definitely pregnant. ... But not any more."

***

During the investigation for "The Abortion Profiteers," an undercover investigator at both the Summit and Water Tower facilities owned by Bickam observed the behavior of Dr. Steven Mallinga. At one point, Mallinga reportedly noted a patient's pregnancy as 14 weeks in her chart. When somebody pointed out to Mallinga that this was two weeks past the legal cutoff for outpatient abortions, Mallinga changed the patient's chart to say that she was only 12 weeks pregnant.

***

Bickham's license was revoked in 1970 for performing abortions on women who weren't realy pregnant. He served two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1979 of two counts of defrauding the government. During investigations of allegations of practicing without a license, Bickham's attorney told reporters, "I think he's a bright enough man to not do something illegal." "The Abortion Profiteers" noted that, "Bickham, who submitted $792,000 in Medicaid bills in 1974 -- the highest tab of any physician in the nation -- was barred from the program in 1979 for 'providing grossly inferior care.'"

Bickham's license was revoked for the final time in 1989, following the death of Sylvia Moore. Court records show 23 malpractice suits against him between 1973 and 1988, mostly abortion-related. Even after the 1989 revocation, he was convicted of practicing medicine without a license: he and Julian Banzon were caught at Friendship Medical Center in a police raid. They'd been hiding in a closet. Evidence was the Bickham himself had been operating the facility. Police investigators also found three handguns and an unjspecified quantity of drugs which were confiscated because the Friendship had no physicial to dispense them legally. ("The Abortion Profiteers")

When investigated by the state in the wake of the 1978 Chicago Sun-Times expose, Bickham allegedly said the state was "reacting to sensationalism in newspapers. ... designed to sell newspapers and assist in building esteem for individual reporters who are muckrakers and exponents of yellow journalism at its very worst." (216 Ill.App.3d 453, 160 Ill.Dec 21; "The Abortion Profiteers")

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