Steir and NAF in Perspective
The great to-do over the prosecution of Bruce Steir tends to divide people into two camps: those who believe Steir, and those who believe the dead woman's family.
To put the case in a nutshell, Steir performed an abortion on Sharon Hamption in 1996. Sharon died on the car ride home. It turns out that Steir had perforated her uterus and bowel. Steir claims that he was unaware of Sharon's injury, that she seemed okay to him when he discharged her. But one of Steir's aides claims that Steir said that he had "pulled bowel," then stuffed the bowel back in and sent Sharon home without following the usual precautions for such injuries.
I believe Sharon's family and the aide, for a very good reason.
I don't know Steir's current National Abortion Federation affiliation status, but I know that he has been involved in some of their activities. What, pray tell, would NAF have to do with the case?
One of the things I did while working at Life Dynamics was listen to years' worth of tapes of National Abortion Federation meetings and Risk Management Seminars. Some of what I heard shocked even me, and I'm hard to shock.
In one Risk Management Seminar session, a participant came to the microphone during the discussion period and indicated that when he pulled bowel (extracted part of a patient's bowel through a perforation in her uterus), his preferred method of treatment (if you can call it that) was to stuff the bowel back through the perforation, administer medications to make the uterus contract and control bleeding, monitor the woman more carefully in recovery, and if she seemed okay, send her home none the wiser.
The moderator was appalled, and scolded this fellow. He pointed out that even if there was no obvious injury to the bowel, it might be bruised and damaged. The recommended procedure is to admit the patient to the hospital and examine her bowel, and observe her for signs of further injury. The moderator then asked how many of the participants present followed the "cross your fingers" method of stuffing the bowel back in and hoping for the best. Even after he had scolded the first man, he was able to count six participants who raised their hands and admitted that they did this to their patients. That made a total of seven abortionists at a National Abortion Federation Risk Management Seminar who were willing to admit that they played this particular brand of Russian Roulette with patients' lives. NAF abortionists are supposed to be the best, and one would think that those who go to the time and expense to attend NAF seminars are those who care most about patient safety. And if seven of the very best admit to this sort of thing, how many are really doing it?
I knew it was only a matter of time before one of these bowel-stuffing abortionists killed somebody. What surprises me is how much support Steir is getting.
Supposedly Sharon's medical records from the clinic support Steir's story. But abortion clinics are notorious for sloppy record keeping. When patient "K.B." died at CRASH, inspectors found that her condition was charted as "pink, alert, responsive" post-operatively -- despite the fact that she was quite dead. It turned out that the note was written before the woman's abortion even began. One inspector at a California abortion clinic observed a doctor making recovery notes on patient charts without examining the patients. Is it really hard to believe that Steir didn't carefully document his mistakes? What motive would he have to document pulling bowel and stuffing it back in? On the other hand, what motive does the aide have to tell the authorities that Steir said that he had "pulled bowel?"
Who do you believe? I believe the aide. You can believe Steir and the National Abortion Federation if you want. But do so at your own risk.
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More on NAF
A Few Bad Apples
About Those NAF Clinics in Kentucky
Abu Hayat, Erstwhile NAF Member
Bruce Steir, Active With NAF
BUSTED! Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation Caught in Pedophile Protection Scandal
Charity Navigator Report on NAF
Ignorance and Mushrooms Grow Best in the Dark
NAF and NRL Collide
NAF Member Eastern Women's Center
NAF Member Midtown Hospital
NAF NewSpeak on Abortion Pill
National Abortion Federation
National Abortion Federation Deaths
On the Use of Human Shields
Ronachai Banchongmanie, Erstwhile NAF Member
Social Worker Takes Girl from Alaska to Seattle for Secret Abortion
Steir and NAF in Perspective
Steve Lichtenberg and FPA
Who Do You Believe?
Food for Thought
Botched Abortion Leads to Amputation
LDI and the CDC
Misplaced Priorities Cost Women's Lives
Unequal Burden on the Poor?
The Bad Old Days of Abortion
Who's Putting the Unborn Ahead of the Born?
A Mother's Nightmare
Do Rape Victims Really Need Abortions?
What's the Need for Abortion?
Your Bedroom, the Government, and Abortion Laws
Is Childbirth Safety Relevant to Abortion?
When the POC Really is Just Tissue
Is 'Who Decides?' Really the Question?
Stress and the Abortion Decision
Coathanger Abortion: Powerful image, but how true to life?
Unplanned Pregnancies that Worked Out
Fetal Diagnoses Leading to Unnecessary Abortions
Who is the Enemy?
Did I Deserve the Death Penaltyh
Is This the Face of the Enemy?
Another Anti-Choice Fanatic
Abortion, Law, and Real Choice
Women's Rights are Common Ground
The Abortion War and Communication
What Real Informed Consent Would Look Like
Diane Sawyer and the Non-Story of Lawson Akpulonu
Women Who Change Their Minds After the Abortion
Comparative Safety - Abortion & Stuff Folks Get Riled About
Where's the Pro Choice Movement on Elective Amputations?
Unintended Late Abortions
19th Century Abortion Cases and Other Self-Injury
Are Abortions Used as Birth Control?
Pro Child/Pro Choice Rings Hollow
The "Koop Report" on Abortion
What's "Adequate Access" to Abortion?
Abortion, Suffering, and the Chinese Widow
Freaks Teaches Pro-Life Lesson