Angela Hall, a 27-year-old mother of five, called to arrange an abortion at Dr. Thomas Tucker's office in Alabama. One of Tucker's employees, Joy Davis, screened Angela and felt that she had risk factors that made abortion in an office setting unsafe. Joy got on the phone with Tucker and indicated that she felt that Angela should be referred to a hospital. Tucker told Davis that "we need the money" and ordered her to prep Angela, who was in the second trimester of pregnancy.Nah, they don't need to be regulated. They don't need oversight. Because, you know, they regulate themselves. After all, they're just concerned about a woman's reproductive health. They want to keep abortion legal, and rare
Angela underwent the abortion on June 11, 1991, and started having difficulty breathing. Her blood pressure fell, setting off an alarm on a piece of monitoring equipment. Tucker told Davis to turn the alarm off because other patients could hear it. Angela was sent to a recovery room where she bled so heavily that Davis became alarmed and called an ambulance. Tucker swore at Davis when he learned of this, and he had her cancel the ambulance because they'd already sent a patient to the hospital that day. Angela continued to hemorrhage, and Davis continued to plead with Tucker to take action. Finally Tucker cursed at Davis, telling her to call the ambulance, and he left the building, leaving the untrained woman to cope alone with the critically injured patient.
Angela was taken to the hospital, where she suffered respiratory failure, clotting, and sepsis. She died just before midnight June 14. The autopsy found numerous tears and lesions in the pelvic area, and congestive necrosis in Angela's liver and spleen. The doctors concluded that an amniotic fluid embolism had caused clotting problems resulting in necrosis, septic shock, and cardiac arrest. When Alabama authorities subpoenaed Angela's records, Tucker ordered Davis to destroy some and falsify others. Davis tore up the records, but then taped them back together and provided the authorities with photocopies.
Joy Davis' actions -- trying to convince Tucker to refer Angela to a hospital, her attempts to get appropriate care for Angela, and her refusal to participate in the cover-up -- need to stand as a reminder that abortion workers aren't monsters. They're human beings, many of whom do care about the patients and think of themselves as helping them.
UPDATE: Allow me to make this one point, lest I seem like I'm condemning the people who work at these clinics as receptionists, and assistants. Many of them do indeed care about the women who come into their centers, just like Joy Davis did. Unfortunately, most of the abortionists couldn't care less, and are willing to let a woman suffer, bleed, and die rather than face any accountability (ala Thomas Tucker).