by Chris Gacek
May 20, 2008
The Los Angeles Times could barely control its praise for abortionist Harvey Karman whose May 6th death was announced by the paper this past weekend. Unfortunately for The Times, the truth cannot be smothered in the internet age, and it had to grudgingly give up some facts about Karman.
The obituary writer, Elaine Woo, revealed that “[w]hile training in psychology at UCLA, [Karman] started an underground abortion referral service and eventually performed abortions himself, for which he was convicted and sent to state prison for 2 1/2 years.” I don’t think psychologists are “trained” to perform surgery - or am I missing something? In truth, Karman was practicing medicine as a surgeon without training, a license, or facility privileges. His criminality actually involved killing Joyce Johnson in April 1956 after he botched her abortion.
Well, Karman gained early release from prison and went on to butcher more women - once again, here is Ms. Woo:
“Karman also had many detractors, particularly because of his attempt to revolutionize second-trimester abortions with a device called the super coil, which was inserted into the uterus and expanded when exposed to moisture, causing a miscarriage. It caused serious complications, including hemorrhaging and infection, when it was used on about a dozen women in Philadelphia on Mother’s Day in 1972.”
One of the activists, Carol Downer, who co-founded feminist women’s health clinics in SoCal in the 1970’s told the Times, “Harvey engaged in some very irresponsible experimentation on women’s bodies.” “Irresponsible experimentation” - that is very charitable. But, Downer had to offer praise because Harvey was “a real change agent.” And, if a change agent wants to make an omelet, he may have to break a few eggs.
If you want to read a very different bio of Karman - read all three pages of this web post written some time before Karman’s death; and then this on the death of Joyce Johnson. The account rendered here of the carnage Karman wrought on Mother’s Day 1972 in Philly is somewhat more detailed:
“Keeping sloppy records, working well into the night, the abortion team managed to pack the 15 patients selected for ‘super coil’ abortions by the early morning hours. One woman ended up hospitalized in Pennsylvania due to lacerations. Others needed to be hospitalized upon return to Chicago. Local health authorities contacted the Centers for Disease Control, which investigated and found that two of the patients had been lost to follow-up, one required a hysterectomy, one was hospitalized for twenty days with infection, and one continued to bleed until she became anemic. In total, nine of the 13 patients who could be tracked down had suffered complications.”
What a guy!!! For more details on Harvey Karman’s career as a butcher, see Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., and Richard N. Ostling, Aborting America (New York: Pinnacle Books, 1979): pp. 85-93 (Nathanson, a distinguished ob/gyn, provides excellent medical-scientific insights into Karman’s medical activities and inventions.)