PHOENIX, AZ (Arizona Republic from ProLifeInfo.org) - A frantic patient begged to know what was wrong with her as
she lay bleeding to death in a Phoenix abortion facility after a botched
abortion, a medical assistant testified Monday.
"Is everything OK? What's wrong with me?" LouAnne Herron reportedly asked
as blood collected under her body at the A-Z Women's Center abortion
The chilling testimony by medical assistant Teresa Jensen came during the
trial of abortion practitioner John Biskind, 75, and Carol
Stuart-Schadoff, his administrator, who are charged with manslaughter in
the April 17, 1998, death of Herron, 33, after an abortion.
The case raised questions about the adequacy of safeguards for women who
undergo abortions in Arizona - some of which have yet to be resolved.
Maricopa County prosecutors on Monday opened the second week of the
estimated monthlong trial.
Jensen said Herron was frightened and begging for information about her
medical condition around 2 p.m., as she lay in the recovery room after her
1:30 p.m. abortion. Her blood loss was "above anything I could deal with,"
and her blood pressure was too low, Jensen testified.
"She was scared about her condition," Jensen said.
Michele Price, another medical assistant, also testified that when she
lifted the sheet covering Herron "it looked like she was bleeding a lot."
Price said that the blood was fresh and covered an area "all underneath
her, down to her knees," adding, "It was more than I had ever seen
An autopsy revealed that Herron's uterus had a tear 2 inches by
three-fourths of an inch.
Jensen testified that when Biskind was called to check on Herron in the
hectic recovery room, he restarted her stalled intravenous tube that held
blood-clotting medicine and tried to soothe her, telling her to "just lay
down," and that "everything would be fine."
Stuart-Schadoff, alerted about Herron's worsening condition, also came
into the recovery room. While she was there, Biskind complained that if he
had a nurse and qualified staff, they would have known what to look for,
Jensen said. In that case, she suggested, he wouldn't have had to restart
The comment has brought up the charge that abortion facilities do not have
qualified staff trained to competently handle abortions and medical care
after an abortion.
That was vital testimony for prosecutors, who say Biskind left the
abortion facility while Herron was still in serious medical trouble even
though he knew there was no registered nurse on duty. Stuart-Schadoff has
been charged in the case in part because she failed to schedule a
registered recovery room nurse.
Prosecutor Paul Ahler has hammered at the lack of experience of the
$7-per-hour medical assistants who were caring for Herron that day.
Under cross-examination, Jensen acknowledged her original impression of
Herron's blood loss and low blood pressure could have been wrong because
of her inexperience as a postoperative medical assistant. She also
conceded that she couldn't remember if she planned to notify Biskind of
her concerns about Herron's condition.