Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hey Sports Fans!

DIH's morning routine is very simple. Get up, feed dog, make coffee. Tap computer awake. Check email, weather forecast, Drudge. And of course, check the LA Times, for the obituaries.

Ah, the obits. The "Irish Sports Page," as my father used to say. Your chance to gloat that, as of yet another dawn, you are not the featured item. Hurray for you!

The LA Times is a fun source because of the Hollywood connection. Every once in a while they write up the death of some actor or bit player you saw in one movie when you were seven years old, and the question "what the heck was his name" has been bugging you ever since. Now you, like the deceased, can have some peace.

But today the LAT outdid itself. Today they published the weirdest obituary of all time. In all my years of red-blooded Celtic deathwatching I've never seen anything like it. The link is

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-karman18-2008may18,0,4488738.story

if you're interested. In the meantime,a few excerpts should give you the idea.

"Harvey Karman, a flamboyant psychologist whose invention made a key contribution to women's reproductive health, particularly by making abortions simpler, cheaper and less painful, died May 6 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. He was 84.

"Activist, inventor, educator and rogue, Karman was drawn to the plight of women facing unwanted pregnancy in the 1950s,
In the early 1970s he developed a soft, flexible tube, or cannula, for a device that was widely adopted in the United States and developing countries to perform early abortions. In 1972 [he] was part of a humanitarian mission to terminate the pregnancies of 1,500 Bangladesh women and girls who had been raped by Pakistani soldiers. His cannula is still widely used today.

"Karman's name is not known, yet his ingenuity and to some extent his courage has made safe abortion available to literally millions of women around the world.

"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.

[And now for the money quote:]

"Karman was born Harvey Walters on April 26, 1924, in the tiny northwest Oregon town of Clatskanie. He did not know his father, and his mother, who led a transient lifestyle, often left him in orphanages. "

What can I say?
What do you all say?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sad for him, his soul, his life. What a waste of what could have been a great mind. Instead, he could be considered the Hitler of women and their babies. You wonder what could have become of him if he had had loving parents to hold him and care for him while he was growing up.
Darlene

GrannyGrump said...

I am glad Ms. Woo thought to mention the Mother's Day fiasco in Philadelphia in which Karman treated minority women like ginuea pigs for his "super coils". He'd already nearly killed a bunch of rape victims in Bangladesh by combining his "super coils" with bits of balsa wood -- a trip that Woo notes merely as a "humanitarian mission" as though rape victims desperately need bits of plastic and wood sticking through the walls of their wombs.

And, of course, Woo didn't stoop to mentioning Joyce Johnson, the woman Harvey killed in 1955 by trying to perform an abortion on her with a freaking nutcracker.

What is it about some people that all you need is a great enthusiasm for abortion and that makes you a hero, even if you treat women like lab rats, even if you leave one dying of sepsis?

HEATHER said...

The writer for the Times sounds so enthusiastic you almost expect the last line to be "Free Abortions for everyone"!
GADS!!! Hope he likes the heat!

Ray from MN said...

If his invention had been invented 50 years earlier, no doubt he would not have been born.

Joke said...

Those who were pro-choice on slavery were free, those who are pro-choice on abortion are already born.

That's what oppression means.

-J.

Anonymous said...

Gee, do you think he hated his mother, or anything?