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Friday, August 10, 2007

OH-O2: Dem Vic Wulsin 'Witnessed' Women's Deaths From So-Called Coathanger Abortions

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Vic Wulsin is a pro-choice public health physician who is seeking renomination as the Democratic candidate in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District, a seat now held by right-to-lifer U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt. There are two other Republicans who are interested in the southern Ohio House seat -- Phil Heimlich, who has already announced he will oppose Schmidt in the GOP primary, and State Rep. Tom Brinkman, who is considering a run.

Brinkman has introduced bills to ban abortion in Ohio -- he wants the state to actively challenge Roe v. Wade by resuming a constitutional court battle over legalized abortion. Heimlich is also a pro-lifer, but perhaps not as militant as Brinkman.

Wulsin, a Harvard-educated doctor, says she has actually "witnessed" deaths caused by infection and bleeding after "self-inflicted" abortions. None were in the United States, and she says her medical skills were overwhelmed by the trauma.

"I have practiced medicine in countries such as El Salvador, Venezuela, and Kenya, where abortion is not legal, and I have witnessed the death of women -- and girls -- who I could not save because their self-inflicted bleeding or infections were too far-advanced. Criminalizing abortion will not stop it but does endanger the lives of both mother and child."

Venezuela has been one of the toughest places in the world to obtain an abortion, and El Salvador's anti-abortion prohibitions are described as the strictest enacted by any nation.

Wulsin's statement that she has seen horrible things in these Latin American counties is powerful. But she should not leave a shred of doubt. She must back up her account by adding details -- where, when, whom you were with. Fill in blanks by naming a community or a hospital. Wulsin should make her case so absolutely airtight that people can have no possible way to doubt or question.

Wulsin's words relate back to the way they say it used to be here in the United States in the era before Roe v. Wade, an era of back alley abortions and bent coat hangers that were blamed for bleeding, infection and death. Wulsin has justified her support for abortion rights because she says she has seen with her own eyes what happens to women who take desperate measures, who have no other legal option to terminate a pregnancy.

But please, Dr. Wulsin, give us the proof.


  1. Besides the lack of proof, there is another problem with that argument for keeping infanticide legal. There are many things that are illegal that you could argue that people hurt themselves doing which might be less dangerous if legalized and supervised by a trained specialist. Amateurs sometimes mix crack cocaine or heroin poorly resulting in deaths. Does that mean Wulsin think all drugs should be legal since some people will use them anyways with disastrous results?

  2. Hi LargeBill --

    It is quite possible Dr. Wulsin saw what she said she saw. I'm not saying that she didn't, no way.

    Her detailed testimony would be chilling and probably very important and helpful to the pro-choice movement. Not many physicians who practice in the United States these days have cared for women who died for those reasons, especially since Roe v. Wade. I am old enough to remember the coathanger pins that abortion rights supporters used to wear in the 1970s. Haven't seen them lately (though they still may be around). I think Dr. Wulsin should come forward with more detail -- places, dates etc. She doesn't have to name her patients, she can respect their privacy, and their family privacy. But if she has watched women die terribly disturbing deaths . . .

    And, her claim is going to become a subject of interest to her opponents on the right-to-life side; indeed it already has. I have heard they have been looking into its veracity. Oppo research. And things could get tough if she were braced in a debate or forum or public event and didn't have an answer, or stumbled over the question. So I think it would be best for her get it out in the open now with all details. If she wants to send an e-mail to the Bellwether, I'll post every word she has to say.

  3. Bill,

    Were you aware that last November, the Beacon reported that the president of the National Council Against Health Fraud filed a complaint with the State Medical Board of Ohio against Dr. Wulsin's medical license for her participation in the Heimlich Institute's illicit human experiments on African HIV+ patients? Why don't you find out if that complaint is still open? The board won't tell you anything, but you could ask Dr. Robert Baratz who filed the complaint which, according to the Beacon, reads in part:

    Participation in unsupervised, unapproved, and dangerous experiments involving human beings where serious diseases were left untreated akin to the notorious Tuskegee experiments. Wells participated with the Heimlich Institute, Henry Heimlich, The Deaconess Associations of Cincinnati, and other parties in these experiments. Further, when Wells became aware of the nature of these deviant and immoral acts she failed to reveal them to proper authorities, and thus became complicit in them. Numerous journalistic reports and release of a report on this work by Wells herself document her involvement and the experiments themselves. The experiments violate 21 CFR 50 and 56 and 45 CFR 46 and appear to involve lack of informed consent, use of unapproved biological agents, and other unprofessional conduct.

    After Wells’ activities became known, she altered the records of her report in an attempt to mislead the public as to her true role.

    Isn't participating in these violative experiments in conflict with her professed humanitarian position? Also, last year when Wulsin was forced to release her Heimlich Institute report, she added a cover sheet that conveyed the impression that she was strongly against the illegal Heimlich experiments. If that's the case, has she reported Heimlich to any medical oversight authorities or is she just blowing smoke with a happy-talk cover sheet?

    Here's her report along with the "Executive Summary" cover sheet.

  4. Thanks Anon --

    I think I was looking at some of that material online earlier. There was a CV for Dr. wulsin at the one of those links that went dead when I tried to follow it.. Is the CV still available somewhere? Does it show when she was in Latin American? I think this could be key to the questions about when and where that I understand are being studied by people who are looking for greater detail into exactly what she witnessed. Again, I am not challenging anything she has said. But I fear she has set herself up.

  5. Bill, here's a Wulsin CV dated March 31, 2003, which is posted on this web page by Peter Heimlich entitled, Ohio Congressional Race Makes Strange Bedfellows: Dr. Vic Wulsin & Phil Heimlich Both Involved in Illegal AIDS Human Experiments in Africa.

    D'ja you see Peter & Phil going mano a mano last month on 20/20?

  6. Anon _

    I have followed the link you pointed me to. I am now printing out the 12-page CV. Will probably do something with it. Peter Heimlich found some interesting stuff. I'm obviously not headed where he went, but his digging is impressive, and landed an interesting document in my hands. Tell him thank-you if you have contact with him.

  7. Bill - Thanks for the good words and hope the 2003 CV is helpful. BTW, I don't see why Dr. Wulsin wouldn't provide a more current version on request. (I'd be curious to see if she lists her time working at the Heimlich Institute.)

    Simply as a source of more public information, you may want to take a look at the IRS 990s for SOTENI, Dr. Wulsin's nonprofit for AIDS orphans in Kenya. Since you're looking at Dr. Wulsin's "talk v. walk," I never understood how she could square what appears to be bona fide charitable work with SOTENI with her participation in the horrendous Heimlich Institute "malariotherapy" trials in Africa. Astoundingly she got involved with my father after he got busted in Spring 2003 doing the same thing in China with UCLA professors. Besides the obvious ethical misconduct issues, what kind of political instincts does that signify?

    Hey, if you feel like returning the favor, I need a copy of your February 1988 Plain Dealer article about my father's "malariotherapy" experiments on cancer victims in Mexico. I've only got a truncated version via the Philly Daily News. If you can send me a copy, it would save me the job of nagging a Cleveland librarian.

    Here's my contact info. I'd welcome having your e-mail address, so drop me a line if you like.

    Best, Peter