Abortion provider Raymond Showery was accused and eventually convicted of killing a five-pound baby girl who survived an abortion at his clinic Southside Medical Center in El Paso in 1979. Showery aborted the baby by hysterotomy. This is a type of abortion where the abortionist cuts open the woman’s uterus in a kind of C-Section and removes the baby. It is a seldom-used abortion technique, almost unheard of today.
Clinic workers later testified that the infant girl had light brown hair and was about a foot long. They saw her breathing and moving, curling up in the doctor’s hand. Showery seemed to have trouble figuring out how to kill the baby. According to witnesses, he dropped her into a bucket of water. The witnesses saw bubbles rising to the surface of the water as the baby began drowning. Despite what they were seeing, none of the clinic workers stepped forward to save the baby.
Apparently, the child was not dying fast enough for Showery. He pulled her out and put her in a plastic bag. Witnesses testified that they saw the bag move with the infant’s breath. Shortly after that, another clinic employee put the plastic bag into a freezer where the other (successfully) aborted babies were stored.
This story is especially difficult for me to write about, because I was born prematurely and weighed only a few more ounces than this baby girl. I was born in 1975, three years before the murder. I was transferred to a unit that specialized in caring for premature babies, and was given the best treatment available. I have been told that I was regarded by the nurses as one of the “good” babies, a “big” baby, because many of their patients were much smaller, weighing only a pound or two. Yet many times these babies survived as well. It is clear that had the baby girl in this story been given the chance, it is very likely she would have survived.
It is not clear how the murder came to light, but Showery was charged with the baby’s murder. He was accused also of falsifying medical records and successfully hiding the body of the baby. Five clinic workers would testify against him. In the trial, it was revealed that he may have killed other babies that were born alive. One clinic worker identified as “Gloria” claimed she had assisted in abortions where Showery sedated the mother and tore the babies apart with forceps. She said:
He wanted them in pieces, but a lot of times they would come out whole.
She testified that at least two other babies came out showing signs of life. Obviously, these children did not survive.
Another clinic worker claimed that she had seen Showery put a living baby (a different one from the child whose death was being prosecuted) into a plastic bag. She said he put the bag in a bucket and simply waited for the baby boy to stop moving. According to the clinic worker, she saw the baby show signs of life, “squirming and wiggling” for about ten minutes. That is how long it takes a baby to suffocate in a plastic bag in an abortion clinic.
Clinic workers did not know how many babies were “aborted” this way, because Showery often performed his late-term abortions behind closed doors and didn’t allow the clinic workers to see.
Showery was convicted in 1983 by a jury of five men and women, one of whom was pregnant herself. The jury deliberated for only an hour and a half. According to the New York Times, Showery said that the people who had convicted him ”never did understand abortion theory and practice.”
He was sentenced to 15 years for killing the baby but served only five.
While Showery was out on bail after appealing the verdict, he continued to perform abortions. On April 11, 1984, he punctured the uterus of 28-year-old Mickey Apodaca. She lay bleeding for over two hours in the abortion clinic before Showery would allow an ambulance to be called. By the time she was transferred to the hospital, it was too late. She left behind four young children.
Showery was charged with manslaughter in her death, but the charges were later dropped. A detective investigating the case reported that Showery had been abusing drugs, possibly for some time.
A year before Showery killed the baby girl, he did an abortion on patient “Ida.” His first attempt to abort her failed, and she returned asking him to repeat the procedure after another doctor told her she was still pregnant. According to Ida, Showery told her “he wasn’t Sears. He didn’t have to guarantee his work.” He examined her roughly, hurting her, and said, “You whores just get in trouble all the time.” A week after the second abortion, Ida expelled the hand of her nineteen week old baby and six inches of umbilical cord.
Showery was also accused of falsifying abortion records, shoplifting, refusing to pay rent on his apartment, hiring unlicensed and unqualified people to assist with surgery, operating an illegal baby-selling business, and other crimes. He was a gun aficionado and owned many. He was also dismissed from one residency program after he “showed a lack of regard for nursing staff.”
He died in February at the age of 84.
Showery was once quoted saying:
Hitler was one of the most misunderstood men in history. He was really a great man.
For part of his career, he worked at Planned Parenthood.
Background references: Associated Press, July 20, 1989; El Paso County Offense Report #00-380101; New York Times, April 29, 1984; Des Moines Register, May 5, 1984; El Paso Times, April 5, 6, 7, and 8, 1981, September 22 and 23, 1983, and April 7, 24 and 26, May 7 and June 5, 1984; Dallas Morning News, April 18 and 20 and May 3, 1984; Longview Morning Journal, May 6, 1984; Dallas Times-Herald, April 14, 1984 and September 29, 1983; Houston Chronicle, June 9, 1985; “Doctor Gets 15 Years in Infanticide Case.” ALL About Issues, November 1983, page 35; At Deadline. “Convicted Abortionist Now Charged With Manslaughter in New Tragedy.” ALL About Issues, June 1984, page 47; Debra Braun. “Abortionist Sentenced to 15 Years for Murdering Baby After Abortion.” National Right to Life News, October 13, 1983, pages 1 and 13.