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People v. White

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 29, 1978.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

HOWARD D. WHITE, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. MARK E. JONES, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE WILSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Mr. JUSTICE WILSON delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant was charged by indictment with seven counts arising from an abortion he allegedly performed on Manon Broomfield. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, pars. 81-13(g), 12-4(a), 12-4(a), 12-4(a), ch. 91, pars. 16j, 16k, 16q.) Following a bench trial, he was convicted on the criminal abortion count (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 81-13(g)) and sentenced to one to three years in prison. On appeal defendant contends that the criminal abortion statute under which he was convicted is unconstitutional and that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We affirm.

STATE'S CASE

At trial, Vita Broomfield (Vita) testified that she was the mother of Manon Broomfield (Manon), the complainant. On April 15, 1975, she took her daughter to the Midwest Clinic at 316 North Michigan Avenue for the purpose of having an abortion performed on Manon. When they arrived, Vita paid the receptionist and Manon left her mother's presence. An hour later she returned without having had an abortion. Vita had a conversation at the clinic with a counselor named Valerie who subsequently called her on the telephone several times over the next three days. All but $30 of Vita's money was returned to her.

At noon, on April 18, 1975, she took Manon to the Northeast Clinic at 1200 North Dearborn for an appointment. No one was there, so she went downstairs, called Valerie, and returned to the clinic. At approximately 12:45 p.m., defendant arrived, stating he had just come from the hospital, and Vita assumed he was a doctor.

They entered the clinic and Vita and defendant went to the examining room while Manon remained in the waiting room. He gave her insurance papers and she paid him $250. Defendant told her that they could come back the next day, a Saturday, but Vita wanted the abortion done immediately because the following day her husband would be at home. Defendant told her that the abortion was not legal.

Subsequently defendant and Manon went into his office and closed the door. Vita did not see her daughter again until 3:30 p.m. At that time, Manon was in the examining room and appeared very ill and pale. There was blood all around her. Defendant told Vita that he might have to send her daughter to the hospital, and that Manon's blood pressure was low. He directed her to go to the drugstore to pick up some medicine, and that he would order the prescription over the phone. However, he did not have the prescription filled. Defendant then told Vita that Dr. Stewart would take care of Manon in the hospital.

Subsequently, Manon got dressed and defendant's receptionist and Vita helped Manon to the elevator. In the elevator, Manon fainted. When she recovered, the receptionist accompanied Manon and her mother to the hospital. After their arrival at the hospital, Vita did not see Manon again until 8 p.m. when she went to Manon's room and Manon was being examined by defendant and Dr. Stewart. Manon was screaming during the examination.

The following day Vita learned that Dr. Stewart would no longer be Manon's doctor and Dr. Fiakpuis would take over. On Monday evening she and her husband went to the hospital, spoke with Dr. Fiakpuis and signed a consent form for an operation to be performed on Manon the following morning.

During cross-examination, Vita testified that on April 15, 1975, she believed that Manon was pregnant. The previous day she had taken Manon to Billings Hospital but to her knowledge, her daughter was not examined. She did not leave Manon at Billings Hospital because the abortion procedure would have taken too long. At Billings, they gave her the address of the North Michigan Avenue Clinic, where she subsequently took Manon. Vita had also considered taking Manon to Detroit for an abortion.

Vita further testified that during the previous January and February, she noticed that Manon had been gaining weight, but Manon insisted that she was having her menstrual period every month between January and April. Manon finally admitted to her that she had been lying because she was afraid. Vita had not told her husband of their daughter's pregnancy because she did not want to disappoint him.

Vita also stated that it was at defendant's suggestion, that his receptionist accompany her and her daughter to the hospital. Vita did not tell the admitting personnel why Manon was being admitted nor did she recall being asked. Although the hospital form bears the notation "incomplete abortion," she did not impart that information. After Manon was admitted, Vita met a doctor from India who was wearing a turban, and she lied to him, saying that Manon had been having intermittent abdominal pains and vaginal bleeding since that morning. Vita further testified that Valerie did not tell her that defendant could arrange to get her daughter into a hospital and keep quiet the fact that she was having an abortion. She also admitted during cross that there is a civil suit pending against defendant and others on Manon's behalf.

On redirect, Vita stated that she gave incorrect information to the Indian doctor because she was under the impression from defendant that the abortion was illegal. Defendant had told her that she would not have to give any information at the hospital. During recross, Vita said that she lied to the doctor even though she thought her daughter would die.

Dr. Hilbert Stewart testified that he is a licensed physician and surgeon affiliated with Illinois Central Hospital. He knew defendant for a number of years, had met him socially a few times and thought that he was an osteopath. Dr. Stewart explained that an osteopath is a combined medical doctor and chiropractor and that some osteopaths perform surgery and prescribe drugs.

On April 18, 1975, Dr. Stewart spoke to defendant on the telephone. Defendant told him that he had a patient in his office that had had a "surgical procedure" concerning the "generative organs," and that the child was in a "compromised position." Stewart could not specifically remember what defendant said he had done. He did recall defendant stating that the patient was having an abortion or had had an abortion and that she was in shock.

Defendant asked him to arrange hospitalization and Stewart did so and became the treating physician on a temporary basis. On the same day, defendant introduced him to the mother of the patient. He treated Manon until the 20th of April and diagnosed that she possibly had some sort of perforation of her uterus. He may have thought at the time that she was aborted. During cross-examination, Stewart testified that he did not believe that defendant said that he performed the abortion.

Dr. Everett Fiakpuis testified that he is licensed to practice medicine and perform surgery. On April 21, 1975, he examined Manon upon the request of Dr. Stewart. He observed that her abdomen was soft and she was experiencing some tenderness. Her genitalia were within normal limits, and her cervix was closed. Her uterus was soft, slightly tender and enlarged to about ten to twelve gestational sizes. That is, the appearance of her uterus was one of a woman who is 10 to 12 weeks pregnant.

Defendant called him several times between April 21 and April 23, 1975. On April 22, Fiakpuis performed surgery on Manon. He performed an "exploratory laborotomy" where he discovered a ragged perforation in Manon's uterus and "necratic, foul-smelling products of conception adhering to the endometrium." The whole of the anterior cervix of the uterus was discolored. Fiakpuis was of the opinion that the tear in the uterus was probably caused by an instrument. He performed a total abdominal hysterectomy on Manon.

During cross-examination, Fiakpuis could not say what kind of instrument caused the tear. He could not say that a corkscrew instrument made the hole. During redirect, he stated if a corkscrew were long enough, it could have caused the hole and during redirect, he stated that the tear was located 8 to 10 inches from the opening.

William Mavrelis, the director of pathology and clinical pathology at Illinois Central Hospital testified that he examined the uterus after it was surgically removed from Manon Broomfield. He found that it had an unusual tear that could have been made by an instrument that was used from the inside out. There was hemorrhaging into the uterine cavity and into the wall of the uterus. He diagnosed it as a pregnant uterus with perforations and "endo cervicitis or erosive cervicitis." Because of the removal of her uterus, Manon will not be able to produce children. During cross-examination Mavrelis stated that there were pus cells that could have caused the patient harm and possibly her life.

Manon Broomfield, the complainant, testified that she was 18 years old at the time of trial. In April of 1975, she thought she was pregnant because she had missed about three menstrual periods. On April 15, 1975, she went with her mother to a clinic at 316 North Michigan where she was examined by a doctor. At approximately 12:30 p.m. on April 18, 1975, she went to a clinic at 1200 North Dearborn and defendant arrived 45 minutes later.

At the clinic, she went into an examination room, put on a gown, laid down on the examination table and put her feet into stirrups. She had not been bleeding or in pain prior to this time. Defendant brought his tools over to the table. He first inserted a vagina widener into her. She had read about this instrument in a medical guide. He then gave her a pain shot in the vagina. Subsequently he took a pair of long manicuring scissors and inserted them into her vagina and began "cutting or pushing against something." She felt "like water rushing out," and defendant wiped the table with a rag. He then picked up a 6- to 7-inch-long tool that looked like a corkscrew, inserted it and began twisting it. This procedure lasted from 45 minutes to an hour. He asked her whether she felt pain and then gave her another pain shot. He took what looked like the same corkscrew and inserted it again for a second 45-minute ...


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