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The National Organization for Women issued a statement 26July06 condemning a Senate vote to approve a measure to uphold parental involvement laws on abortion.

The pro-abortion group is continuing to advance an 18 year-old discredited story that claims a teenager who didn’t want to tell her parents she was pregnant died from an illegal botched abortion.

On 25Jluy06, the Senate cast an overwhelmingly bipartisan 65-37 vote in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act, much to NOW’s chagrin.

“[T]here are many young women who will not and cannot approach their parents with such a dilemma, and who will do as Becky Bell, the 17-year-old Indiana honor student who died because of an illegal botched abortion,” NOW claims.

“She desperately did not want to disappoint her beloved parents, and ended her pregnancy the only way she could find,” NOW added.

Yet, NOW is perpetuating a false story about Bell’s tragic death that was discredited years ago.

When Bell died, abortion advocates dubbed Becky the “first known victim of parental consent laws,” launched massive media campaign, and enlisted her parents to hit the talk show and lecture circuit to denounce parental notification and consent laws all over the country.

That received significant attention until National Right to Life got a copy of the post-mortem report, which showed no sign of either induced abortion or infection in or near the reproductive organs.

Instead, the report showed Bell died from a deadly and fast-acting form of pneumonia that had nothing to do with her pregnancy or her reproductive system.

She had contracted this especially lethal form of pneumonia at about the same time that she had a miscarriage.

Various doctors have confirmed that Becky Bell did not die from an induced abortion.

The physician who personally examined Becky’s body, Dr. John Pless, head of forensic pathology at Indiana University Medical Center, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper in September 1990 that “I cannot prove she had an illegal abortion. I cannot prove she had anything but a spontaneous abortion [miscarriage].”

Dr. Curtis Harris, president of the American Academy of Medical Ethics, examined the post-mortem report and consulted with four leading medical experts.

Together they agreed with Pless that Bell had an incomplete miscarriage, not an abortion, and the pneumonia that killed her was unrelated to her pregnancy. [Ertelt,, 27July06]