A controversial El Paso doctor who made national headlines in the 1980s as an abortionist has died.
Dr. Raymond E. Showery died last week of unknown causes, though the specific date of death was not released by his family. He was 84.
In 1981, Showery was accused of trying to run an El Paso Times reporter off the road while the doctor was being investigated on a number of allegations made by his patients.
In 1983, Showery was found guilty of the 1979 murder of a 5- to 7-month-old fetus he had attempted to abort. Showery's employees testified they saw the baby girl attempting to breathe and claimed that Showery smothered and drowned her, though a corpse was never found, according to El Paso Times archives. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
While free on bail pending an appeal on the murder charge, Showery was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a 28-year-old mother of four who died from hemorrhaging after an abortion he performed at his Southside Medical Center in 1984. The woman's uterus and a uterine artery were perforated during the procedure.
Prosecutors charged that Showery used inadequately trained staff, failed to properly treat the tear, delayed treatment and delayed transferring her to a hospital, news archives show.
At the same time, a number of women protested in his defense, stating that Showery was a good doctor who helped them in hard times, according to news reports.
His appeal was denied.
A number of other complaints were filed against Showery over the years, including that he charged women for abortions when they were not pregnant and that he falsified records to show that women were 20 weeks pregnant when they were past that mark.
Other allegations centered around the inappropriate disposal of fetuses, after a male fetus was found frozen in a freezer in Showery's hospital in 1984. He was also charged with operating a child placement agency without a license after allegedly helping a woman adopt a baby born at his hospital.
Born in Houston to Syrian immigrants, Showery worked as a dishwasher, chauffeur and milk delivery man in his youth, according to his obituary. He played football for Texas Western College, now the University of Texas at El Paso, and taught biology at Ysleta High School. He also worked as a chemist at Phelps Dodge refinery.
Showery was a commander in the U.S. Navy and graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the obituary states.
In his obituary, his family remembered him as "loved, regarded, respected, charming and captivating." Showery had seven children, two of whom preceded him in death. He was buried last week at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
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