On February 10, 1957, veterinarian Ira Ledbetter performed an abortion on Alice Kimberly. Ledbetter used a veterinary instrument called a milk tube on Alice, causing lacerations and an embolism. She quickly died of her injuries, leaving her husband with five minor children to raise alone.
Alice's abortion was unusual in that it wasn't, like most pre-legalization abortions, performed by a physician. Instead it represented a second kind, unusual but still more common than amateur or self-induced: abortions performed by people with medical training who were not physicians.
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion
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