At 2 a.m. on October 23, 1939, 26-year-old Katherine DiDonato died at Roosevelt Hospital in New York, leaving two children motherless. She had been admitted on October 16 to be treated for complications of a criminal abortion, which her husband indicated had taken place on October 13.
He told detectives that Katherine had bought some pills from drug clerk Hyman Kantor, hoping they'd cause an abortion. Kantor had recommended Dr. Aloysius Mulholland to perform an abortion.
After Katherine's death, both Mulholland and Kantor were charged with homicide.
Katherine's abortion was typical of pre-Roe abortions in that it was performed by a physician.
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion
To email this post to a friend, use the icon below.