Monday, November 17, 2008

1935: Oklahoma abortion proves fatal

On November 17, 1935, Georgia Marie McGill, 21-year-old daughter of oil company superintendent George McGill, died from an apparent criminal abortion in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Marie's father identified Dr. W. R. Mitchell as the perpetrator. Mitchell was already a reputed abortionist, and police had already gotten many complaints about him prior to Marie's death. Mitchell was arrested and tried but the case ended with a hung jury. After the trial, Mitchell resumed his abortion business and was arrested again for his practice.

Marie's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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