Tuesday, February 10, 2009

1957: Abortion by veterinarian proves fatal

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 was not preformed by a physician, as was by far the most typical scenario. Still, it was performed by somebody with medical training, which was unusual but still more common than amateur or self-induced abortions.

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

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