Thursday, March 19, 2009

1907: Doc's work fatal for Chicago woman

On March 19, 1907, Mrs. Bessie Simons, age 30, died at her Chicago home from complications of a criminal abortion performed there that day. Dr. C. D. Hughes was arrested in the death. Bessie's abortion was typical in that it was performed by a physician.

Note, please, that with issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

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

To email this post to a friend, use the icon below.

No comments: