Monday, March 09, 2009

1921: Abortion by doctor leaves children motherless

On March 1, 1921, Dr. C.W. Milliken performed an abortion on Iva J. Triplett. Milliken was practicing in Akron, Ohio. Immediately after the abortion, Iva became severely ill. She continued under Milliken's care until she died of septicemia and peritonitis on March 9, leaving a widower and children.

Iva's survivors sued, not only for the injury but for failure to inform Iva's family of the nature of her illness so that they could seek and provide appropriate care for her.

Iva's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Eight years later, on March 9, 1929, Alline L. Brown died in Chicago from a criminal abortion. The culprit was never identified or brought to justice.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

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