Saturday, April 25, 2009

1902: Renege on marriage, fatal abortion

In January of 1902, Abraham Conheim promised marriage to 19-year-old Harriet Larocque. According to her father, Harriet was "previously chaste and of good reputation." With the promise of marriage, Harriet became sexually involved with Conheim.

In April of 1902, Harriet discovered that she was pregnant. Conheim reneged on his promise of marriage, and instead arranged a criminal abortion for her.

Harriet took ill after the abortion, dying on April 25.

Harriet's father sued Conheim for seducing and debauching his daughter, impregnanting her, and causing her death.

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: