Sunday, April 26, 2009

1914: Chicago doc performs fatal abortion

On April 26, 1914, eighteen-year-old Florence S. Lindquist died in a Chicago home where an abortion had been performed on her. Dr. Arthur Schulz, who lived at the home in question, was arrested for her death.

Florence's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions 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 information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

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

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