Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1901: Chicago woman dies, female doc held by coroner's jury

Mrs. George W. Robinson, age 28, died at her Chicago home on August 18, 1901, from an abortion performed there that day. Dr. Muenster was arrested that day, and she was held by the Coroner's Jury. Mrs. Robinson's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Note, please, that with overall public health 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

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