The Seminole County News in Oklahoma reported that Katherine Cross died October 10, 1917, from a "criminal operation" performed by Dr. A. H. Yates and his assistant, a schoolteacher named Frederick O‘Neal. Katherine, who had been born in August of 1899, was 18 years old.
I learned about Katherine‘s sad end while looking for memorials for the unborn at Find-a-Grave. Evidently Colby Weaver, who is interested in old headstones, was intrigued by the inscription on Katherine‘s headstone: "Murdered by Human Wolves." He gathered the following information.
Katherine was the second victim Yates was charged with murdering by abortion in as many months. Elise Stone had died in August.
How common was it for a woman, back before legalization, to find a doctor to do her abortion?
It was very common -- probably more than 90% of the time.
It was about as common as finding any other kind of abortionist -- about 50%.
It was fairly uncommon -- about 10%.
It was very rare -- less than 2%.
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
To email this post to a friend, use the icon below.