Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two illegal anniversaries

On February 20, 1919, W. G. Waters and M. T. Summerlin performed an abortion on Viola Parr with instruments of some sort, causing her death. I have been unable to determine what professions Waters and Summerlin pursued when they weren't acting as abortionists.

Viola's abortion was unusual in that it was apparently performed by an amateur, rather than by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

Fast forward to 1927, when on February 20, 23-year-old Angerita Hargarten died in her home from an abortion performed there that day. Midwives Anna Trezek and Frances Raz were held by the coroner, Trezek as the principal and Raz as her accomplice. Again, this was unusual, but a bit more typical in that Trezek and Raz had medical training.

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

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