Friday, August 27, 2010

1909: Doc implicated in abortion death

On August 27, 1909, Anna Dennin, age 23, died in Chicago from an abortion. Dr. E. Mayeke held by the coroner's jury and indicted for felony murder. The source document doesn't indicate that the case went to trial.

Anna's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was evidently 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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