Friday, August 20, 2010

Historic abortion death

On August 20, 1880, Miss M.A.M. Faulkner, a white woman formerly of Ottawa, Canada, died at the office of Dr. Thomas J. Cream during the commission of an illegal abortion. Cream, a white physician, and Mrs. Mackey, a Black nurse, were arrested in the death.

I have no information on overall maternal mortality, or abortion mortality, in the 19th century. I imagine it can't be too much different from maternal and abortion mortality at the very beginning of the 20th Century.

Note, please, that with ordinary 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 on this era, see Abortion Deaths in the 19th Century.

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

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