Sunday, September 26, 2010

1906: Chicago doctor's fatal work

Mrs. Annie Heaney, age 50, died at Post Graduate Hospital in Chicago on September 26, 1906, from complications of a criminal abortion performed there that day. Physician Jonathan L. Miller was arrested in the death.

Note, please, that with standard 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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