According to a December 17, 1940 article in the New York Times, Miss Alice Corbett died October 18, 1939, from complications of a criminal abortion. Dr. Allen F. Murphy was sentenced to 2-10 years in Sing-Sing for Alice's death.
Another New York Times article, this one from October 28, 1942, notes that on October 18, 1942, 23-year-old Harriet Lichtenberg of Brooklyn died in Royal Hospital, the Bronx, from suspected criminal abortion complications. Dr. Henry Katz was indicted for first degree manslaughter in Harriet's death.
These fatal abortions were typical of pre-legalization abortions in that they were performed by doctors.
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion
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