Saturday, March 05, 2011

1900: Fatal abortion in Chicago

On March 5, 1900, Mrs. Alice Koester died in German Hospital from complications of an illegal abortion evidently performed there that day by Maria Janke.

Janke was arrested March 10, and held by Coroner's Jury on March 11. She was sentenced by Judge Clifford to Joliet Penitentiary.

Janke's employment status is listed as "professional", but nothing more specific is indicated to clarify why she would be performing an illegal abortion in a hospital.

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.
external image Illegals.png

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

No comments: