On July 6, 1930, Mary Tulis, age 34, died in Chicago from complications of an abortion. She died at the scene of the crime. Marie La Montagne, who lived at the scene, was fingered in the abortion. Dr. O.W. Sommer of Francis Willard Hospital had been brought to the scene by somebody when it became apparent that Mary had peritonitis. Neither Montagne nor Sommer is mentioned in the coroner's verdict.
Pearl Schwier, age 42, was 20 weeks pregnant when she sought a safe, legal abortion at St. Luke's hospital in New York City. She was brought into the operating room on July 6, 1970 for a hysterotomy abortion, which is simply a c-section in which the intention is to allow the baby to die rather than to deliver him or her alive. It was performed under general anesthesia. About 45 minutes into the procedure, Pearl had a reaction to the anesthesia and died.
During the first two thirds of the 20th Century, while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality, including mortality from abortion. Most researches attribute this plunge to improvements in public health and hygiene, the development of blood transfusion techniques, and the introduction of antibiotics. Deaths continued to fall as the century went on, with nary a blip on the line with legalization. Learn more here.