Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two illegal deaths, one verified, one questionable

According to the National Organization for Women web site, Ruth Irene Friedl was a married, 27-year-old mother of two. NOW's site said that pregnancy was life-threatening for Ruth, but they don't specify why, nor do they say why, if her life was in danger, she was denied a legal abortion. NOW says that Ruth drank ergot apiol, an herbal abortifacient, on August 21, 1929. That night, according to NOW, Ruth collapsed at the dinner table in front of her husband and children, and died on the spot.

I'd welcome any verifying information on Mrs. Friedl's death. After all, NOW also claims that Becky Bell died from complications of an illegal abortion, when in fact she died of pneumonia concurrent with a miscarriage. (There was no evidence that Becky's pregnancy had been tampered with in any way.) But if people who think abortion is a good idea want to blame Ruth's death on abortion, I'll let them claim her as somebody their ideology killed. If NOW's story is true, Ruth's abortion was unusual in that it was self-induced rather than performed by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

A coroner, and a murder investigation and trial, make it clear that on
August 21, 1923, 32-year-old Catherine Stange died in Denver of septicemia due to an abortion blamed on Dr. Daniel R. Lucy. This was quite the scandal, since in addition to being a doctor, Lucy was a city councilman. His high position also meant that he was given warning of his pending arrest for second degree murder, to give him time to arrange bail. Lucy's only comment to the press after being told of the charge against him was to note that he was not surprised, that this was what he had expected from the coroner's jury. He was later acquitted of the charges, for reasons that the source does not explain.

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