Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Tale of Two Teens

On September 8, 1923, 16-year-old Madge Bowman died at Chicago's Garfield Park Hospital from an abortion performed there that day. Midwife Kate Seuer and a man named Walter Page were arrested on October 5, but were later cleared by the coroner.

Seventeen-year-old Kathy Murphy was much more fortunate than Madge. After all, abortion was legal, readily available, and perfectly safe when she went to Inglewood Women's Hospital in Los Angeles County on August 24, 1973. During the days after her abortion, Kathy suffered breathing problems and became semi-conscious, so Inglewood staff transferred her by ambulance to Centinela Hospital on September 7. Later that night, Cetinela transferred Kathy back to Inglewood, where John Dupont pronounced her dead at 1:20 on the morning of September 8. The autopsy found that Kathy had died of sepsis from the abortion; her cervix and uterus were infected, and her cervix covered with greenish-black pus. Other women who died after abortions at Inglewood include Belinda Byrd, Cora Lewis, Lynette Wallace, and Elizabeth Tsuji.

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