Friday, September 02, 2011

Two anniversaries, one with powerful lessons for the future

I'm covering the more recent death first today, because it's the one we know the least about. On December 4, 1916, 23-year-old Pauline Hill died at Chicago's Post Graduate Hospital from complications of an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. Ges. E. Fosberg at his office. The case never went to trial.

The earlier death is one where, with more information, I have more to reflect on.

Marie Hicht, employed as a domestic on Dearborn Avenue, died September 2, 1899 at the office of Dr. Louise Hagenow from complications of an abortion performed there that day. Dr. Hagenow was sentenced to Joliet prison in 1900 for Marie's death. Tragically, Hagenow did not remain in prison for long, and was quickly freed to kill Lola Madison in 1906. For reasons I've been unable to determine, the case against Hagenow was dropped on July 22, 1907 -- by which point she had already killed Annie Horvatich. Hagenow, nearly 60 years old at the time of her trial, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for Annie's death.

The elderly Hagenow immediately resumed her deadly career upon her release, killing
Lottie Lowy, Nina H. Pierce, Jean Cohen, Bridget Masterson, and Elizabeth Welter in 1925 and Mary Moorehead in 1926.

Hagenow's trail of destruction holds lessons we need to take to heart:

1. An unrepentant abortionist is utterly incorrigible. If released from prison, he will almost certainly kill again. If a convicted abortionist is ever paroled, he must be kept under close supervision until he either dies or becomes too incapacitated to do further harm.

2. An abortion-tolerant society is one that also tolerates woman-killing butchers like Lucy Hagenow. We must strike at the very heart of abortion advocacy and make abortion every bit as unthinkable as slavery if we are to have any success protecting unborn children and their mothers from butchers like Hagenow.

3. Loopholes in the law must be identified and closed. Abortionists and their lawyers will be ever vigilant in their quest to keep the Lucy Hagenows of the world in business. We must remain equally vigilant in spotting their tricks and heading off loopholes. This means that legal scholars must carefully study exactly how ghouls like Lucy Hagenow were able to derail investigations, get charges dropped, win acquittals even when their participation in fatal abortions was glaringly obvious, and successfully challenge their convictions.

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