On November 20, 1925, 29-year-old Anna Kick died in Chicago's Washington Park Hospital from an abortion performed that day at an undisclosed location. That same day, 23-year-old Mrs. Helen Bain died in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion performed that day. The coroner determined that a midwife was responsible for Anna's death, but did not determine the midwife's name. Dr. George Slater was arrested on November 21 for Helen's death, and was indicted by a grand jury for homicide on May 1, 1928.
I have been unable to locate any further information about these deaths.
Those tempted to wax eloquent about how it was abortion's illegality that led to Anna and Helen's deaths, consider the times. Things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future -- though medicine was improving all the time. In fact, 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.
It's also very difficult to credit legalization with any improvement in abortion practice when you consider our third anniversary for today: the 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, the 41-year-old Nepalese refugee who sought an abortion from the Women's Medical Society, Kermit Gosnell's filthy Philadelphia "house of horrors." Read her story and try to claim that she was in any way a beneficiary of legalization. And tsk-tsking that after all, what Gosnell did was illegal doesn't carry any weight. It was a deliberate decision by supporters of legalized abortion to look the other way and allow Gosnell to ply his murderous trade. Had abortion been illegal, Gosnell's deplorable activities would have been much harder to sweep under the rug, and Philadelphia law enforcement would have been empowered to stop him after the first signs of trouble.