Monday, December 05, 2011

1905: One Dead Woman, Two Doctors Arrested

On December 5, 1905, 19-year-old Mrs. Annie Killhoff died at her home from an abortion performed there that day. Two physicians, Joseph Vassumpaur and Charles Boddiger, were arrested, Vassumpaur as the principle and Boddiger as an accessory. Patrick Dillon was also held as an accessory. The case, however, never went to trial, for reasons not provided by the source. Annie's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Note, please, that with issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

external image Illegals.png
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion


alexis_camille said...

-I Believe that this case should have gone to trial. It doesn't make any sense that numerous females are dying because of abortions gone wrong. She was very young at that. I believe that the abortion laws need to be re-evaluated and changed. Maybe more lives can be saved.

Christina Dunigan said...

We really need to go over the old laws, state by state, and plug up all the old loopholes now, before Roe falls.