Saturday, December 17, 2011

1914: Unknown Perp Leaves Three Children Motherless

On December 17, 1914, 24-year-old Emma Fertig, wife of Edward Fertig, died at Chicago's West Side Hospital from an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator. She left behind three children: Howard (1910), Evalyn (1912), and George (1913).

Note, please, that with overall public health 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.

In fact, due to improvements in addressing these problems, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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