On February 10, 1957, veterinarian Ira Ledbetter performed an abortion on 38-year-old Alice Kimberly. Ledbetter used a veterinary instrument called a milk tube on Alice, causing lacerations and an embolism. A milk tube is a cannula with a bulb syringe attached, which sounds very much like the early abortion device popularized by Harvey Karman. Alice quickly died of her injuries, leaving Ledbetter with a dead woman in his car and no very convincing story to explain how she got there.
My recent research uncovered more about Alice's fatal choice. Click on her name to learn more.
Alice's abortion was unusual in that it was not preformed by a physician, as was by far the most typical scenario. Still, it was performed by somebody with medical training, which was unusual but still more common than amateur or self-induced abortions.