Monday, February 20, 2012

Five From the Dark Ages and One From Our Days of Enlightenment

An inquest was held in the February 20, 1856 death of Catharine DeBreuxal. A witness testified that Catharine suffered "a violent hemorrhage" at Dr. Cobel's house, where she had remained for a few days. The coroner's jury called for the arrest of Cobel, as well as of Francis Legoupil, as an accessory.

Ida Prochnow, a 35-year-old German-born homemaker, died in St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Chicago on February 20, 1906, from an abortion performed earlier that day. Midwife Madaline Motgna was arrested in the death.

The Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database indicates that on February 20, 1916, 19-year-old Bertha Carlson died at South Park Hospital in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. Bertha was described as a white woman of English-Anglo descent. It is unclear where the abortion took place. The "Circumstances" indicate "Immediate -- death occurred at the crime scene", but the narrative said that the abortion was "performed by unknown person at place unknown." Either way, it is believed that she died the day of the abortion, since the date of offense and date of death are the same.

Meanwhile in Denver, Ada Williams, who had decided to have an abortion performed by Dr. Noble O. Hamilton before traveling to Nebraska for the impending birth of a sibling, died of sepsis on February 20 in spite of the efforts of Hamilton, two other doctors, and the local hospital.

On February 20, 1927, 23-year-old Angenita Hargarten died in her home from an abortion performed there that day. Midwives Anna Trezek and Frances Raz were held by the coroner, Trezek as the principal and Raz as her accomplice.

We can now move forward to more enlightened times: Missouri, 1988. Dr. Scott Barrett ran Central Health Center for Women, an abortion facility, in the basement of a used car dealership. Barrett had a method of knocking his patients out for their abortions by overdosing them with local injections of Lidocaine. Sometimes they'd stop breathing, but he always managed to resuscitate them. That is, until the unfortunate Stacy Ruckman, age 23, came to him on February 20. He at least called an ambulance, and the medics were able to restore a pulse, but by then Stacy's brain damage was irreversible and she was removed from life support shortly before midnight. An expert in anesthesiology estimated that Barrett had pushed over ten times a therapeutic dose of Lidocaine into Stacy.

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