On March 10, 1929, 18-year-old Alline Brown, nee Lavell, died in Chicago from a criminal abortion. The culprit was never identified or brought to justice. She left behind her husband, Arthur.
Let's move forward, shall we, to the post-Roe era, to the age of stalwart heroes of reproductive health care, those brave and compassionate providers who are honored today.
Eighteen-year-old Erna Fisher's mother held her hand as Dennis W. Miller performed a safe and legal abortion on her on March 10, 1988. During the abortion, Erna suddenly sat up, went into convulsions, and began to vomit.
Miller continued with the abortion while Erna choked to death on her own vomit. When an ambulance crew arrived, they found Erna's airway still full of vomit. Miller was making no attempt at resuscitation, but was holding Erna in his arms. Miller had already settled six malpractice cases in the Kansas City area. He had failed the Missouri state medical exam three times before finally giving up. It took nine tries for him to pass the exam to be licensed in Kansas.
But hey, he's an abortionist. That makes him a hero.