According to her husband, Baptist, 26-year-old homemaker Mary Jane Douds had not been well for four years. When he'd come home from work on the morning of Monday, May 18, 1900, he found her sick in bed. He wanted to call a doctor, but “she would not have it.” Baptist figured that his wife must be menstruating, since she always had difficult periods. Three different doctors treated her over the next several days. She got weaker and finally lost consciousness a few minutes before her death at around 9:00 a.m. On May 21.
Mary Schwartz asked Marie Hansen, a coworker at the Illinois Meat Company in Chicago, to
help her arrange an abortion. That same day, a Monday in May of 1934, Marie took Mary to Dr. Justin L. Mitchell's office south of Chicago's meatpacking district.
Marie had undergone an abortion at Mitchell's hands three years earlier,
and, telling him that her friend “wants to get fixed up,” she
negotiated a discount from the usual price of $50 to $30. Marie
co-signed on a $25 loan, and lent Mary $5 “in dimes” from her own money. The next morning, the
two women again went to Mitchell's office. Marie waited outside during
the abortion, then took Mary home with her to recover. That evening,
Mary took ill, so Marie called Mitchell and told him that Mary “was bad
sick.” Mitchell told Marie to give Mary castor oil, and place warm
towels on her abdomen to help with the pain. This did not alleviate
Mary's pain, so on Marie took her back to Mitchell's office on Thursday
evening and Friday morning. Marie told Mitchell, "Don't forget to scrape
her. . . . and do a good job." At 4:00 Saturday morning, Marie was very concerned and called Mary's lover, Joe Henja, who was a foreman at the meat plant. Joe complied with Marie's request
that he come right away and get Mary. He called his own doctor then
rushed Mary to a hospital, where Mary died, likely on or slightly before
May 21, 1934.
Little is available about Sharon L. Margrove, but on May 21, 1970, she died following a safe and legal abortion in Los Angeles County, California. She was 25 years old, a native of Oregon.