On June 17, 1913, 36-year-old Freda Englehard died in Chicago, at the scene of an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. Joseph A. Meeks. Meeks was held for murder, and Mrs. Mollie Flaherty was held as an accessory, but the case never went to trial.
On June 17, 1918, 25-year-old Sophie Suida died at Chicago's St. Mary's
Hospital from complications of an abortion perpetrated by Dr. L. D.
Tucholska, who died at the county jail on June 28, before the case could
come to trial.
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
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.