Friday, June 01, 2012

Oklahoma 1938; Chicago, 1926

Mary Ellen Legge, a 24-year-old department store clerk, died June 1, 1938, from a criminal abortion. Otto Lucy, an Oklahoma City psychologist and teacher, was sentenced to 25 years after pleading guilty in her death. He had charged Mary Ellen $75 for the fatal abortion. A practical nurse, Ella Hartin, admitted to helping Lucy perform the abortion. She said that Lucy had frequently brought his abortion patients to her home. While he was out on bail pending disposition of this case, he performed the fatal abortion on Goldie Crow.

On June 1, 1926, Willie Pearl Walker, an 18-year-old Black homemaker born in Eaton, Georgia, died at her Chicago home from complications of a criminal abortion performed that day. A white doctor, Thomas J. New, was held by the coroner in Willie Pearl's death. Willie's abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was performed by a doctor.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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