Sunday, July 01, 2012

Four Abortion Deaths, 1882 - 1981

On Saturday, July 1, 1882, Gussie Ellergood of Carlisle, Illinois, died in a St. Louis hospital. She had been admitted the previous Wednesday after having taken sick. Her death was due to a botched abortion. Gussie was a servant working in the home of Dr. Edgar Park. She made a deathbed statement naming Dr. R. McWilliams as her abortionist, though McWilliams denied any knowledge of her.

On July 1, 1936, Madell Williams died in a Rocky Mount, North Carolina hospital, from peritonitis caused by a criminal abortion. Melton Baker, a man she had been associating with for about 18 months, was found guilty of arranging the fatal abortion, and was sentenced to 3 - 5 years in prison. His conviction was upheld on appeal.

"Audrey" was 44 years old when she underwent a first-trimester abortion in New York on July 1, 1971, now legal under New York's liberalized abortion law. During the abortion she went into cardiac arrest. Attempts to revive her failed; she died that day, leaving three children motherless.

Sheryl Cottone was 23 years old when she underwent a first trimester abortion in June of 1981. She was rushed to Veteran's Memorial Hospital in Waukon, Iowa, on July 1. She was pronounced dead on arrival. An autopsy found that she had died from an embolism that lodged in her heart.

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