On August 28, 1926, 44-year-old Margaret Muscia died from a criminal abortion performed that day in Chicago. Mrs. Minnie Miller, alias Molinaro, was arrested on July 10 for Margaret's death. Minnie's profession is not given. On November 15, she was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury.
Naomi Congdon, age 21, was the wife a sailor stationed in Norman, Oklahoma. On July 27, 1943, Dr. Andrew Young examined Naomi and noted that she was
Naomi told her husband that she wanted to "do something" about the
pregnancy. She even admitted to him that she had ingested turpentine to
try to cause an abortion, but had vomited it back up. Heobjected to
the idea of an abortion, but on August 16 found a note from his wife, telling him that she
was at the home of Mrs. Lena Griffin Smith, a 63-year-old maternity
nurse in Oklahoma City. He went there and found his wife in great
pain. He contacted doctors at the naval base, who instructed him to have
Naomi brought to the base hospital.
Police raided Smith's practice at her residence, finding one woman in
bed recuperating from an abortion, and another just arriving for
"treatment." Smith, who'd gone to medical school for two years, confessed that she and a nurse had been
operating an abortion business for about 15 years. Meanwhile, a Navy doctor examined Naomi and found she had a fever of
103 from an infection that appeared to have started in her uterus. He
administered sulfa drugs and blood transfusions but Naomi died of septicemia on August 28. Smith was charged with first-degree manslaughter. Her defense claimed
that Naomi had already been feverish when she'd come for care, and that
the fatal infection had originated in an ingrown toenail.
The jury found Smith guilty, and recommended a 10-year sentence.
Smith also faced manslaughter charges regarding the death of an infant
born in an Oklahoma City hospital after Smith had attempted to perform
an abortion on the child's mother.