On September 8, 1923, 16-year-old Madge Bowman died at Chicago's Garfield Park Hospital from an abortion performed there that day. Midwife Kate Seuer and a man named Walter Page were arrested on October 5, but were later cleared by the coroner. 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.
Seventeen-year-old Kathy Murphy went to Inglewood Women's Hospital in Los Angeles County for a safe and legal abortion on August 24, 1973. During
the days after her abortion, Kathy suffered breathing problems and
became semi-conscious, so Inglewood staff transferred her by ambulance to
Centinela Hospital on September 7. Later that night, Cetinela transferred Kathy back to Inglewood, where John Dupont pronounced her dead at 1:20 on the morning of September 8. The autopsy found that Kathy had died of sepsis from the abortion; her cervix and uterus were infected, and her cervix covered with greenish-black pus. Other women who died after abortions at Inglewood include Belinda Byrd, Cora Lewis, Lynette Wallace, and Elizabeth Tsuji.
Legalization certainly didn't help the women who trusted their lives to Inglewood Women's Hospital. As you can see from the graph below, abortion deaths were falling
dramatically before legalization. This steep fall had been in place for
decades. To argue that legalization lowered abortion mortality simply
isn't supported by the data.