On October 12, 1929, 33-year-old homemaker Agnes Johnson, a native of Tours, France, underwent a criminal abortion at the Chicago office of Dr. Joseph Stern. On October 26, Agnes died. Stern was arrested that day. On November 1, he was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury.
Agnes's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.
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