Sunday, November 11, 2012

Four Crimal Abortion Deaths, 1875 - 1929

On November 8, 1875, 19-year-old Mary Foorman suddenly disappeared from her home. "No traces could be found of her, and grave suspicions were entertained."  It wasn't until May 7 of the following year that her brother finally broke down and confessed that he knew what had become of her. A man named Nathan Smith had gotten Mary pregnant. Mary's brother agreed to help Mary arrange an abortion to be performed by Dr. H. B. Mansuer (or Manzer) and Dr. J.P. McIlwain. Unfortunately, Mary died on November 11 from the abortion. She was buried in a swamp about two miles south of Eaton, Indiana. After her body was recovered, she was given a decent burial in her home town.

On November 11, 1909, Marian Lang, age 29, died in Chicago home from an abortion.Dr. Pope was indicted by a grand jury. The source document does not indicate that the case went to trial. 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 and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

On November 11, 1916, 28-year-old Mrs. (Margaret) Elizabeth Winter died at her Chicago home from an abortion perpetrated by Cecelia Stejskal, whose profession is given only as "abortion provider." Though Stejskal was held by the coroner, the case never went to trial. For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

On November 11, 1929, 23-year-old Mary Kelly died in Chicago from an abortion performed by an unidentified perpetrator.  It's likely that the abortion was perpetrated by a physician. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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