Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Historic Case From Dakota Territory.

Mrs. George Libby, age 18, died November 28, 1888, in Wahpeton in the Dakota territories.

Before her death she admitted that she had bought abortifacient drugs from "a traveling doctor who made a specialty of selling such drugs." I have been unable to determine Mrs. Libby's first name.

I have no information on overall maternal mortality, or abortion mortality, in the 19th century. I imagine it can't be too much different from maternal and abortion mortality at the very beginning of the 20th Century. Because of overall public health issues as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good.

For more on this era, see Abortion Deaths in the 19th Century.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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