On December 29, 1907, 19-year-old Marcie Mayer (or Mamie Meyer) died in St. Elizabeth's hospital in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. Mary Bing, a midwife, was arrested, tried, and sentenced to Joliet. A man named John Mansfield was also held by the coroner's jury, but acquitted by the judge. Marcie's abortion was atypical in that it was not performed by a physician.
Note, please, that with overall public health issues such 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
about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th
century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.
"Beth" was 23 years old when she traveled from Massachusetts to take advantage of New York's liberalized abortion law in 1971. The abortion was initiated by injecting saline
into Beth's uterus. But instead of the amniotic sac, the saline went
into Beth's bloodstream. Beth immediately began to have seizures and
went into a coma. She was pronounced dead on December 29, 1971.
Mary Ann Page was 36 years old
when she went into cardiac arrest during an abortion/tubal ligation
performed under general anesthesia on December 28, 1977. Both procedures were completed, then Mary Ann was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at St. Luke's Hospital.She was pronounced dead on December 29, 1977.
On December 29, 1987, 31-year-old Sheila Watley had a safe, legal abortion at Concerned Women's Center in Houston, Texas. She was 17 weeks pregnant, and had one child. The abortion was performed by Dr. Richard Cunningham. About four minutes into the procedure, Sheila went into cardio-respiratory arrest. She was pronounced dead later that day. The cause of death was listed as an amniotic fluid embolism, which is when fluid from the uterus gets into the woman's blood stream.
Hoa Thuy "Vivian" Tran, like Holly Patterson,
got abortion drugs at a Planned Parenthood. Vivian was 22 years old,
and died December 29, 2003, six days into the abortion process. She‘d
been given the drugs on December 23 at the Costa Mesa Planned Parenthood
facility. The autopsy showed that she died of sepsis. Other women identified as having died of infection deaths after RU-486 deaths in the Los Angeles area: Chanelle Bryant, and Oriane Shevin. Chanelle got her abortion drugs at a Planned Parenthood, and Oriane and Vivian got theirs from National Abortion Federation members.
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.