On January 13, 1911, 27-year-old homemaker Rauka Wilen died at Chicago's Augusta Hospital of peritonitis caused by an abortion. Midwife Mary Rominel was arrested and indicted by a grand jury.
On January 13, 1915, 23-year-old Mrs. Beulah Rehm died at Wesley Hospital after an abortion perpetrated that day at Dr. A.L. Blunt's Chicago practice. Blunt was held by the Coroner but the case never went to trial.
During the first two thirds of the 20th Century, while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality, including mortality from abortion. Most researches attribute this plunge to improvements in public health and hygiene, the development of blood transfusion techniques, and the introduction of antibiotics. Learn more here.
Jumping ahead to the era of safe, legal abortions:
Christin Gilbert, a 19-year-old woman with Down syndrome, was brought from Texas to George Tiller's Wichita abortion facility for a presumably safe and legal late abortion on January 10, 2005. Like all Tiller late abortion patients, ostensibly so sick that their pregnancies endanger their lives or health, Christin spent the bulk of her time during the abortion process at a motel, in the care of her family, between visits to the facility. On January 12, Tiller's staff diagnosed Christin as being "dehydrated". She was given IV fluids then sent back to the motel. She had numerous episodes of vomiting, and lost consciousness several times. Rather than call an ambulance or take her to the hospital, Christin's family waited until morning and took her to Tiller's clinic. There she went into cardiac arrest. Tiller employee Marguerite Reed called 911, but was vague and "evasive," and claiming falsely that Christin was alert. When the ambulance crew arrived, Dr. LeRoy Carhart was performing CPR on a clinically dead patient, in such an incompetent manner that the EMS workers thought he was a bystander, not a physician.Ambulance staff resuscitated Christin, then transported her to the hospital. She was pumped full of antibiotics to try to treat the underlying sepsis that evidently had caused the cardiac arrest, but to no avail. She died that day of systemic organ failure.Tiller's facility was a member of the National Abortion Federation.