Monday, January 21, 2013

Three Pre-Legalization Deaths

On January 21, 1919, 26-year-old Wanda Skrzypzak died at Chicago's St. Elizabeth's Hospital from an abortion perpetrated by Dr. Michael Rozumski and Dr. John P. Wojtaleiwicz They were held by the Coroner for intentional manslaughter by abortion on January 22, and were indicted on February 15, but the case never went to trial. There were allegations of police corruption associated with the case.

On January 21 of 1926, 38-year-old homemaker Victoria Smith died in Chicago from a botched abortion, evidently performed at Jefferson Park Hospital. On January 26, the coroner pushed for the arrest of Peter Krakowski as the principal and Mary Sprochi as an accessory. Krakowski's profession is not given, though he might have been some sort of medical professional, since the abortion was performed at a hospital. On February 15, Krakowski was indicted for felony murder.

On January 21, 1961, Dr. Mandel M. Friedman contacted a Queens undertaker, asking him to arrange burial for 23-year-old Vivian Grant of New York. Friedman told the undertaker that Vivian, unmarried and working as a book editor, had died of a heart ailment. The undertaker notified authorities, who determined that although Vivian had not been pregnant, Friedman had attempted to perform an abortion on her, causing her death. Friedman was charged with homicide and falsifying a death certificate. Friedman resurfaced late the following year. He was charged with homicide in the death of Barbara C. Covington, a Florida socialite. Vivian's abortion was typical in that it was performed by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

Due to improvements in addressing these health and health-care delivery problems, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

No comments: