On February 3, 1912, 37-year-old homemaker Helen Imhoff died on the scene from blood poisoning caused by an abortion perpetrated by Dr. W. A. Beringer and midwife Margaret Meyer. They were indicted by a Grand Jury on March 1, but the case never went to trial.
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.
In fact, due to improvements in addressing these 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.
For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.
Denise Crowe was 21 years old, mother of a 3-year-old son, when she went there for an abortion on February 3, 2006. She was 16
weeks pregnant, accompanied by a friend, who was helping to keep the abortion a secret from Denise's
family. Ferrer started the D&E abortion.
Twenty-five minutes later, Ferrer was still pulling fetal parts out of
his patient. Denise was "still responding to pain" so he pushed multiple drugs while he worked. It wasn't until 1:45 that Ferrer
completed the abortion.Denise was moved to the recovery room, where at 1:47 staff noticed blue coloring in Denise's
fingernails. A nurse assistant was unable to get a blood pressure or
pulse reading on Denise, and told Ferrer. He gave a verbal order for 0.4
mg Narcan, a
drug to counteract narcotics.At 1:50, Ferrer began efforts to resuscitate Denise and his staff called 911. The medics arrived to find Denise still unresponsive and without a pulse. They
transported her to the hospital. There, staff continued attempts to resuscitate her, to no avail. She was
pronounced dead at 2:57 p.m. The autopsy found that the cause of death was an overdose of Demerol. The medical board faulted Ferrer in his care of Denise both for administering medications in a dangerous manner and for failing to use proper equipment and methods to monitor and resuscitate her. They suspended Ferrer's license.