Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More Criminal Deaths -- Mostly the Work of Doctors

Geraldine Easley, age 19, admitted before her death on March 19, 1932, that she had undergone a criminal abortion. Since Dr. James W. Eisiminger and Dr. Richard E. Thacker had been responsible for a string of other criminal abortion deaths in the Oklahoma City area, suspicion in Geraldine's death naturally leaned toward the two known quack abortionists.

On March 19, 1916, 30-year-old Carolina Petritz died at the Chicago office of midwife Paulina Erlomus, who had perpetrated the fatal abortion there that day. Erlomus was held by the Coroner but the case never went to trial.

On March 19, 1907, Mrs. Bessie Simmons, age 30, died at her Chicago home from infection caused by a criminal abortion perpetrated on February 22 at the office of Dr. Charles D. Hughes, who was arrested in the death. Bessie's abortion was typical in that it was performed by a physician.

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.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

Mary Noble, age 38, died at her home in New York's 28th Precinct on March 19, 1867. The coroner's jury concluded that Mary had died from pyemia, "resulting from an abortion produced by the prisoner, Wm. F.J. Thiers, alias Dr. Dubois. They further hold Amelia Armstrong, alias Madame Dubois, as accessory before the fact."

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