On July 22, 1974, twenty-two-year-old Carol Wingo died of a Demerol over dose during a safe and legal abortion at Mercy General Hospital in Detroit. Despite the name, Mercy was not a general hospital. It was an abortion hospital. It was also a hospital in big trouble even before Carole's death. The Michigan Public Department of Health had cited Mercy for 43 violations of nursing standards and 12 violations of physical plant standards in October of 1973, and had withheld their license. Among the violations were that the operating room lacked a cardiac monitor, a resuscitator, and a defibrillator.
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.
Very little is on record about the death of 17-year-old Gertrude Wynants. According to the New York Times,
Gertrude died on July 22, 1925, of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Margaret
Shott Higgens, age 25, was indicted for manslaughter in Gertrude's