In early March of 1906, Anna Gosch's boyfriend, Mr. Edwards, went to the town of Kearney, Nebraska and got a hotel room with the intent of perpetrating an abortion. Edwards wouldn't say what happened in the hotel room. He did say that the next day he took her to her home, and using a speculum he tried to insert a catheter into her uterus, which at the time was a method often used by doctors to cause an abortion. Edwards, however, couldn't get the catheter inserted. He said that Anna went upstairs and returned with a catheter with a wire in it, which would stiffen it for insertion. He said that the wire did its job in allowing him to get the catheter inserted. He then bent the wire and threw it away. A physician, Dr. Cameron, was called on Thursday, March 15, to care for Anna. He saw her twice a day until the Monday before her death. During that time he consulted with another physician and concluded that Anna was going to die, which she did at about 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 1906, at 6:10 PM. Edwards was convicted of homicide. Anna's death is similar to the death of "Daisy" Roe, a systems analyst who died in 1990 after allowing her boyfriend to attempt to perform an abortion on her with a piece of aquarium tubing.
On March 20, 1926, 19-year-old Alice Annalora died at the County Hospital in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed that day. Dr. Wilford Vine
was booked for Alice's death, as was her husband, Joseph Annalora. Vine
was indicted for felony murder. Ultimately, the coroner was unable to
determine the legal status of the abortion that killed Alice, so Dr.
Vine and Mr. Annalora were released.
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion