On October 20, 1921, 30-year-old Annie Sczepkowski died at Jefferson Park Hospital in Chicago from complications of an abortion perpetrated by an unknown suspect. Tillie Pawlowski was arrested, but exonerated by the Coroner.
Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like
antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about
abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.
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. These improvements happened long before legalization, and credit for them is due to those who improved both public health and medical practice, not to those who came along afterward and laud themselves for what others have done. Learn more here.