I have very little information on today's illegal abortion anniversary. On November 26, 1923, 23-year-old Alice Johnson died at Chicago's West End Hospital from a criminal abortion performed there that day. The coroner identified Dr. Lorenz Lapsky as being responsible for Alice's death. Lapsky was indicted by a grand jury for felony murder on December 15.
Monica" was a 31-year-old mother of five. She requested an abortion when
she was 8 weeks pregnant, but the abortion was delayed about a month in
order to address "some health, personal and administrative problems."
Her doctor decided that it was best to simply remove Monica's uterus
with the fetus still in it. The hysterectomy was done under general
anesthesia with no apparent complications. However, on the second day after surgery, Monica developed fever and nausea, and
had no bowel sounds. The next day she felt unwell and had a distended
The next day, she felt better and resumed eating, but still had not had a bowel movement.
Six days after the surgery, November 26, 1971, Monica began to scream
and vomit. She reported severe abdominal pain and couldn't see. Within
an hour of the onset of these symptoms, Monica died.
The autopsy revealed grim findings. Monica had a severe infection that
had interfered with her bowel function. As she continued to eat but not
to have bowel movements, her bowels backed up, allowing gastric juices
to enter her lungs and begin to digest them. She also had bacteria in
her brain, which may have caused her blindness in the final hour of her
Leigh Ann Alford, age 34, who underwent a safe and legal abortion at the hands of Dr. Malachy DeHenre at Summit Medical Center of Alabama, a National Abortion Federation member clinic, on November 25, 2003.
Leigh Ann was discharged from the clinic 20 minutes after her abortion,
according to a lawsuit filed by her husband. Within six hours, he said,
he called the facility to report that Leigh Ann was suffering pain and
fever, and was told that his wife did not need to be seen. He later
found her lying unresponsive on the floor. She died about 18 hours after
the clinic had sent her home. Death was attributed to hemorrhagic shock from an unrecognized uterine perforation.