On January 25, 1915, Dr. E. M. Ullrich of Brooklyn, was called in to attend to 20-year-old Margaret Bereis of Stanhope Street in Ridgewood, New York. He found her with a high fever. The next day he consulted with Dr. Jensen concerning Margaret's high fever. They concurred that she was suffering from septicemia. Ullrich continued to care for her until her death on January 31, filling out her death certificate attributing her death to peritonitis and blood poisoning brought on by an abortion.
Fifteen-year-old Gwendolyn Drummer was a student at Harry Ellis High in Richmond, California, when she was admitted to Doctor's Hospital of Pinole for a safe and legal abortion, to be performed January 28, 1972. Her doctor chose the saline abortion method. These abortions are performed by replacing amniotic fluid with a strong salt solution. In the decades after WWII, saline was being abandoned in countries where abortion was legal, in favor of safer methods. But as laws loosened up in the US, American doctors adopted the method. A British study published in 1966 found that the saline would enter the mother's bloodstream and cause brain damage. Swedish researchers noticed an unacceptably high rate of complications and deaths. Sweden and the Soviet Union followed Japan in abandoning saline abortion as too dangerous by the late 1960s. Gwendolyn's doctor injected the saline into her uterus. It got into Gwendolyn's blood stream, just as British, Japanese, Soviet, and Swedish doctors had repeatedly warned it could do. Gwendolyn suffered organ damage. She developed pneumonia, and died on January 31.