Thursday, April 02, 2015

Fatal Effort of a Likely Midwife

On April 2, 1912, 25-year-old homemaker Elizabeth Jorgeson died from an abortion perpetrated that day by Katie Sauer, whose profession is not given. Sauer was held by the Coroner's Jury and indicted by a Grand Jury on November 30. The case never went to trial.

An article in the Chicago Inter-Ocean from the year before Elizabeth's death identifies a Chicago woman named Katie Sauer as a midwife. I am working to verify if the midwife and the abortionist are the same person.

Note, please, that with overall public health issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

Due to improvements in overall health and medical care, maternal mortality from all causes fell rapidly after 1920. Legalization of abortion didn't even make a blip on the trends.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

No comments: