A Coroner's Inquest was held regarding the February 6, 1870 death of 22-year-old Mary Donigan. Mary died at the Brooklyn home of Mrs. Bridget Dillon, who testified that she'd known Mary for about 18 years. Mary had come to her home on a Monday afternoon about three weeks before her death, looking very sickly but not complaining of illness. By the time Friday came around, Mary was reporting being sick with diarrhea.
Mary slept until noon the next day. Mrs. Dillon checked on her and found her appearing very ill. Mrs. Dillon offered to empty the slop pail in the room, but Mary said, "No, I've had a baby and it is in there; my mother sent me down to Margaret Farrell's, but she wouldn't keep me, so I thought I would come to you."
Mrs. Dillon looked in the pail and saw the baby, which she described as large -- in keeping with Mary's report of having been pregnant for about eight months. Mary reported that she had paid a doctor $5 for a bottle of medicine -- she refused to name this doctor -- and that she had thrown the bottle "in the water closet." Mrs. Dillon testified that Mary reported having taken the medicine about two or three weeks earlier, and that afterward she'd not felt her baby moving any more.
Mrs. Dillon consulted with some other women, as well as a pharmacist, about caring for Mary. The druggist provided some powders that she was to give to Mary every hour, but Mary didn't want to take more after the first dose, reporting that they only made her feel worse and blistered her mouth. Mary refused the services of either a doctor or a priest. In early February, Mary had taken such a turn for the worse that Mrs. Dillon sent for both a doctor and a priest. The doctor, Matthew F. Regan, testified that he'd been summoned to a garret room where he found Mary in bed, "suffering from inflammation of the womb and the covering of the bowels." Mary reported being married and having suffered a miscarriage the preceding Friday. Dr. Regan prescribed some medication and returned on Saturday.
At that time, Mary admitted that she wasn't married, and that she'd not seen a doctor or had any sort of abortion performed. He told her that her condition was very grave, "that I had seen women die who were not so low as she was." Mary identified a Mr. Burdie or McBurdie, who worked in the brick yards in Haverstraw, where Mary lived, as the father of the baby. When Dr. Regan returned at noon on Sunday to check on Mary, he found her dead. Dr. A. W. Shepard performed a post mortem examination on Mary and found no signs of instrumentation, but plenty of signs of infection in and around the uterus. He determined that she had died from an abortion.
1895: A Doctor at a Lying-In Hospital
Dr. D. J. Seaman performed the abortion that eventually took Emily's life. Women who were at the hospital to give birth had been instructed to say that "Myrtle" had given birth to a live baby that had been placed with a foster family. The police recovered the baby's body, which had been buried in the back yard.
1919: An Unknown Perpetrator
On February 6, 1919, 22-year-old homemaker Edna Griffith died at Chicago's Passavant Hospital from septic pneumonia initiating from complications of an abortion perpetrated by a person who was never identified.
1952: A Professional Lay Abortionist
|Jane McDaniel Wite|
Betty died on February 6, from peritonitis. Her husband had managed to rush home from Tokyo in time to see his wife before she died. An autopsy verified that an abortion had been performed and had caused Betty's death.
The criminal case against White went well until the defense managed to have the Betty's deathbed statement declared inadmissible because it couldn't be proved satisfactorily that Betty believed herself to be near death. With the deathbed statement thrown out, the case was dropped. White was, however, clearly operating as an abortionist, since an operating table, fashioned from an old restaurant table, and surgical instruments had been sized from her home at the time of her arrest -- "enough instruments and medicine to stock a small hospital."
1986: A Prestigious Chain of Abortion Facilities
Denise Holmes, Patricia Chacon, Mary Pena, Josefina Garcia, Joyce Ortenzio, Tami Suematsu, Deanna Bell, Susan Levy, Christina Mora, Ta Tanisha Wesson, Nakia Jorden, Maria Leho, Kimberly Neil, Maria Rodriguez, and Chanelle Bryant. The FPA facilities remain members of the National Abortion Federation despite these deaths.
1987: Safe and Legal in Cleveland
Life Dynamics lists 26-year-old Kathy Davis on their "Blackmun Wall of deaths caused by safe and legal abortions. Citing Kathy's death certificate, Life Dynamics says that Kathy died at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital of heart failure and hypertension following a legal abortion on February 6, 1987.