Saturday, May 07, 2016

Mystery Abortion, Health of the Mother Abortion

Mystery Abortion, 1905

On May 7, 1905, Mrs. Hannah Calhoun died in Peoria, Illinois, from fever and blood poisoning attributed to an abortion. At first, Dr. J. W. Parker and his assistant, Dr. John Peattie, were held in the death. Then the Grand Jury heard from Sophia Spellman, Hannah's mother. Her testimony, to the effect that Parker had only been called in to attend to Hannah after she had taken ill, was enough to lead the Grand Jury to exonerate the men, though they were both reputed abortionists. Parker had been charged in another abortion, evidently not fatal, several years earlier. Hannah's mother would not concede that Hannah had aborted the pregnancy, but said that if there had been an abortion performed, Hannah must have done it herself.

Health of the Mother, 1980

Some time in early 1980, Marie Gibson, age 34, was admitted to Anderson Memorial Hospital in Anderson, South Caroline because of an intestinal obstruction. Marie was pregnant at the time. Doctors decided that an abortion would improve her condition. The abortion had the opposite of the intended effect. Marie's condition deteriorated. She developed respiratory distress system, then went into shock. She died on May 7. Her physician attributed her death to amniotic fluid embolism, but no autopsy was performed to confirm this.

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