Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Two Historic Abortion Deaths

Not Yellow Fever After All: Cincinnati, 1879

Twenty-year-old Jennie Fouts, separated from her husband, lived behind the First Presbyterian Church on New York Street in Cincinnati. On May 15, she collapsed on the street. When others attended to her, Jennie reported having suffered from a dull, aching pain for several days.

She took to her bed, where she was cared for until the evening of May 19, when she was admitted to City Hospital. There, she vomited a black fluid that tested positive for blood. Since this is a symptom of the yellow fever, which had killed three people in the previous few weeks, doctors treated her for that ailment.

She died on May 24, 1879. After her death authorities made contact with a doctor who had treated Jennie prior to her admission and found her to be suffering from an abortion. She would not divulge the name of her abortionist or of her baby's father.

Likely a Lay Abortionist: Chicago, 1912

On May 24, 1912, 24-year-old homemaker Margaret Dwyer died at Englewood Union Hospital in Chicago, due to sepsis caused by an abortion perpetrated the previous day byPaulina Lindenson. Lindenson's profession is listed only as "abortion provider" so it is likely that she was a lay abortionist. She was held by the Coroner on May 24, and indicted by a Grand Jury on July 19, but the case never went to trial.

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