An Abortifacient in New York, 1875
"The community around Oyster Bay are greatly excited over an abortion case that has been brought to light." The woman in question was identified only as Miss Bertram, so I will call her Agatha.
Agatha was engaged to a New York man. The wedding was to take place on
July 4, 1875. However, Agatha became pregnant before the wedding. She
purchased an abortifacient which didn't have the effect she desired, so
she took some other sort of abortifacient. This second abortifacient did the job, leading to the birth of a
near-term infant, which was buried in a potato patch. Agatha herself
took ill and died a few days later -- mere hours before her scheduled
wedding. The physician who was attending her declared the cause of death to be the abortion.
Agatha's fiance denied being the father of the dead baby. "There is a
suspicion entertained of another young man". Police began an
investigation into who he might be, and into who sold Agatha the fatal
An Unknown Profession in Chicago, 1913
On July 4, 1913, 33-year-old Russian immigrant Mary Goldstein, nee Solomon, died in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated by Minnie Bernstein.
Bernstein is identified only as "abortion provider", so she might have
been a lay abortionist, though given the proliferation of doctors and
midwives practicing abortion in Chicago at the time, she might have been
a trained medical professional.
Bernstein was held by the Coroner, and indicted by the Grand Jury for
felony murder on September 1, but the case never went to trial.