Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Selection of Physicians, 1892 - 1989

The Infamous Lucy Hagenow Gets her Start in Chicago, 1892

At about 9:00 on the morning of Sunday, September 25, 1892, 30-year-old Sophia Kuhn "died in great agony" at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She had been brought there by ambulance the previous evening from Dr. Louise Hagenow's practice at 882 West Madison Street.

"That the woman died from the result of a most cruel criminal operation is fairly well established, and an inquest to-day will beyond question reveal the details of what has every appearance of being little less than a butchery."

A poor quality picture of a white woman of late middle age, with sharp features, wearing round spectacles and a sailor-style blouse and hat
Louise "Lucy" Hagenow
Louise Hagenow and Ellen Hellieu were arrested. Sophia's father identified them as responsible for his daughter's death. Sophie, who had been separated from her husband for about two years, had been living with her sister, Mrs. White, at the time of the pregnancy and abortion. Sophie's brother-in-law, William White, said, "My sister-in-law left home about two weeks ago. She was then complaining of being sick and in trouble. I am certain she did not go to Mrs. Hagenow and the other doctors of her own accord. There was a man in the case who must have persuaded her to submit to an operation."

While police were interviewing Hagenow, who also used the name Lucy Hagenow, at her practice, Hellieu "rushed breathless into her apartments. When she saw Dr. Hagenow's interviewer, she exclaimed: 'Don't say anything!' Then she sank exhausted upon a sofa."

Hagenow had already been implicated in the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Annie Dories, Abbie Richards, Emma Dep in San Francisco before relocating to Chicago in 1890.

She was implicated in the abortion deaths of Minnie Deering in 1891. Shortly after Sophie's death, Hagenow was again arrested, this time for the abortion death of Emily Anderson. Further abortion deaths associated with Hagenow's Chicago practice include:
More Chicago Physicians, 1925

On September 25, 1925, Faye McGinnis, a 23-year-old clerk, died at her home in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed that day. The coroner identified two physicians, Walter Penningdorf and Walter Voight, as being responsible. For Faye to choose a physician abortionist was common in Chicago in that era, though midwives were a popular choice as well. The doctors were arrested on September 25 and indicted for felony murder on October 15. Faye's husband, Roy McGinnis, was also arrested as an accomplice in his wife's death.

Safe and Legal in 1978

Minnie Lathan is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a safe and legal abortion. Minnie was 41 when she had an abortion and tubal ligation performed some time in September of 1978. Her uterus was perforated and her colon damaged during the procedure. She developed an infection and was hospitalized at Cleveland Clinic Hospital. She died there on September 25.

The Unsavory Leo Kenneally, 1986
Twenty-two-year-old Liliana Cortez, an immigrant, underwent a safe and legal abortion by Leo Kenneally at his Her Medical Clinic in Los Angeles on September 20, 1986. Other than having asthma, Liliana was in good health when she went for her abortion. After the procedure, she went into cardiac arrest. There was a 40-minute delay until the paramedics arrived to transport Liliana to a hospital. She died five days later.

Liliana's death was ruled a "therapeutic misadventure," which a coroner's spokesman called, "a nice medical term for a mistake." An attorney for Her Medical Clinic said, "If something like this happened at a hospital ... people would just say it was bad luck, one of those flukey things. But ... all of a sudden they make it seem like these (abortion clinics) are terrible places where terrible things happen." Donna Heim and Michelle Thames also died after abortions at Her Medical Clinic.

Septic Shock in Alabama, 1989

Debra Walton was 35 years old when she underwent an abortion in the fall of 1989. On September 24, 1989, about three weeks after the abortion, she was admitted to University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. She was in septic shock. Despite efforts to save her, she died the next day, September 25, 1989. Her death certificate does not say where the abortion took place or who performed it.

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