Thursday, July 07, 2005

Do these deaths matter?

While the subject of how horrible it is to die from an illegal abortion is heating up again among abortion supporters, I wonder about two deaths that don't get any mention on the NOW web site.

In 1926, Dr. James P. A. Nolan was arrested for the criminal abortion death of 18-year-old Lillian McCullough. According to one article, within three hours of Lillian's death, "the police had arrested the physician and Richard A. King, 21, and Mrs. Abbie M. Graham, 37, both of Waltham, as accessories."

In late July of 1941, Mrs. Agnes Pearson of White Plains, New York died at Grasslands Hospital in New York of suspected complications from an abortion. Dr. Nathan Schwartz and Dr. Samuel Schwartz (not related) were charged with manslaughter in Agnes' death. The charges were dismissed in 1946.

Prolifers, of course, consider both deaths tragic and needless. We are, after all, opposed to all abortions, not just legal ones. And we're just as disgusted with criminal abortionists as we are with legal abortionists.

But the prochoicer are another matter.

Now, here's my question. These abortions, though deadly, were evidently performed by doctors. So were these women's deaths just acceptable risks of surgery, like all the women who die from safe-n-legal abortions? Or does the mere fact that their abortions were illegal make their deaths unacceptable?

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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