Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Anniversary: Woman dies after abortion by medical student

Queens patrolman Howard Bailey, morgue attendant Victor Genz, and a Texas medical student, Benjamin Lockhart, were arrested in the December 4, 1965 abortion death of Rita Shea, a 33-year-old Long Island woman. Lockhart confessed to performing the abortion in a motel room near Kennedy airport. After Rita died, her body was put in a car outside her home.

Bailey, a married man, had evidently arranged the abortion to keep his affair with Rita a secret.

Rita's abortion was a bit unusual in that most pre-legalization abortions were done by physicians. But abortions like hers, performed by people with at least some medical training, were still more common than amateur or self-induced abortions. (See The Bad Old Days of Abortion.)

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

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