Saturday, May 17, 2008

1904: Unusual abortion death

On May 17, 1904, Miss Margaret McCarthy died in Chicago's Mary Thompson Hospital from an illegal abortion performed some days earlier at an unknown location. Mrs. Gertrude Plenz was arrested on May 21 for the death, and Benjamin Frederick, a boiler inspector, arrested for complicity.

Both Plenz and Frederick were held by Coroner's Jury. Plenz is listed as an unskilled laborer.

Margaret's abortion was unusual in that it was performed by an amateur, rather than by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

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