Wednesday, August 13, 2008

1922: Chicago woman dies from abortion, two doctors indicted

On August 13, 1922, 21-year-old Beulah Pickerill died at Chicago's Mid West Hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed there that day. Two physicians, Vincent Filletti and Michale Galgano, were held by the coroner and indicted for felony murder. Floyd L. Butler and P.J. Owens were held as accessories.

  • How common was it before legalization for a woman to find a doctor to perform her abortion?
    It was very rare. Most abortions back then were self-induced or done by people with no medical training.
    It wasn't unheard-of, but it was unusual. Only about 25% of women were able to find a doctor to perform their abortions.
    Roughly half of abortion-seeking women were able to find a doctor to do the procedure.
    About 90% of women found doctors to do their abortions in the pre-legalization days.

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

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