Thursday, January 13, 2011

1911: Fatal effort by Chicago midwife

On January 13, 1911, Mrs. Rauka Wilen, age 27, died from complications of an abortion performed that day. Mary Rominel, a midwife, was arrested and indicted by the Grand Jury.

Note, please, that with overall public health issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

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

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