Friday, May 06, 2011

Four anniversaries

  • Annie Horvatich, age 26, made arrangements to stay at the home of infamous Chicago abortionist Dr. Lucy Hagenow on May 2, 1907. A couple of days later, Hagenow summoned Mike, who found Annie deathly ill, attended by Hagenow and another doctor. Mike stayed by his wife's side all night, leaving in the early morning of May 6 to get a translator, since he spoke only German and was having difficulty communicating with the doctors. When he returned, Annie was dead. The second doctor who had been attending Annie completed a death certificate saying that Annie had died from pneumonia.

    Mike arranged for his own undertaker, rather than the one Hagenow recommended. The funeral was held, Annie was buried, and it seemed as if Mike and the children would be getting on with their lives as best they could. But that changed on May 13. The Cook County coroner, attended by Annie's brother, John Sneller, exhumed Annie's body and discovered the real cause of her death.

    Hagenow's claim that she hadn't performed an abortion on Annie wasn't very credible, since she was a known abortionist who advertised openly. During her trial for Annie's death, evidence was entered about previous abortion deaths at Hagenow's hands. Hagenow, nearly 60 years old at the time of her trial, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for Annie's death. For the full story of Annie's death, and more information about Lucy Hagenow's other victims, go here.

  • On May 6, 1924, 24-year-old Madelyn Anderson died at Chicago's Washington Park Hospital from a criminal abortion performed that day. The coroner recommended the arrest of a woman identified as "Dr. Ogdenberg". On May 13, Dr. Louise Achtenberg was arrested for Madelyn's death. Achtenberg was indicted for felony murder on May 15.

  • On May 5, 1938, Mrs. Genevieve Horton, a practical nurse, was released on bail after pleading guilty in an abortion case in Westchester County, New York. She promptly performed an abortion on 29-year-old Mrs. Asunta La Rosa, a mother of three, who died in her home later that evening.

  • According to the National Organization for Women web site, Vivian Campbell was a recently-separated 24-year-old mother of two when she discovered she was pregnant. NOW indicates that Vivian sent her children to stay with her parents while she obtained some sort of illegal abortion. NOW provides no details of the abortion. NOW does say that Vivian asked for her estranged husband, who came to the hospital only after she had died of peritonitis on May 6, 1950.

    NOW cites no sources, but the story matches one told by "Gloria" In Patricia Miller's The Worst of Times. Gloria indicated that she learned "the truth" of how her mother died when she needed a copy of the death certificate years later. The death certificate said "spontaneous abortion" -- which is a miscarriage. NOW's researchers certainly should have known that a "spontaneous abortion" is a miscarriage, and would have nothing to do with any sort of "back alley abortion". Ditto for Patricia Miller. I only include Vivian's death in the Cemetery of Choice, despite the fact that nobody ever verified that she'd actually submitted to an induced abortion, because she is so widely used as a poster child for advocates of legalized abortion. You can read more here.

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