Wednesday, June 08, 2011

1914: Doc's fatal work in Chicago

On June 8, 1914, 17-year-old Ester Reid died in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated that day be Dr. J.L. Neuman. Neuman was arrested January 11, 1917, and though the case went to trial, the source does not indicate the outcome.

It's hard to try to pin the blame for Ester's death on the legal status of abortion. It was performed by a doctor, but during a period with massive 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. The criminal status of abortion practice is a negligible factor, if it's even a factor at all.

In fact, due to improvements in addressing these problems, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

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

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