Saturday, July 16, 2011

Three Deaths Across the 20th Century

First, that rare case: a fatal self-induced abortion. Note that in typical early 20th-century fashion, when she got married, they took away her first name. She stopped being Susan or Agnes or Betty and became Mrs. John.

Mrs. John A. Morris of Jacksonville, Illinois, died at 3:00 the morning of July 16, 1903. An investigation found that she had tried a do-it-yourself abortion with an instrument given to her by a friend, belle Osborne. The abortion had caused septic peritonitis that took Mrs. Morris' life. She was about 29 years old, and left two children motherless.

Next, we have a far more typical pre-legalization abortion: one performed by a doctor. Catherine probably never married, so she was permitted to keep her first name.

On July 16, 1913, 24-year-old Catherine Sartelopoulos died in Chicago, at the scene of an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. Paul Ackerman. Ackerman was arrested and held by the Coroner for murder on August 8. Spiros Glambedakos was arrested as an accessory. Dr. Jacques Moses was also arrested in connection with the case.

Finally, we move into the new and improved era of legalized abortion, where horrible death is a thing of the past. Or so we're told.

Little is known of 21-year-old Linda Lovelace of Tennessee. According to her death certificate, she underwent a safe and abortion on June 14, 1980. The death certificate does not say where, or who performed the abortion. It does say, though, that her uterus was perforated. As a result, Linda developed sepsis and went into shock. She died on July 16, 1980.

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