Thursday, July 28, 2011

Today's anniversaries. Was race a factor?

On July 28, 1928, 21-year-old Maud Thurmond died in Chicago of sepsis from a criminal abortion performed that day. Maud's race is first given as "colored" then as "white - American Indian." Either way, it's apparent that she was a member of a minority group, which might explain in part why nobody was ever held accountable for Maud's death. We still see that same sort of racism today. Holly Patterson's abortion death was a national story, generating outrage and Congressional attempts to pass a law addressing the bad behavior that led to her death. Meanwhile, despite the greater culpability of Laura Hope Smith's killer, there was no similar reaction to the death of this young Honduran-American woman, even though both families tirelessly worked to raise awareness after their daughters' deaths.

Charisse Ards is one of the women Life Dynamics lists on the Blackmun Wall of women killed by safe and legal abortion. Life Dynamics indicates that Charisse was 20 years old, single, and a mother of one. According to Life Dynamics, Charisse died July 28, 1989, from a pelvic infection after a legal abortion. With so little information, we can't assess the abortionist's culpability in Charisse's death.

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