Friday, August 19, 2011

Six anniversaries

On August 19, 1908, 23-year-old Bertha Isserstadt died in Chicago from compliations of an abortion performed August 5. A woman named Margaret Wiedman was held by the coroner, but eventually acquitted for reasons not given in the source document. Wiedman's profession was given as "abortion provider". Bertha's abortion was atypical in that it was not performed by a physician.

Elise Stone went to the practice of Dr. A. H. Yates on August 15, 1917, for a "criminal operation." Elise remained there for three or four days before being sent home, where she died. On her death certificate, her death was attributed to "congestive chill." But concerned citizens complained to the County Attorney, A.G. Nichols. Nichols ordered an autopsy and thus the real cause of her death was discovered.

On August 19, 1917, 31-year-old Mrs. Anna Lindquist died at Chicago's County Hospital from a criminal abortion perpetrated that day by nurse/midwife Katherine Schmidt. Schmidt was tried in Anna's death but acquitted on February 28, 1918.

Mrs. Ruth Haught, a 30-year-old widow, died at University Hospital in Hobart, Oklahoma, on August 19, 1937, of blood poisoning from an apparent self-induced abortion.

"Dawn" was 29 years old and 7 weeks pregnant when she underwent a legal suction abortion under local anesthesia in August of 1972. After the abortion, Dawn went into convulsions.
Doctors at the abortion hospital, and at another hospital, attempted to resuscitate Dawn, to no avail. Doctors believed that Dawn might have been given an overdose of local anesthetic. Strangely, during the autopsy, the medical examiner found a significant amount of blood in Dawn's abdominal cavity, but no evidence of a uterine perforation.

Documents regarding Tami Suematsu, age 19, alleged that she underwent a safe and legal abortion by Vern Wagner at Riverside Family Planning Center August 19, 1988. Tami went into bronchial spasm and asthma-related respiratory failure then cardiac arrest.She was transported to a hospital, but died shortly after arrival.

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