Monday, October 31, 2011

A 1923 death. The proper response?

On October 30, 1923, 19-year-old Mrs. Lydia Nelson died at Chicago's Englewood Hospital from an abortion performed there that day, evidently by Dr. Charles Klinetop. Lydia's abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

On January 15, 1924, Klinetop was indicted by a grand jury for felony murder in Lydia's death. For some reason, the abortion lobby insists that prosecuting this man for what he did to Lydia shows a callous disregard for Lydia's life, and that the best way to show concern for the lives of women like Lydia would be to shrug her death off as a simple case of all surgery having risks. I'll grant that at the time of Lydia's death, things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. (For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.) But I still don't understand how you can look at a woman dead from a botched abortion and conclude that you demonstrate that you care about women by leaping to the defense of the person who killed her.

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