Saturday, October 01, 2011

Five young women's deaths remembered today

On October 1, 1908, 21-year-old Mary Rahur died in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed that day. Mrs. Frida Trappe was arrested and held by the coroner's jury on October 14. The case went to trial, but Trappe was acquitted on July 12 0f 1909. Trappe's employment status is recorded as "Outside labor force (incl. criminals)", which may be an indication that she was a professional lay abortionist.

On October 1, 1914, eighteen-year-old Lillie Giovenco died at Wesley Hospital in Chicago from complications of a criminal abortion. Dr. Eva Shaver, Dr. Leopold Pijan, and Dr. John Fernow were held by the coroner in Lillie's death. The coroner concluded that the fatal abortion had been preformed on September 5 in a medical facility that my source describes as "Abortion place." Eva Shaver was also prosecuted for the 1915 abortion death of Anna Johnson.

On October 1, 1922, 21-year-old Margaret Sullivan died in her Chicago home from complications of an abortion performed that day. The person or persons responsible were never caught. Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future.

Brenda Banks was 35 years old and 13 weeks pregnant when she went to Hillcrest Women's Surgi-Center in Washington, DC, for a safe, legal abortion, performed by Llewelyn Crooks on September 30, 1989. Brenda went into shock, and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. Doctors performed an emergency hysterectomy and transfused Brenda with 20 units of red blood cells, to no avail. She died the following day, October 1, 1989. Brenda's uterus had been perforated and several major blood vessels had been cut or severed entirely.

Stacy Zallie underwent a safe, legal abortion at the age of 19, in 1999. She didn't tell her family about the abortion, but did mention that she was troubled. She sought psychiatric care, but still kept the abortion a secret. In October of 2000, about a year after her abortion and mere days before she was to serve as a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding, Stacy took her own life. After learning of the abortion and Stacy's unbearable anguish afterward, her parents started the **Stacy Zallie Foundation** to provide post-abortion care so that nobody else's daughter suffers the fate their daughter did. The Zallie family takes no stand on abortion, seeking to keep their focus on providing desperately-needed aftercare to suffering women, regardless of politics, creed, or religion.

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