Sunday, November 06, 2011

Two deaths from pre-Roe Chicago

On November 6, 1914, 25-year-old Genevive Tatar died at Cook County Hospital in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

On November 6, 1923, Mrs. Agnes Wendt died at Chicago's St. Anne's Hospital from complications from an abortion performed there that day. Dr. Irene Wagoner was exonerated by the coroner, but nevertheless indicted for murder in Agnes' death. Agnes' abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. In fact, due to improvements in medical care and in addressing overall public health problems, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

1 comment:

kitty said...

It's not exactly related to this article, but I was browsing online (if you must know: Victorian birth deformities and circus freaks) and I came across Myrtle Corbin. She's interesting enough as a success story for someone with a serious birth defect, but I found interesting that her first child was aborted FOR HEALTH REASONS when it was absolutely illegal, but there were no charges pressed, and it was even widely known; more proof of what I've learned here- that in cases of the mother's life being in danger before Roe, charges weren't filed. She's an interesting person; later on, she had several children (under most unique circumstances!) Pages here:

I hate to post this here, but I don't have your contact info. ^^; And it seemed like your field.