Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Three Pre-Roe Anniversaries

On December 21, 1915, 34-year-old Anna Hunt died at Chicago's Rhodes Avenue Hospital from complications of an abortion perpetrated that day by an unknown person.

On December 21, 1926, fifteen-year-old Emily Mueller died from a criminal abortion performed December 11 somewhere in Chicago. Midwife Magdelane Stegeman, alias Motzny, was indicted for felony murder by the Grand Jury on February 15, 1927. According to the Cook County Death Index, Emily was the daughter of William and Josephine (Krajecki) Meuller and, in spite of her youth, worked as a stenographer.

Denise J. Holmes, a 24-year-old Australian woman living in Texas, decided to undergo a safe and legal abortion at Avalon Hospital in Los Angeles, California, on her way home for Christmas of 1970. Denise checked into Avalon Hospital (an abortion facility owned by Edward Campbell Allred) on December 21. She suffered an amniotic fluid embolism that carried pieces of fetal bone marrow into her lungs. She was pronounced dead by Edward Allred at Avalon at 5pm.

Denise is the first confirmed abortion death at an Allred facility. She was just the first to die before the National Abortion Federation was founded, with Allred's Family Planning Associates Medical Group as a member. Others known to have died after abortion at Allred's facilities include Patricia Chacon, Mary Pena, Josefina Garcia, Laniece Dorsey, Joyce Ortenzio, Tami Suematsu, Susan Levy, Deanna Bell, Christina Mora, Kimberly Neil, and Chanelle Bryant.

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