Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I missed two days

I've been so wrapped up in my research that I've totally forgotten to post for the past two days. There are no anniversaries in the Cemetery of Choice for today, the 24th, so I'll commemorate the women I missed blogging about on the 22nd and 23rd.

On January 22, 1900, Mrs.
Barbara Shelgren, age 25, died at Augustana Hospital in Chicago of an abortion performed there that day. Paulina Bechtel, identified as a midwife, was arrested and held by Coroner's Jury and indicted of homicide by a grand jury, but the case was thrown out by Judge Holdom. Bechtel was implicated in the abortion death of Ida Henry in 1900, and went on to kill Mary Thorning in 1911.

On January 23, 1913, 33-year-old homemaker.
Margaret Wagner died at Post Graduate Hospital in Chicago from an abortion perpetrated that day by midwife Caroline Orbach. Orbach was held by the Coroner on January 24. The case went to trial but Orbach was acquitted on November 25.

On January 23, 1914, 17-year-old
Helen Kleich, who worked as a domestic, died in Chicago from sepsis, arising from an abortion performed that day by midwife Margared Wiedemann. Wiedemann was held by the Coroner for murder by abortion, but was acquitted.

On January 22, 1925, 17-year-old Jean Cohen, a Connecticut native, died at Chicago's Montrose Hospital from an abortion performed earlier that day. On January 31, Louise Hagenow was arrested in Jean's death. Louise Hagenow was an alias of Dr. Lucy Hagenow (pictured), whose known or suspected victims included Marie Hecht, May Putnam, Lola Madison, Annie Horvatich, Lottie Lowy, Nina H. Pierce, Bridget Masterson, Elizabeth Welter, and Mary Moorehead.

On January 23, 1925, 34-year-old
Kate Radochouski died at Chicago's Lakeside Hospital from complications of an abortion performed that day. The Homicide in Chicago database says that she died at the scene of the crime, and that there was an arrest on February 11. But there is no name given for the person arrested.

On January 23, 1929, 22-year-old
Edna Vargo died in Chicago from an abortion performed that day by Katherine Bajda. Bajda was identified as a homemaker. She was held by the Coroner on February 14. On March 15, she was indicted for felony murder in Edna's death.

On January 21, 1972, 26-year-old Kathryn Strong went to Civic Center Hospital in Oakland, California for a legal abortion that was to be performed by Dr. Harold Van Maren.
During the procedure, her uterus was perforated. According to her medical records, she suffered extensive hemorrhage and shock. She died the following day, leaving a three-year-old son.

The January 22, 1980 death of Vanessa Preston stands out because, if you are willing to grant that Curtis Boyd (pictured) actually thought abortion was legitimate medical care, he can't be faulted at all for how he handled the case. Boyd was performing a second-trimester D&E on Vanessa when she suddenly went into cardiac arrest. He had emergency procedures in place, which he and his staff followed, managing to resuscitate Vanessa and have her promptly transported to a fully equipped hospital, where efforts to save her failed. She had developed a clotting disorder -- something that just happens sometimes in abortion or childbirth -- and bled to death from a small liver laceration that doctors at the hospital didn't realize had happened during CPR. The laceration was just one of those complications of CPR and not a sign that it was performed improperly. Boyd wrote up a case study for a medical journal to inform other abortionists of this tragedy and to alert them so that if these complications happened to their patients, perhaps those women could be saved.

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