Sunday, February 26, 2012

One Midwife, Two Doctors, Many Deaths

On February 6, 1924, Ida Cantor performed an abortion on Wanda Szidzewicz. Wanda developed septicemia after the abortion, and went to a hospital on February 11. She was treated there until her death on February 26. Testimony at Ida's trial indicated that Ida's profession was midwife. The jury found that Ida used improperly sterilized or non-sterile instruments in the abortion. A key part of the prosecution's case was a deathbed statement by the injured woman. After her conviction, Ida appealed, but her conviction was upheld. Wanda's widower, Waclaw , also successfully sued Ida.

The spring of 1932 brought a sudden string of criminal abortion deaths to Oklahoma City, attributed to two physicians in the University of Oklahoma area -- J.W. Eisiminger and Richard E. Thacker. Marie Epperson, just 19 years old, was an earlier victim, who had died February 26
, 1929. Her brother had told authorities about the abortion. Other abortion deaths attributed to Eisiminger and/or Thacker include . Isobel F. Ferguson, Ruth Hall, Virginia Lee Wyckoff, Lennis May Roach, Nancy Joe Lee, and Robbie Lou Thompson. This spree of death underscores the need to quickly identify and lock away abortionists before they kill again.

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