Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chicago Deaths, and Why So Many There

On March 21, 1911, 33-year-old homemaker Katherine "Kate" Kammer died at a "medical facility" from an abortion performed by "midwife." This indicates that Kate died at a known abortion establishment, though the perpetrator being identified as a "midwife" also means that the perpetrator could have been an obstetrician, and was almost certainly female.

On March 21, 1916, 33-year-old Anna Krause died at her Chicago home from an abortion perpetrated that day by midwife Anna Kidicas, who was held by the Coroner but acquitted on trial.

On March 21, 1927, 25-year-old Nancy Dawson, an immigrant from England, died on-site from a criminal abortion performed that day. Dr. J.F. Peck and midwife Christine Sedwig were indicted for felony murder on April 1.

You might wonder many there are a disproportionate number of Chicago abortion deaths at the Cemetery of Choice.

The primary reason is that Illinois in general, and Cook County in particular, kept and maintained open records. Of all areas of the United States, Cook County, Illinois, is the easiest place for researchers to find out anything about deaths and births that took place there.

I also suspect that Chicago was a fairly friendly place for abortionists. It is to Chicago that abortionist Lucy Hagenow (pictured, right) fled in 1888 to avoid going to prison for having killed two women in San Francisco. In spite of her propensity to injure and kill her patients, she was able to finagle her way out of going to prison from 1888 to 1907 in spite of having killed at least two patients. When she was released in 1925 she killed at least five patients in a single year and one more the following year. Clearly, somebody was turning a blind eye to the goings-on at Hagenow's practice, much like the authorities later turned a blind eye to Kermit Gosnell's appalling practice in Philadelphia in the post-Roe era.

Pro-lifers need to lose the idea that criminalizing abortion will be enough to fix the problem of mothers and babies dying, and pro-choicers need to lose the idea that legalizing fixed the problem of seedy abortionists and maternal deaths. It would help, as well, if pro-choice leaders became more concerned with the "safe" part of "safe and legal."

Of course, accomplishing with abortion what William Wilberforce and the abolitionists did with slavery (making it not merely illegal but unthinkable) would virtually eliminate the problem. Until people get the idea out of their heads that killing their children is a way to help women, there will always be abortionists, and it will remain the job of pro-life leaders and ordinary citizens, both pro-life and pro-choice to keep them in check. As we've seen with Lucy Hagenow and Kermit Gosnell, (pictured, left) pro-choice leaders can't be counted on to do anything but tolerate quackery in the name of "access."

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