Sunday, March 11, 2012

Emma Jonas, Catherine Mau, Janet Blaum all Suffer Same Fate

On March 11, 1915, 40-year-old homemaker Emma Jonas died at Chicago's German American Hospital after an abortion perpetrated by Cecelia Styskal. Though Styskal was arrested and held by the Coroner, the case never went to trial.

On February 13, 1929, 30-year-old Catherine Mau went to the office of Chicago midwife Anna Heisler for an abortion, which she was seeking because, according to her friend, "she had three children and her husband was out of work and she could not support another one, and that her husband was sickly." Afterward, Catherine took sick at home. Her friend assisted the midwife in providing aftercare that did nothing to help. Finally Catherine's husband, Frank, called a doctor to report that his wife was in great pain. This doctor told Catherine Mau that she was near death. Mau reportedly said, “What will my children do?” A few days later, on March 11, Catherine died from infection.

Sidney Knight was facing a number of criminal abortion charges in 1973, when Roe v. Wade made them a moot point. He hung out his shingle and began performing abortions legally. In March of 1974, Janet Blaum went to Knight's New Orleans facility for a safe and legal abortion. Five days later, on March 11, she was dead of brain hemorrhage. Janet's ex-husband sued Knight on behalf of the couple's children, alleging that Knight had administered a fatal dose of anesthesia while preparing Janet for the abortion.

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