Thursday, March 01, 2012

Three Young Women Nearly a Hundred Years Ago

On March 1, 1914, 24-year-old Stella Augustinyn died in Chicago, on the scene of an abortion performed that day by an unknown perpetrator.

On March 1, 1919, 22-year-old Jeanette Ruff died in her Chicago home from an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

On March 1, 1919, 24-year-old Viola Parr died from the effects of an abortion that had been perpetrated on February 20 by W. G. Waters and M. T. Summerlin have been unable to determine what professions Waters and Summerlin pursued when they weren't acting as abortionists.

Note, please, that with overall public health issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

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