Friday, April 20, 2012

Three Chicago Deaths: 1912, 1933, 1987

On April 20, 1912, 19-year-old Ruth Fox died at a Chicago residence from an abortion performed there that day by Frank J. Schwartz, whose profession is not given. He was arrested and held by the Coroner on may 2, and indicted by a Grand Jury on November 25, but the case never went to trial.

In February of 1933, a 22-year-old unmarried store clerk discovered that she was pregnant. I've been unable to determine her name, so I'll call her "Nina" Roe. Nina's boyfriend got her some pills supposed to cause an abortion, but they didn't work. On April 8, Nina went to a nursing home operated by a nurse to ask about an abortion. The nurse informed the woman and her lover that Dr. E. T. Martin would perform an abortion. Martin quoted a total fee, including a stay at the nursing home until Saturday night, of $75. On Friday the 14th, Dr. Martin performed a curettage abortion at the nursing home. The nurse claimed that she had no idea what Dr. Martin was planning to do, and that she'd never cooperate with an abortion without a consultation with another doctor that the abortion was necessary to save Nina's life. After the D&C, Nina became alarmingly ill. Martin summoned a Dr. Templeton, who cared for Nina at the nursing home until April 19, when he transferred Nina to Virginia Mason hospital. She died the following morning. said that Nina been bleeding from an abortion when she'd come to him, and that he'd recommended hospitalization, but that Nina wanted to avoid the possible publicity surrounding a hospitalization, so he'd sent her to the nursing home instead. Martin was convicted of manslaughter in Nina's death, but the nurse was acquitted.

Dusan Zivkovic (pictured) and/or V. Perez had performed a safe and legal abortion on 35-year-old Brenda Benton at the infamous Biogenetics abortion mill in Chicago on March 13, 1987. She was placed under general anesthesia for the abortion. After she was discharged, Brenda developed fever, chills, and back pain. Brenda returned to Biogenetics to report these symptoms on March 27, and Zivkovic examined Brenda and performed a D&C before transferring her to Martha Washington Hospital. There, Zivkovic consulted with other doctors and they transferred Brenda to Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's hospital on April 6. She died there on April 20. Her death was due to infection and septicemia. Zivkovic himself lived to a ripe old age, dying in 2011 at the age of 77.

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