Friday, February 15, 2013

Four Deaths Over the Decades

Doris Grant, age 32, was admitted by W. W. Williams to Doctor's Hospital in Los Angeles for a safe and legal abortion February 11, 1971. After the abortion, Doris was bleeding, and her fallopian was tube removed due to ectopic pregnancy. Her bleeding persisted. On February 15, an emergency hysterectomy was performed to attempt to stop the bleeding. Doris went into cardiac arrest and died during surgery.

Wealthy college students Nina Harding (pictured, left) and Logan Pierce suddenly ran away to Chicago and were married in a private ceremony. They took up lodging in a small furnished room. Four days later, late in the evening of Valentine's Day of 1925, Logan took a gravely ill Nina the Chicago Lying-In Hospital and promptly disappeared, leaving her to die the following night, alone but for the strangers who had fought in vain to save her life. Warrants were quickly issued for the arrest of the flighty husband, and for notorious Chicago abortionist Dr. Lucy Hagenow.  Hagenow, who had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Annie Dorris, Abbia Richards, and Emma Dep in San Francisco, and the Chicago abortion deaths of Minnie Deering, Sophia Kuhn, Emily Anderson, Hannah Carlson, Marie Hecht, May Putnam, Lola Madison, Annie Horvatich, Lottie Lowy, Jean Cohen, Bridget Masterson, Elizabeth Welter, and Mary Moorehead.

On May 28, 1920, Dr. E. Anderson was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Mrs. Margaret Ann Marts. He was a practicing physician in Kansas City, Missouri. On January 19, 1920, the family physician, Dr. Davis, was called to examine Mrs. Marts. She'd stopped menstruating about six weeks earlier, had concluded that she was pregnant, and had attempted to perform an abortion on herself with a catheter. She said that if Dr. Davis didn't do an abortion, she'd find somebody else who would because she'd rather die than give birth again. In  order to divert Mrs. Marts away from the idea of trying to abort, he told her that she wasn't pregnant. Refusing to do the abortion is right, as would be pointing out to his patient the evils inherent in the act, but a flat out lie is not ethical.. On January 20, Mrs. Marts placed a call to the home of her some friends who came over to assist and found a Dr. Anderson in the kitchen preparing his instruments. (Home surgery was not uncommon then.) One of the women helped with administering the chloroform. Four days later, Dr. Davis was called in to examine Mrs. Marts, who had taken to her bed and was expelling a foul-smelling mix of blood and pus. Dr. Davis found damage to her uterus, clearly from an abortion, and treated her for her infection. She was taken to the hospital on January 24 or 25. She told her husband that she was sure she was dying, and that  she was sorry she'd gone to Anderson. For some reason she was discharged from the hospital Mrs. Marts died in her home on February 15, 1920. Anderson  was tried for Mrs. Marts' death. The jury found him guilty, and he was fined $500.

On February 15, 1917, 28-year-old homemaker Marie Benzing died at Chicago Union Hospital from septicemia caused by an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. Helen Dugdale. Dugdale was arrested on February 18 and indicted by a Grand jury on March 15, but the case never went to trial.

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