Monday, March 18, 2013

Early 20th Century -- Chicago Abortion Deaths

On March 18, 1914, 28-year-old derssmaker Irene Ridgeway died at Garfield Park Hospital in Chicago from an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

On March 18, 1913, 25-year-old homemaker Mary Brubaker died in her Chicago home on Inglewood Avenue from septicemia caused by an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. H.W. Case. Case was held by the Coroner and indicted by a Grand Jury April 15, but the case never went to trial.

 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. In fact, due to improvements in addressing these problems, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

external image MaternalMortality.gif

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