Thursday, March 07, 2013

In Any Century, Abortion Kills Women

Gloria Small, a 43-year-old mother of six, went to Ronald Tauber (who was later arrested for sex crimes against children) for a safe ane legal abortion. Despite Gloria's obesity, asthma, chronic lung disease, and family history of high blood pressure, Tauber elected to perform the 15-week abortion at his Orlando Birthing Center on March 7, 1978. Gloria's uterus was punctured during the abortion. She died despite an emergency hysterectomy. The medical examiner said that Gloria's medical history should have precluded performing an abortion in an outpatient setting. A court-appointed panel found Tauber negligent in Gloria's death. Because Tauber's license was suspended the month Gloria died; this means that if the Centers for Disease Control counted Gloria's death at all, they would have tabulated it as a death from an illegal abortion, since they count abortions as legal only if they are performed by a physician with an active license.

Ephraim Northcott, relative of the more infamous Gordon Northcott, perpetrator of the "Wineville Chicken Coop Murders," was the abortionist convicted in the March 7, 1919 abortion death of Red Cross nurse Inez Reed (pictured), whose body had been discovered dumped in a ravine. Northcott, at the age of 49, had opened a maternity home, intended to provide a cover for a business perpetrating abortions on more advanced pregnancies. This made him a promising person to approach -- though Inex didn't need to seek him out herself. Another doctor that she had approached about an abortion had referred her. Northcott was arrested on June 26, and found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to San Quentin.

The March 7, 1913 death of Edna Frederickson was tangled up in a tale of murder and intrigue. Edna was employed at a Chicago candy shop for $2 per week, and turned her wages over to her mother. Wanting to have some money for herself, and unhappy at home, Edna turned to a co-worker at the candy company, a married woman who went by the names of Lillie Dearborn and Kitty Young. Dearborn took Edna to the Dreamland Dance Hall, "and Edna soon began to earn more money." Evidently through a connection she made at Dreamland, Edna became pregnant. George Ringler Jr., who was responsible for Edna's pregnancy, was first sought aboard a steamer where he worked as a machinist, but for some unexplained reason he was not aboard when the ship sailed. A German newspaper clipping about Edna's death was found in the pocket of George Dietz, a murder victim. Also in Dietz's pocket was the business card of Dr. Eva Conheim. Eventually, Dietz's widow, Augusta, was implicated in his murder, and beyond the clipping and business card, no connection was ever made between Dietz and Edna.

On March 7, 1908, unmarried seamstress Nellie Shuff, age 26, of New Berlin, Illinois, died at Wesley Hospital in Chicago. The coroner's jury determined that she died from complications of an abortion that had been perpetrated at a home on Forest Avenue. Johanna White, whose profession was not given, was arrested, tried, and sentenced to Joliet for the death.

On April 15, 1880, medical student Vincent Height perpetrated an abortion on 20-year-old Mary Maber, who was a servant in the Peekskill, New York boarding house where Height lived. Height was believed to have been the father of Mary's baby. The abortion was committed in New York City, but did not have the desired effect, so Height set Mary up in room rented at the home of Mrs. Gaillard in Peekskill on April 20. Height visited with Mary on the 21st, and then returned on the 22nd and spent about 15 minutes alone with her. The next day, Mary took ill the next day, and continued to worsen over the weekend, taking to her bed on Monday, the 26th. Height visited Mary daily, bringing a minister to Mary's room on Thursday to marry the couple at Mary's bed, where she remained ailing, attended by Height, who had called in Dr. Snowden and Dr. Mason to consult regarding Mary's care. Mary languished for nearly a year, finally dying on March 7, 1881.

Antoinette Fennor died of peritonitis March 7, 1875, from an abortion perpetrated about February 26 by Mrs. Catherine Maxwell. Jennie Gale and John Betts were accessories. All three were arrested. Betts's sister-in-law testified that she had seen Antoinette at the hotel, but only twice had seen Betts even speak to her. She was seen, Mrs. Betts said, "in company with another gentleman." She denied any knowledge that her brother-in-law and Antoinette had "an intimacy." 

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