Saturday, June 29, 2013

1906: German Immigrant Dies After Abortion by Midwife

Mrs. Johanna Faulner, a 40-year-old German immigrant, died June 29, 1906, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Chicago, from complications of an abortion performed on June 24. Midwife Emily Redeniske was arrested in the death.

Note, please, that with general 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, as you can see below, maternal mortality fell the fastest long before legalization due to improvements in health and medical practice. To claim that legalizing abortion reduced mortality is to claim credit that is due to other people.


For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.
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