Sunday, June 16, 2013

Examples of Deaths from the Legal and Illegal Eras

Little is known of 21-year-old Linda Lovelace of Tennessee. According to her death certificate, she underwent a safe and abortion on June 14, 1980. The death certificate does not say where the abortion was perpetrated or by whom. It does say, though, that her uterus was perforated. As a result, Linda developed sepsis and went into shock. She died on July 16, 1980.

On July 16, 1913, 24-year-old Catherine Sartelopoulos died in Chicago, at the scene of an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. Paul Ackerman. Ackerman was arrested and held by the Coroner for murder on August 8. Spiros Glambedakos was arrested as an accessory. Dr. Jacques Moses was also arrested in connection with the case. Ackerman was indicted by a Grand Jury on August 15, but the case never went to trial for reasons not indicated in the source document. The reasons why cases were dropped need to be researched in preparation for when abortion laws are restored.

Mrs. John A. Morris of Jacksonville, Illinois, died at 3:00 the morning of July 16, 1903. An investigation found that she had tried a do-it-yourself abortion with an instrument given to her by a friend, Belle Osborne. The abortion had caused septic peritonitis that took Mrs. Morris' life. She was about 29 years old, and left two children motherless. By the way, self-induced abortions didn't end with legalization. "Penny" and  Kris Humphrey died of self-induced pennyroyal abortions, and Laura France died after, for some inexplicable reason, attempting to self-abort with an air compressor. One survey of women awaiting abortions at clinics found that 4.6% had attempted a home abortion prior to scheduling one at the clinic because they saw home abortions as more natural. Another study found that 2.6% had attempted a self-induced abortion prior to scheduling one as a facility. This is actually comparable to the percentage of abortions that were self-induced prior to legalization, which were a subset of the roughly 5% performed by amateurs or by the woman herself.

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