Thursday, April 17, 2014

Midwife's Fatal Work in 1917 Chicago

On April 16, 1917, 27-year-old Antonia Gennaro, an Italian immigrant, died at her Chicago home of septicemia caused by an abortion perpetrated that day by midwife Minnie Miller. Miller was held by the Coroner that day, and indicted on April 17, 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. For more information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

external image Illegals.png

No comments: