Saturday, November 15, 2014

Three Early Chicago Abortions, 1901 and 1912

On November 15, 1901, 22-year-old Irma Brown (pictured) of Garden City, Kansas, died at County Hospital from complications of an abortion. Dr. Robert E. Gray, age 42, was arrested November 19 and held without bail. The original accusation had come from nurse Margaret Tedford, who had cared for Irma after she'd taken ill. During the trial, Gray's attorney raised doubt about whether Gray's conduct had been criminal or if he'd undertaken a procedure to save Irma's life after she'd been injured in a fall. Gray was acquitted.

On November 15, 1912, 38-year-old Ida Kloie died in her Chicago home from an abortion perpetrated by midwife Minnie Neermann. That same day, 33-year-old homemaker Fannie Scheiner died at County Hospital in Chicago after an abortion perpetrated that day by midwife Annie Balnoka. Neerman was held by the Coroner on November 25, for Ida's death and was indicted by a Grand Jury on December 1, but the case never went to trial.

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