Wednesday, December 17, 2014

1914: The Fatal Work of an Unnamed Perp

On December 17, 1914, 24-year-old Emma Fertig died at Chicago's West Side Hospital from an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator. She left behind three children.

Due to improvements in addressing overall medical care and public health issues, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

All without legalizing abortions.

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.

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