Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Fatal Chicago Abortions: 1905 & 1923

On January 6, 1905, a young woman was found dead in a ditch near Dunning, Illinois. The hunters who had stumbled across the body quickly notified the police.  The body was taken to an undertaking establishment, where it remained until nearly a month later, when the dead woman was identified by her siblings as 28-year-old Ida Vierow.  It was determined that she had died January 6, 1905, from an abortion performed in Chicago.  Two midwives, Amella Maichrowicz and Anna Becker, were arrested, along with Maichrowicz's husband, Joseph. The Maichrowiczs, who ran an unlicensed hospital in Melrose Park, were arrested near the end of February.  Becker turned state's evidence, saying that she had been at the home when Ida was there. When the dress Ida had been wearing when she was discovered was presented to her, Becker identified it as one she had given to Maichrowicz as a gift.
On December 30, 1923, 26-year-old Helen Koss underwent an illegal abortion somewhere in Chicago. On January 6, 1924, she died at Norwegian American Hospital of complications. Midwife Mrs. Emma Morch was arrested, and indicted for homicide by a grand jury.

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