Monday, July 27, 2015

From Criminal in 1884 to Safe and Legal in 1985

Twenty-five-year-old Lizzie Cook died suddenly on July 27, 1884, in Lockport, New York. Dr. Ira T. Richmond (alias Butler) was arrested. Richmond had come to Lockport a year earlier and opened a sanitarium, "which died for want of patronage." Richmond was charged with first degree murder, and Lizzie's sister, Mrs. W. H. Bowen, was charged as an accessory. Evidently Lizzie's brother-in-law, Mr. W. H. Bowen, had taken her to Richmond's practice, where she was examined in his presence and diagnosed with dropsy and blood poisoning. Two days later, she was put to bed at Bowen's house at about 11:00 at night, and remained there sick for nearly three weeks before her death. Richmond attended to her on a daily basis, sometimes visiting more than once a day, during that time. "The secrecy in getting her body removed to her home created suspicion," so her body was exhumed that afternoon for an autopsy that revealed signs that she had died from a surgically performed abortion.

On July 27, 1920, 38-year-old homemaker Adelaide Fowler died at her Chicago home after a criminal abortion. Dr. Barney Welty was arrested, and indicted by a Grand Jury on August 1, but the case never went to trial.

Headshot of a middle-aged white man with brown hair
Dr. Benjamin Munwon
Eighteen-year-old Yvonne Mesteth was the second of two patients to die of infection after safe and legal abortionsby South Dakota abortionist Benjamin Munson. (The other was Linda Padfield.)  Yvonne was in the second trimester of her pregnancy. The abortion was performed in Munson's office in Rapid City. Yvonne developed an infection, kidney failure, and adult respiratory distress syndrome. She died on July 27, 1985. Munson is the third former criminal abortionist I've learned of who had a clean record -- no patient deaths -- as a criminal abortionist, only to go on to kill two patients in his legal practice. The others are Milan Vuitch (Georgianna English and Wilma Harris) and Jesse Ketchum (Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner). Despite having already killed Linda Padfield, Munson was welcomed into the National Abortion Federation

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