Monday, January 04, 2016

Illegal in Pre-Roe Chicago and Post-Roe Miami

Chicago, 1887: Third Amateur Abortion Proves Fatal

Bertie Hammaremiller, age 19, had lived with her mother on Langdon Street in Chicago.
She already had one child to 19-year-old Fred C. Dethloff.  On January 4, 1887 Bertie died from a botched abortion.  Dethloff, who admitted that this was the third time he'd helped Bertie to abort two other pregnancies with medications in the three years they'd been together, was put on trial for his life.

Chicago, 1921 and 1924: Two Perpetrators, Professions Unknown

On January 4, 1921, 21-year-old Jennie Chubb died in her Chicago home from complications of an abortion performed that day.  The coroner identified Veronica Rypcznski as the person responsible for Jennie's death.  Veronica's profession is not mentioned in the source.  Three years later, on January 4, 1924, Elizabeth Strobel died in Chicago's Columbus Hospital from complications of an illegal abortion performed that day. Mrs. Anna Wenzig, whose profession is not given, was arrested January 15 for Elizabeth's death. Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

Miami, 1983: Apparently Legal, Technically Illegal

On January 4, 1983, Albert Payne got a phone call from a family friend, Debbie Manning, who worked at the emergency room at a Miami hospital. Debbie gave Albert some shocking news: His 33-year-old wife, Shirley, mother of their three children ages 3 to 12, was dead. She had bled to death from an abortion.

"No way my wife is pregnant," Albert had responded. He called the day care center. Shirley had never showed up to pick up the children.

Shirley had undergone what she expected to be a
safe and legal abortion at Woman's Care Center in Miami. She was 16-18 weeks pregnant.  Shirley suffered a perforated uterus. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they reportedly found Shirley lying on a couch, bleeding heavily. She arrived at the hospital in critical condition due to delay of transfer. An emergency hysterectomy was performed to try to save Shirley's life, but she bled to death in surgery.
Ruth Montero, Myrta Baptiste, Maura Morales, and Shirley Payne all died from abortions at the clinic, owned by Hipolito Barreiro. Trained in Argentina and West Africa, but not licensed in U.S. Barreiro evidently perpetrated Shirley's fatal abortion without documenting this fact on her clinic records.

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