Tuesday, March 29, 2016

From Chicago to New York, Criminal and Legal

Criminal in Chicago

On March 29, 1912, 36-year-old homemaker Mary Abrams died from an abortion perpetrated by Mary D. Lunnemeyer that day. Lunnemeyer's profession is identified only as "abortion provider", so it's likely that, unlike the majority of abortion perpetrators in that time and place, she was a lay abortionist rather than a physician or a midwife. She was arrested March 29 and held to a Grand Jury, but the case never went to trial.

On March 29, 1924, 30-year-old Etta Marcus died at Chicago's Francis Willard Hospital (pictured) from complications of a criminal abortion performed that day. The coroner concluded that Dr. William J. Wick had performed the fatal abortion at his office. However, on April 10, Wick was acquitted for reasons I have been unable to determine. Abortions in Chicago in that era were typically perpetrated by either doctors or midwives.

From Safe and Legal to a Respirator in a Nursing Home

A high school yearbook photo of an Hispanic girl with hair in an '80s style, wearing dangling earrings and a dark sweater with a lighter, variegated pattern running both vertically and horizontally
Venus Ortiz
Venus Ortiz died in a nursing from lingering abortion complications at age 29 on December 16, 1998. The abortion had been performed five years earlier by Dr. Leiber at Eastern Women's Center in New York, NY and she had remained in a vegetative state, in need of a respirator, until her death. A suit filed by her survivors alleged that there was negligence in administering anesthesia to Venus, and failure to establish an airway. Brevital, fentanyl, and midazolam were administered in dosages and manners contrary to standards of practice, causing Venus to suffer a synergistic reaction. Eastern's staff failed to promptly diagnose and attend to cardio-pulmonary arrest. 

Two other patients, Dawn Ravenelle and Dawn Mack, also died of complications of abortions done at Eastern Women's Center.

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