Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ohio in 1922 and Los Angeles in 1986

Illegal in Ohio, 1922

Mary Gresky took ill, dying of blood poisoning on September 20, 1922, from a criminal abortion performed with some sort of instrument on September 16 in Ohio. On her deathbed, she named Mary Vargo as the perpetrator who used some sort of instrument on her.

Mary Vargo was found guilty of criminal malpractice, but won an appeal on the grounds of of improper instructions to the jury, irregularities of the admission of the deathbed statement, and failure to prove that the abortion had been part of a prior pattern of criminal activity by Mary Vargo. I have been unable to determine Mary Vargo's profession.

One of Three Dead at the Same Clinic, Los Angeles, 1986

Twenty-two-year-old Liliana Cortez, an immigrant, underwent a safe and legal abortion by Leo Kenneally at his Her Medical Clinic in Los Angeles on September 20, 1986. Other than having asthma, Liliana was in good health when she went for her abortion. After the procedure, she went into cardiac arrest. There was a 40-minute delay until the paramedics arrived to transport Liliana to a hospital. She died five days later.

Liliana's death was ruled a "therapeutic misadventure," which a coroner's spokesman called, "a nice medical term for a mistake." An attorney for Her Medical Clinic said, "If something like this happened at a hospital ... people would just say it was bad luck, one of those flukey things. But ... all of a sudden they make it seem like these (abortion clinics) are terrible places where terrible things happen."

Donna Heim and Michelle Thames also died after abortions at Her Medical Clinic.

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