Saturday, December 14, 2019

Four Abortion Deaths, 1911 - 1991

There are four abortion deaths in the Cemetery of Choice that took place on this date: three illegal and one legal. Three of the four were performed by doctors.

On December 14, 1911, 34-year-old mother-of-four Ella Kettler died at German American Hospital in Chicago from an abortion that Dr. Robert H. Foster had perpetrated at his practice on December 2.  Ella, a homemaker, had named Foster as her abortionist in a deathbed statement. Foster was held by the Coroner's Jury and indicted on December 19, but the case never went to trial.

On December 14, 1916, 19-year-old Eleanor Dillon died at Chicago's Columbus Hospital from septic peritonitis caused by a criminal abortion.  Eleanor had named Dr. M.R. Perlstein as her abortionist in a deathbed statement.

Walter Hufnagel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, noticed on Wednesday, December 4, 1918, that his wife, 19-year-old Emma Hufnagel, was sick with body aches. By Saturday, December 7, Emma's mother, Louise Jackson, was told of Emma's illness and went to visit her. Emma told her mother that, since her period had been about two weeks late, and believing herself to be pregnant, she had used a catheter on herself on November 30. On December 9, the family agreed to move Emma to her mother's house, but Emma didn't do any better under her mother's care, so they the next day they brought her to Presbyterian Hospital. In spite of doctors' best efforts, Emma died of peritonitis and septicemia at around 2:15 a.m. on December 14.

Edith Cote was 38 years old when she submitted to a safe and legal abortion in New York. On December 14, 1991, she was unresponsive and was taken to the emergency room at Syosset Hospital.  Hospital staff were unable to save Edith's life. Her cause of death was listed on her death certificate as pulmonary amniotic embolism after an induced abortion.

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