Friday, January 03, 2020

Safe and Legal in Oregon in 1984, a Fatal Mistake in 1866

Safe and Legal in Oregon, 1984

Loretta Morton was 16 years old when she underwent a legal abortion in December of 1983. She was sent home with birth control pills. On January 3, 1984, Loretta was at home, and having trouble breathing. Her mother called for an ambulance. The ambulance crew assessed Loretta, decided she was stable, and left. They were called back ten minutes later because Loretta had lost consciousness.

The crew rushed Loretta to a hospital, but attempts to resuscitate her were in vain. Within an hour of having lost consciousness, she was dead. An autopsy showed that she had died from a pulmonary embolism from the abortion.

A Fatal Abortifacient, 1866

An inquest was held in St. Louis, Missouri, regarding the January 3, 1866 death of 23-year-old Aurora Heaton.

Aurora had lived in a rural area wiht her mother and stepfather until about six weeks prior to her death. She moved to St. Louis, as did "a young Scotchman named Isaac McDonald," with whom Aurora had evidently been keeping company prior to the move. Aurora told Isaac that she believed that she was pregnant, so he bought something at a drug store and gave it to her prior to returning to college.

The two corresponded, with Aurora's lamentation that the abortifacient drugs hadn't done their job. She went to a pharmacy and bought oil of cedar, another folk abortifacient. She took a one-ounce dose during the evening of January 2. Later that night she went into convulsions. She died shortly after midnight.

A postmortem examination found the poison still in her stomach -- and that contrary to her beliefs, Aurora had not actually been pregnant.

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