Saturday, July 18, 2020

Three Criminal Abortion Deaths From the 1910s

A Legal Muddle in Chicago, 1911

On July 18, 1911, 24-year-old homemaker Ragna B. died in Chicago from an abortion performed on May 9th by Mrs. C.M. Anderson. Anderson was held by the Coroner and arrested on July 19, but the case was stricken off during trial.

Self-Induced in Pittsburgh, 1918

On July 18, 1918, 18-year-old Margaret Smith, an unmarried clerk, died at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. The coroner determined that she had died of septicemia from a self-induced abortion.

A Doctor's Unclear Role, Georgia, 1918

Dr. C. A. Blanchard of Augusta, Georgia, was charged in July 18, 1918 abortion death of Berter Mae Parrish of Wrens, Georgia. Blanchard said that Berter Mae had already been in serious condition when she was brought to his practice. He said he waited a day before treating her for her obvious abortion complications because he didn't want to make any mistakes in treating her. It was the next day, he said, that he saw that an operation to finish the abortion was necessary to save her life.

Blanchard said that Berter Mae then was lost to follow-up, though he made many efforts to find her to provide ongoing care. He said that the first he'd known of her death was when police came to arrest him. I've been unable to determine any outcome of the case.


Margaret Smith death certificate:

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