Saturday, December 05, 2020

December 5: Two Different Eras, Equally Dead

Illegal in 1905

On December 5, 1905, 19-year-old laborer Annie Killhoff died at her home on Ashland Avenue in Chicago from an abortion. Two physicians, Joseph Vassumpaur and Charles Boddiger, were arrested, Vassumpaur as the principle and Boddiger as an accessory. Patrick Dillon was also held as an accessory.

Coroner's Physician Henry G. Reinhard believed that Dillon brought Annie to Boddiger, who then referred them to Vassumpaur.

I've been unable to determine if the case ever went to trial. Given the paucity of news coverage, it seems unlikely that anybody was ever held accountable for what was done to Annie.

Newly Added Source: "Girl Dies: Physicians Held," Chicago Tribune, December 6, 1905

Safe and Legal in 1998

Seventeen-year-old Janice Gumm of Beach Park, Illinois, went to Dimensions Medical Center in Des Plaines, Illinois, for an abortion on December 5, 1998, to be performed under anesthesia.

Her abortionist was Dr. Jesse Chandler, and the anesthesiologist was Dr. Murray Rosenberg of Hospital Anesthesia Group. 

The suit by Janice's survivors held that Dimensions failed to perform an adequate physical examination prior to the abortion, particularly in that they did not properly assess her increased risks due to the fact that she had asthma. As a result, Janice suffered an anesthesia-related complication that resulted in her death that day. 

Dr. Jesse Chandler Jr.

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