Monday, June 13, 2022

June 13, 1925: Suicide or Abortion?

On June 13, 1925, 24-year-old Betty Fisher died in the Chicago office of doctors August Goetz and Henry Gautsen. News coverage said that Goetz and Gautsen were spiritualists and faith healers. The pair asserted that Betty had come to them for treatment six months earlier after becoming estranged from her husband, and had died from deliberately drinking poison.

After an inquest, though, the coroner concluded that Betty had actually died from an abortion perpetrated by one or the other of the pair.

The doctors were acquitted on October 16. The source documents don't say why. I've found no evidence that either doctor was involved in any other abortion deaths.

During the first two thirds of the 20th Century, while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality, including mortality from abortion. Most researches attribute this plunge to improvements in public health and hygiene, the development of blood transfusion techniques, and the introduction of antibiotics.

Watch "Abortion or Suicide?" on YouTube.

 external image MaternalMortality.gif

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