Monday, October 16, 2023

October 16, 1922: Self-Induced in Illinois

On September 20, 1922, Dr. E. L. Caddick, a staff surgeon at St. Mary's Hospital in Quincy, Illinois, was called in to perform an emergency appendectomy on 18-year-old Corinne Comstock of Palmyra. During the surgery, he noticed "the condition of the patient" -- though whether this was alluding to her pregnancy or post-abortion complications is unclear.

After the surgery, Caddick spoke to Corinne , who admitted that she had attempted an abortion.

Her condition deteriorated for nearly a month until Corinne 's death the night of Monday, October 16. An inquest was held the following night at White Funeral Home and found her cause of death to be blood poisoning brought on by the attempted abortion.

Investigators found that Corinne had been "keeping steady company" with a married man who lived near her in Palmyra. It had been common knowledge that he had been planning to divorce his wife.

Corinne's mother, Mrs. Mina Nixon, said that Corrine had first taken ill the Monday after a September 16 visit to the Palmyra Fair. Corinne left behind her mother, sisters Mary and Nora Comstock, brothers Lee and Gilbert Comstock, half brothers Sylvester, George, and Ralph Nixon, and half sisters Sylvia and Ruth Nixon.


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