Saturday, June 08, 2024

June 8, 1914: Dickering for Death

In 1914, when Mrs. Julia Reed's eighteen-year-old daughter Ester, who worked as a cashier, reported that her period did not arrive, Mrs. Reed took her to two people to find out whether she was pregnant, then bought pills to induce an abortion. 

These didn't work, so she took Ester to Dr. J.L. Neuman, who demanded payment of $150 for an abortion. Julia protested, and Neuman told her to sell furniture and clothes to get the money. She dickered him down to $50, though he complained about it. 

He started the abortion at his practice, then completed it two days later at the family's home.

His efforts clearly weren't even worth the $50, much less then $150 he'd wanted, since he managed to fatally injure Ester, who died of septicemia on June 8, 1914 at Park Avenue Hospital. The secret abortion intended to keep Esther's father from kicking her out of the house thus removed her from the family permanently. 

Neuman was arrested January 11, 1917, and though the case went to trial, the source does not indicate the outcome.

Watch Secret Abortion Kills Teen on YouTube.


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