Most illegal abortions were done by physicians. A distant but important second category of illegal abortionists was the paramedical person. Amateur abortions ranked third. Here are a few examples of women who died from these efforts.
Sometime between 1942 and 1949, Iva Rodeffer Davis Coffman performed an abortion on Kerneda C. Bennett, resulting in her death.
This beautiful ballet girl got her lover to get her some oil of tansey, which he supplemented with his own efforts, before calling in a doctor whose attempts at aid finished her off.
Sarah Howe, age 57, had been blind since she was three years old. Howe was charged with abortion and with manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Helen Clark. Helen died September 16, 1941.
With help from a nurse, psychologist Otto C. Lucy performed a fatal abortion on Mrs. Crow in 1941.
On November 3, 1952, Isabell went to the home of Mary Murawsky in Rockford, Illinois, for an illegal abortion.
On February 17, 1929, 25-year-old Violet died in the home of Katherine Bajda, a homemaker and abortionist.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted Charles P. Emerich in the abortion death of Maggie Gibbons. They found that Emerich had performed an abortion on Maggie on December 30, 1877, in St. Louis, using instruments.
Anna Gosch‘s boyfriend, Mr. Edwards, used a catheter to perform an abortion on her in 1906.
On October 13, 1939, the body of Barbara Hanson, age 21, was found in a Houston, Texas, motel room. James Carter and George F. Norton pleaded guilty to performing the abortion that killed Barbara, and each received a 5-7 year sentence.
Elizabeth "Betty" Hellman
Jane McDaniel White was operating a thriving abortion business when she was approached by Betty in 1952.
On May 26, 1950, Annis Whitlow Brown performed an abortion on Joy M. Joy, the unmarried mother of a six-year-old daughter.
On February 16, 1890, Mary died from complications of an illegal abortion performed that day, evidently by Mrs. Annie Schneider
Mary Kirkpatrick was a 16-year-old mill worker in New Jersey in 1859. She and her boss became sexually involved, and Mary became pregnant. Mary‘s boss obtained an abortifacient, which he gave to Mary.
On March 5, 1900, Alice died in German Hospital from complications of an illegal abortion evidently performed there that day by Maria Janke.
In January of 1902, Abraham Conheim promised marriage to 19-year-old Harriet Larocque. In April of 1902, Harriet discovered that she was pregnant. Conheim reneged on his promise of marriage, and instead arranged a criminal abortion for her.
Mary Ellen Legge
Mary Ellen was the first of two women to die after criminal abortions by psychologist Otto C. Lucy in Oklahoma.
On July 29, 1949, on the basis of a third-party referral, Dorothy Martin went to the home of P.D. Beigun for an abortion. Beigun was not a physician or qualified to practice medicine.
On May 17, 1904, Margaret died in Chicago's Mary Thompson from an illegal abortion performed some days earlier by Mrs. Gertrude Plenz
On April 25, 1899, Sarah died in St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago from an abortion performed by Marie Kampfer.
Doris Silver Ostreicher
This grocery-store heiress died after her mother arranged a criminal abortion for her in 1955.
On February 20, 1919, W. G. Waters and M. T. Summerlin performed an abortion on Viola Parr with instruments of some sort, causing her death.
On her deathbed, Ruth told her sisters that not only had her father performed the fatal abortion, but he had also been responsible for the pregnancy.
Daisy had an appointment to abort her second-trimester pregnancy scheduled for April 30, 1990, at a local abortion clinic. But for some reason, Daisy didn‘t wait for her appointment. On April 28, she allowed her boyfriend to insert a plastic tube into her uterus in a home-abortion attempt.
Some time prior to 1951, Annas Witlow Brown was convicted of manslaughter in the abortion death of a woman whose name I've been unable to determine. I‘ll refer to her as ‘Helen‘ Roe.
Jane Roe of Long Beach
On April 17, 1940, Mrs. Josephine Williams and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Adele H. Sassen, were sentenced to prison for an illegal abortion resulting in the death of a Long Beach woman.
On February 6, 1924, Ida Cantor performed an abortion on a woman not named in Westlaw summaries. I'll refer to her as ‘Patsy‘ Roe.
Gerri Santoro died of an illegal abortion performed by her boyfriend in 1964.
On December 10, 1885, Sylvia Sawdy went to Grand Rapids by train. There, she let her boyfriend perform an abortion on her.
On February 14, 1942, Florence Nimick Schnoor, age 24, died at St. Joseph‘s Hospital in New York of what the coroner called a "brutal and inept" illegal abortion. I‘m classifying this as amateur rather than unknown because no doctor was charged in the case.
Mrs. Antonie Vacicek
On August 16, 1899, Mrs. Antonie Vacicek died in her home from complications of an illegal abortion performed there that day, evidently by Mary Koupal.
On January 23, 1929, 22-year-old Edna died in Chicago from an abortion performed that day by Katherine Bajda, a homemaker.
In 1928, 20-year-old Stella Wallenberg died from a criminal abortion performed in Chicago. Loretta Rybicki, identified as a "massaguer", was held by the coroner. Dr. Nicholas Kalinowski was held as an accessory.
Gertrude died on July 19, 1925, of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Margaret Shott Higgens, age 23, was indicted for manslaughter in Gertrude's death.
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