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Sophie Herman, Criminal Abortion Death
Died after abortion performed by midwife
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In late 1903, Miss Sophia Herman, a 23-year-old white woman, was taken to Norwegian Hospital. She died from an abortion.

It's unclear from my source if Sophia died at the hospital or at her home, and whether the abortion was performed at the hospital or at Sophia's home. It gives the address of the "crime scene" as 250 Wilmot, and says that Sophia died at the crime scene.

Midwife Harla Faustman was arrested November 2 and held without bail.

Franz Wehfritz was arrested as an accessory and held by the Coroners Jury on November 5, but he was later released.

Note, please, that with issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

Illegal by Doctors Illegal by Paramedical Illegal by Amateurs Self Induced For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion Sources:
  • Homicide in Chicago Interactive

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