web space | free hosting | Business WebSite Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting
RealChoice
Eva Swan, Killed and Buried by Abortionist
1910 abortion death makes headlines in San Francisco
 Explore this Site
  Other Resources
• Abortion Statistics
• Abortion Laws
• Activism Links
• Analytical Tools
• Dirty Prochoice Laundry
• Dirty Proabortion Tricks
• Graphic Stuff
• Legal Abortion Advantages
• Pro-Abortion Lies
 More on illegal and amateur abortion
• 1955 Planned Parenthood Abortion Conference: Background
• 19th Century Abortion Cases and Other Self-Injury
• Abortion Practice Before Legalization
• Abortion: Public Health Miracle?
• Back Alley Butchers vs Main Street Maimers
• The Bad Old Days of Abortion
• The Changing Face of Abortion
• Coathanger Abortion: Powerful image, but how true to life?
• Criminal Abortion Deaths Uncovered
• Doctors and the Back-Alley Abortion
• A Glimpse Into Abortion's Past
• Illegal Abortions by Amateurs
• Illegal Abortions by Paramedical People
• Illegal Abortions by Physicians
• Post-Roe Illegal Abortions
• Safe-n-Legal or Back-Alley Butchery?
• Self-Induced Abortion Deaths
• The Truth of Pre-Roe Abortion Mortality
• What California Found
• What Minnesota Found
• What if Roe Goes?
 Food for Thought
• 19th Century Abortion Cases and Other Self-Injury
• Abortion, Law, and Real Choice
• Abortion, Suffering, and the Chinese Widow
• The Abortion War and Communication
• Another Anti-Choice Fanatic
• Are Abortions Used as Birth Control?
• The Bad Old Days of Abortion
• Botched Abortion Leads to Amputation
• Coathanger Abortion: Powerful image, but how true to life?
• Comparative Safety - Abortion & Stuff Folks Get Riled About
• Diane Sawyer and the Non-Story of Lawson Akpulonu
• Did I Deserve the Death Penaltyh
• Do Rape Victims Really Need Abortions?
• Fetal Diagnoses Leading to Unnecessary Abortions
• Freaks Teaches Pro-Life Lesson
• Is Childbirth Safety Relevant to Abortion?
• Is This the Face of the Enemy?
• Is &quo;Who Decides?&quo; Really the Question?
• The &quo;Koop Report&quo; on Abortion
• LDI and the CDC
• Misplaced Priorities Cost Women's Lives
• A Mother‘s Nightmare
• Pro Child/Pro Choice Rings Hollow
• Question Abortion
• Stress and the Abortion Decision
• Study - Effect of Abortion Legalization on Sexual Behavior: Evidence from Sexually Transmitted Diseases
• Unequal Burden on the Poor?
• Unintended Late Abortions
• Unplanned Pregnancies that Worked Out
• What Real Informed Consent Would Look Like
• What‘s &quo;Adequate Access&quo; to Abortion?
• What‘s the Need for Abortion?
• When the POC Really is Just Tissue
• Where‘s the Pro Choice Movement on Elective Amputations?
• Who is the Enemy?
• Who‘s Putting the Unborn Ahead of the Born?
• Women Who Change Their Minds After the Abortion
• Women‘s Rights are Common Ground
• Your Bedroom, the Government, and Abortion Laws
 

In September of 1910, The San Francisco Examiner gave extensive coverage to the gruesome death of schoolteacher Eva Swan.

Eva died after a &quo;Dr. Grant&quo; performed an abortion on her. Grant had an assistant help him to bury Eva‘s body in the basement of his rented house.

The assistant, plagued with guilt, told Ben Gordon, another of Grant‘s employees, about the incident. Gordon kept the secret until after a fight with Grant over money. He then went to the police.

As the sordid story came out, a nurse admitted to seeing Gordon &quo;saw off the young woman's legs with a common wood saw,&quo; then pack her body into a trunk.

Gordon and his assistant then took the trunk to the house. They tore up a section of the basement‘s wood floor, dug a grave, and saturated the ground with nitric acid. They then removed Eva‘s body from the trunk, wrapped it in a blanket, and dumped it in the hole.

After covering the body with dirt, they poured in more nitric acid, then covered the grave with a four-inch-thick cement floor.

&quo;Dr. Grant,&quo; it turned out, was actually a Dr. Robert Thompson, a graduate of Dartmouth and Baltimore Medical College.

Coverage in the Examiner painted a picture of a pudgy, heartless man who showed no emotion during his trial.

Eva's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

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 information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

Illegal by Doctors Illegal by Paramedical Illegal by Amateurs Self Induced For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

Source: Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in American, by Marvin Olasky

Previous articles

Search this site powered by FreeFind

Send me your feedback!
Name:
E-Mail:
Comments:

RealChoice

Cemetery of Choice

RealChoice Blog

Not Just the Unborn