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Robbie Lou Thompson, Back Alley Abortion Death
One of a string of Oklahoma City deaths
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Dr. Richard E. Thacker was prosecuted for the abortion death of Robbie Lou Thompson in Oklahoma City. Robbie Lou died of sepsis.

In his trial for Ruth Hall's death, and over Thacker's understandable objections, the court permitted a number of witnesses to testify that after Ruth's visit to his practice, Thacker had performed fatal abortions on Robbie Lou, as well as on Lennis May Roach and Nancy Joe Seay Lee. The witnesses went into detail about the events, up to and including the death of each of them.

Thacker testified that a Mr. Erdman came with Robbie Lou Thompson to his office to consult him. He said that she was "in a rather serious condition" and that he advised Erdman to take Robbie Lou to the hospital right away.

Thacker said that Erdman and Robbie Lou left his office, and that at about midnight he got a call from Erdman, who wanted Thacker to meet them at the home of Mrs. Moore. When he arrived there, Thacker said, Erdman told him that Robbie Lou had died on the way to the hospital and that he wanted Thacker to make out a death certificate. "He prevailed on me to falsify that a little bit in order to protect her; I made out the certificate showing she died from acute gastritis. I was never paid for my services. I did not operate on Miss Thompson."

Illegal by Doctors Illegal by Paramedical Illegal by Amateurs Self Induced

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1930s.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

New York Times; "Abortion Ring", Time, Monday, May 9, 1932; Thacker v State. 1933 OK CR 119. 26 P.2d 770. 55 Okl.Cr. 161. Decided: 10/27/1933. Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals

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