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Virginia Wyckoff, Back Alley Abortion Death
One of a string of Oklahoma City deaths
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Virginia Wyckoff, a University of Oklahoma student, age 21, died from complications of an abortion on April 24, 1932.

Dr. J.W. Eisiminger, an osteopath, was tried and convicted of murder in Virginia's death. He admitted to having treated her in his office on April 3, but said that he didn't believe she was pregnant. Nevertheless, Virginia spent several days in a private home where Eisiminger kept recovering aboriton patients under the care of Mrs. Luther Bryant Price. Dr. Thacker also used Mrs. Price's home as a recovery center for his abortion patients.

Virginia was transferred from Mrs. Prices's home to a hospital, where she died, first having told doctors there that Eisiminger had performed the fatal abortion.. A deathbed statement absolving Eisiminger was proven to be a forgery.

Eisiminger was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder in her abortion death. The sentence was later reduced to 15 years.

Eisiminger also got in trouble when allegations arose that his wife, Marie, paid a bribe to try to secure his release.

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


Sources: "Abortion", The Oklahoman, April 4, 1937; "Eisiminger is Given Parole", The Oklahoman, February 6, 1942; "Eisiminger to Face Renewed Death Charge", The Oklahoman, March 26, 1937; "Fixings of 'Real Guilt' Pledged by Eisiminger", The Oklahoman, November 16, 1943; "Second City Doctor Faces Death Charge", The Oklahoman, April 29, 1932; "Abortion Ring", Time, Monday, May 9, 1932

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