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Rose Lipner, Illegal Abortion Death
Anonymous tipster led to discovery of criminal abortion
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Rose Lipner, age 32, mother of 2, died at Riverdale Hospital on January 29, 1936.

Dr. Maxwell C. Katz, who lived at Riverdale (maternity) Hospital, which he operated, signed a death certificate indicating that Rose had been operated on for a tumor.

After the funeral, an anonymous caller notified police that the death was suspicious, and Rose was exhumed for an autopsy. The medical examiner determined that Rose had died from an abortion. Katz was arraigned for second-degree manslaughter.

Rose's abortion was typical in that it was performed by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

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

Source: New York Times 2-8-36

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