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RealChoice
Pauline Roberson Shirley
NOW attributes her death to illegal abortion
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According to the National Organization for Women web site, Pauline Roberson Shirley was a 29-year-old married mother of six. She and the children, according to NOW, were living with her mother in Arizona while her husband was looking for work in California. NOW gives no details of the illegal abortion that Pauline underwent, but says that she was hospitalized for hemorrhage afterward and in need of transfusions. NOW indicates that Pauline's mother was looking for donors for the needed blood when Pauline bled to death on August 22, 1940.

I'd welcome any verifying information on Mrs. Shirley's death. After all, NOW also claims that Becky Bell died from complications of an illegal abortion, when in fact she died of pneumonia concurrent with a miscarriage. (There was no evidence that Becky's pregnancy had been tampered with in any way.) But if people who think abortion is a good idea want to blame Pauline's death on abortion, I'll let them claim her as somebody their ideology killed.

Now doesn't indicate if Pauline's abortion was performed by an amateur or non-physician, which would be unusual, or if it was done by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

Illegal by Doctors Illegal by Paramedical Illegal by Amateurs Self Induced

During the 1940s, while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality from abortion. The death toll fell from 1,407 in 1940, to 744 in 1945, to 263 in 1950. Most researches attribute this plunge to the development of blood transfusion techniques and the introduction of antibiotics. Learn more here.

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

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