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Most illegal abortions were done by physicians. A distant but important second category of illegal abortionists was the paramedical person. The third most common was the amateur abortionist. Self-induced abortions, which persist in spite of legalization, still cost women their lives.
This young blind woman had been taught by her boyfriend how to perform self-induced abortions. The second one ended her life.
This young woman bought an abortifacient drug that killed her near-term baby, then killed her.
Clara Bell Duvall was a 32-year-old married mother of five. NOW says that Clara attempted a self-induced abortion with a knitting needle in 1929.
In September of 1989, 33-year-old mothr of four Laura France was found dead in the garage of her home in Mansfield, Ohio. Laura evidently attempted a self-induced abortion with an air compressor.
Ruth Irene Friedl was a married, 27-year-old mother of two. NOW's site said that pregnancy was life-threatening for Ruth, but they don't specify why, nor do they say why she was denied an abortion. NOW says that Ruth drank ergot apiol, an herbal abortifacient, on August 21, 1929.
Ruth died of blood poisoning from an apparent self-induced abortion in 1937.
Kris Humphrey placed a high value on "self-determination" and doing things "naturally." These values led her to choose the herbal abortion that ended her life on August 14, 1994.
Mrs. Frank Lafavor
This 15-year-old newlywed got her fatal abortifacient from her landlord.
In 1978, a Colorado woman suspected she was pregnant. She procured two 1/2-ounce bottles of pennyroyal oil and drank them to cause an abortion.
Pauline Roberson Shirley
The National Organization for Women claims that Pauline, age 29, died from a criminal abortion of some sort in 1940.
Mary L. Stone
Mary attempted an abortion with oil of tansey, with fatal results.
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