web space | free hosting | Business WebSite Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting


A 1929 Abortion Death: Ruth Weir
Was Ruth the victim of a criminal abortionist, or was Dr. Maruice Strum really trying to save her life when he performed the fatal abortion?
 Explore This Site
  Related Resources
• Abortion History
• Abortion Mortality
•  Abortion Practice Before Legalization
•  Abortionists of the 20th Century
•  Accupuncture Abortionist Charged for Injuries
•  Back Alley Butchers vs Main Street Maimers
•  Coathanger Abortions vs Safe-n-Legal Abortions
• Pre-Legalization Abortion
• Safe-n-Legal or Back-Alley Butchery?
• The Truth of Pre-Roe Abortion Mortality
• Anesthesia Deaths
• California Saline Deaths 1970-72
• Embolism Deaths
• Fatal Instillation Abortions
• Hemorrhage Deaths
• Illegal Abortions by Amateurs
• Illegal Abortions by Paramedical People
• Illegal Abortions by Physicians
• Instillation Deaths
• LDI Tombstone Project Deaths
• LDI Tombstone Project Deaths by State
• LDI Tombstone Project Deaths by Year
• National Abortion Federation Deaths
• New York Saline Deaths 1970-72
• Pre-Roe Abortion Deaths
• Post-Roe Illegal Abortions
• Pre-Roe Legal Abortions
• Self-Induced Abortion Deaths
• Teens Killed by Abortion
• Undiagnosed Ectopic Deaths
 Illegal Abortion Deaths
• Anna Anderson
• Olive Ash
• Doris Becker
• Kerneda Bennett
• Hughretta Binkley
• Cora Burke
• Amelia Cardito
• Joyce Chorney
• Helen Clark
• Virginia Clark
• Alice Corbett
• Katherine Cross
• Isabell Cuda
• Lena Dakota
• Mary Davies
• Katherine DiDonato
• Ilene Eagen
• Beatrice Fisher
• Laura France
• Maggie Gibbons
• Anna Gosch
• Edith Green
• Jolene Griffith
• Barbara Hanson
• Arretta Hardesty
• Ada Hawk
• Kris Humphrey
• Rosie Jiminez
• Anna Johnson
• Joyce Johnson
• Joy Joy
• Alice Kimberly
• Mary Kirkpatrick
• Betty Ladel
• Harriet Larocque
• Asunta La Rosa
• Harriet Lichtenberg
• Rose Lipner
• Barbara Lofrumento
• Dorothy Martin
• Margaret Marts
• Lillian McCullough
• Madeline McGeehan
• Cleo Moore
• Emily Nohavec
• Viola Parr
• Agnes Pearson
• Magdalena Philippi
• Gertrude Pinsky
• Gene Raligh
• Virginia Rappe
• "Daisy" Roe
• "Helen" Roe
• "Nina" Roe
• "Rosa" Roe
• Jane Roe of 1937
• Jane Roe of Long Beach
• Geraldine Santoro
• Sylvia Sawdy
• Rita Shea
• Florence Schnoor
• Dorothy Schultz
• Jacqueline Smith
• Eliza Sowers
• Elise Stone
• Eva Swan
• Wanda Szidzewicz
• Iva Triplett
• Jane Ward
• Nancy Ward
• Virginia Watson
• Ruth Weir
• Irene Wengel
• Loretta Wilson
• Grace Wolf
• Elvira Woodward
• Gertrude Wynants
• 1932: A String of Deaths in Oklahoma City
• Chicago, 1928: Abortionist Sentenced to Die
• Criminal Abortion Deaths Uncovered
• Doctors and the Back-Alley Abortion
 Abortion Mortality
• Women Killed by Abortion
• Anesthesia Deaths
• California Saline Deaths 1970-72
• Embolism Deaths
• Hemorrhage Deaths
• Instillation Deaths
• National Abortion Federation Deaths
• New York Saline Deaths 1970-72
• Pre-Roe Legal Abortions
• Post-Roe Illegal Abortions
• Illegal Abortions by Doctors
• Teens Killed by Abortion
• Undiagnosed Ectopic Deaths

On February 16, 1929, Mrs. Ruth Weir, of East Orange, New Jersey, died at Orange Memorial Hospital of sepsis contracted through a criminal abortion.

Dr. James R. Chamberlain testified that he had examined Ruth at her home and had admitted her to the hospital due to a septic condition. Dr. James Wilson testified that he had treated Ruth in the hospital during late January and that she was suffering from septicemia.

Dr. Maurice Sturm was arrested when Ruth implicated him in a deathbed statement. Mrs. Frieda Sanger testified that Sturm had sent Ruth to her home to recuperate. Sturm admitted to performing the abortion, but insisted that it had not been illegal because it was necessary to save Ruth's life.

The District Attorney claimed that Sturm failed to keep proper records, including concealing names and appointments of patients. Sturm, who was later acquitted of the manslaughter charge in Ruth's death, alleged during his trial that a judge had demanded bribe money from him to dismiss the case, but that $1000 he had given the judge was a gift and not part of the bribe money.

This case rasises several important points we would do well to remember:

  • The majority of criminal abortions were performed by physicians, not amateurs.
  • If the doctor thought the abortion was necessary to save the mother's life, all he had to do to protect himself from prosecution was keep adequate records.
  • When an abortionist killed a patient before legalization, the law would look at him closely and not shrug the death off as unimportant.
  • We don't know if Strum kept poor records on Ruth because the abortion was illegal, or because he was a quack who just kept poor records.

    Source: New York Times 3-19-30, 3-31-30, 3-22-30, 3-26-30, 3-27-30, 3-28-30, 4-10-30)


    Like this link graphic? Click here to learn how to add it to your web page.

    Search this site powered by FreeFind

    View the Cemetery of Choice Calendar
    Free Calendar from Bravenet.com Free Calendar from Bravenet.com

    Send me your feedback!


    Cemetery of Choice

    RealChoice Blog