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Abortion History: Esther Williams' teammate killed by botched abortion
Abortion was to prevent baby from interfering with film career
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Virginia Hopkins Watson had been on a record-setting relay swimming team with Esther Williams in 1939, and had herself set the world's fifty-meter record in 1938.

Virginia was 32 years old and pursuing a Hollywood career when she became pregnant in 1954.

Deciding that a baby would hurt her career, Virginia arranged to have an abortion on November 18.

Her husband learned of the pregnancy and the abortion a few hours before Virginia's death from peritonitis at General Hospital in Los Angeles, California.


Source: New York Times 12-1-54

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