Abortion deaths really began to plummet during the 1940s because of the advent of antibiotics and blood transfusions.



Women's Stories from the 1940s
Explore More by Time Frame
All Deaths by Name
1940
  • Mary Ann Page , March 27, 1940 Age: 20
    • Dr. C. E. Trovillion, Alton, IL
  • Goldie Crow, July 17, 1940 Age: 28
    • Lay abortionist Otto C. Lucy, Oklahoma City, OK


1941
  • Rose Smith, May 5, 1941 Age 23
    • Midwife Magdaline Motzny-Stegeman (?), Chicago, IL
  • Emma Laisure, July 7, 1941 Age: 27
    • Dr. Nathaniel Schafner, Chicago, I
  • Agnes Pearson, July 29, 1941 Age: 34
    • Dr. Nathan Schwartz or Dr. Samuel Schwartz (?), New York
  • Helen Clark, September 16, 1941 Age: 23
    • Lay abortionist Sarah Howe, New York


1942
  • Marie O'Malley, January 10, 1942 Age 36
    • Dr. Emil Gleitsman, Chicago, IL
  • Florence Schnoor
    • FlorenceNimickSchnoor.jpg
    • February 14, 1942 Age: 24
    • Unidentified perpetrator, New Yor
  • Cleo Moore, March 28, 1942 Age: 19
    • Dr. Frank F. Marino, New York (?)
  • I**nez McGraw**, June 25, 1942 Age: 18
    • Former midwife Henrietta Henderson, Spartanburg, SC
  • Eva Moyer, August 4, 1942 Age 18
    • Midwife Katheryn Eickenberg, Chicago, IL
  • Harriet Lichtenberg, October 18, 1942 Age: 23
    • Dr. Henry Katz, Brooklyn
  • Madlyon McGeehan, November 18, 1942 Age: 26
    • Dr. Joseph Nisonoff, New York, NY


1943
  • Lavern Perez, January 28, 1943 Age 22
    • Dr. Henry Gross, Chicago, IL
  • Anna Roche, February 1, 1943 Age: 26
    • Unidentified perpetrator, Syracuse, NY
  • Amelia Cardito, February 23, 1943 Age: 34
    • Dr. Anthony Renda, New York, NY
  • Dorothy Webber, February 26, 1943 Age 20
    • Dr. Henry Gross, Chicago, IL
  • Doris Morris, March 12, 1943 age 20
    • Midwife Jennie Sorel, Chicago, IL
  • Ellen Haro, April 2, 1943 Age: 31
    • Unspecified female physician, Chicago, IL
  • Anna Palanski, July, 1943 Age: 20
    • Midwife Elizabeth Tomeska, Chicago, IL
  • Naomi Congdon, August 28, 1943 Age: 21
    • Maternity nurse Lena Griffin Smith, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Mary Hosang, November 10, 1943 Age: 29
    • Unidentified perpetrator, Chicago, IL


1944


1945


1946


1947
  • Kerneda Bennett
    • January 28, 1947 Age: c. 30
    • Iva Coffman, profession undetermined, Richmond, V
  • Ilene Eagen
    • March 24, 1947 Age: 24
    • Dentist W. A. Groebner, Mankato, M
  • Patricia Parish
    • September 8, 1947 Age: 26
    • Abortiifacient obtained from undetermined source, Seattle, W
  • Jane Ward
    • JaneWardSmall.png
    • October 28, 1947 Age: 22
    • Dr. Paul Singer, New York, NY


1948
  • Marian Blyth
    • MarianBlytheTN.jpg
    • April 25, 1948 Age: 25
    • Dr. William C. Anderson, Pottawattamie County, IA
  • Mildred Ferguson, February 25, 1948 Age: 23
    • Dr. William M. Lewis, Huntington, WV
  • Doris Becker, December 2, 1948 Age: 21
    • Dr. Cyril Babb, Harlem, NY


1949
  • Roberta Danks
    • RobertaDanksHeadshotLowQualityTN.png
    • February 17, 1949 Age: 28
    • Dr. Edward Rosenzweig, Chicago, IL
  • Dorothy Martin, July 29, 1949 Age: 22
    • Lay abortionist P. D. Beigun, Georgia

* The Colonial Era


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A question mark (?) after
a person's name
indicates that there can
be some question of
whether the person
actually perpetrated the
abortion.

This would include cases
in which a person died
prior to trial, a case
never made it to trial, a
person won a new
trial on appeal, or a
person was acquitted
but I have been
unable to determine why.

In many cases, an
acquittal does not mean
that the person did not
perform the abortion.
In some cases the
jury might have decided
that the abortion was
actually performed
legally and thus the
woman's death was
accident, not homicide.