Anna Roche

On February 1, 1943, 26-year-old Anna Woznica Roche, wife of Marine Sgt. William Roche, died in Syracuse, New York, of peritonitis caused by an abortion. Several people were questioned the next day but no perpetrator identified.

She was buried in Amboy.

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.

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Source: “2 Abortion Cases Given Police Study,” Syracuse Herald, Feb. 2, 1943