Patricia Parish

SUMMARY: Patricia Parrish, age 26, died at a motel in Seattle on September 8, 1947, evidently after taking some sort of abortifacient.

When Abortion was Illegal (and Deadly): Seattle’s Maternal Death Toll,” Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project cites a Seattle Times cites an article dated September 9, 1947 regarding the death of 26-year-old mother-of-two Patricia Parrish of Bremerton, Washington. The Project said that Patricia had traveled from her home in Bremerton in the company of 28-year-old machinist Frank Womac, Jr., a married man who identified himself as Patricia’s friend.

The two checked into a Seattle motel as Mr. and Mrs. Womac. quotes the coroner’s report indicating that on September 8, 1947, Patricia had “spent two hours in a bathtub of steaming hot water and had taken four medicinal capsules at thirty minute intervals.”She died that day.

Womac was arrested but released on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Patricia’s husband, a jeweler, suffered a heart attack when informed of her death.

According to Washington state online death records, Patricia was actually 28 years old. Her father’s name was Patrick L. Ryan and her husband’s name was Delbert Parish.