SUMMARY: Sharon Diana Hoag, age 20, died February 1, 1963 after an abortion perpetrated by lay abortionist Lee Blue in and his female companion in Capital Hill, Washington.
“When Abortion was Illegal (and Deadly): Seattle’s Maternal Death Toll,” Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project, is unusual among abortion-rights publications in that it provides sources for its assertions about illegal abortion deaths. Here is what they have to say about Sharon:
Twenty years old and living in her parents home in Ballard, Sharon Hoag must have heard about Lee Blue through a network familiar with illegal abortion providers. The former night club operator had an extensive criminal record and had already served five years for criminal abortion. Moreover he was awaiting sentencing on a second conviction when he and live-in companion Helen Olson operated on Hoag in their Capitol Hill home. Complications set in the next day and by the time family members drove her to Ballard Hospital it was too late to save the young woman. Blue was charged with manslaughter as well as abortion. After a hung jury on the manslaughter charge, he eventually pled guilty. He received a life sentence with the provision that he must serve at least thirteen years.
They cite the Seattle Times (Oct. 10, 1954, Aug. 8, 1955, Jan. 17, Feb. 2, Feb. 5, May 9 & 24, and Jun. 5, 1963) and include a clipping, “Girl’s Death After Abortion Investigated,” from the Feb. 2, 1963 Seattle Times.
I also found an article, “New Charges Filed,” from the Feb. 5, 1963 Spokane Daily Chronicle. It noted that Lee Blue was 60 years old when arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of abortion.