In July of 1915, 25-year-old homemaker Mary Balcznska (or Balczynski) died at Chicago’s St. Bernard’s Hospital from an abortion perpetrated by midwife Veronika Rypczyski who was arrested and held by the Coroner on June 10. The case never went to trial.
St. Bernard’s Hospital was founded when Rev. Bernard Murray, the leader of St. Bernard’s Church in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, asked the Kingston, Canada-based Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph for help in founding a local hospital. In 1903, the group sent seven sisters who began fund raising efforts. The hospital was dedicated in November of 1905.