Catherine Maxwell #abortionists #abortionistsfemale
On March 7, 1875, 20-year-old Antoinette Fennor died at the New York abortion practice of Catherine Maxwell.
Maxwell ran an abortion practice for, by her own admission, around 40 years. She would arrange for the women to stay at a nearby boarding house run by a friend of hers, expecting the woman or the man arranging the abortion to pay the $25 a week boarding fee and to supply an independent doctor for aftercare. Her abortion fee for a 5-month pregnancy was $100, though she negotiated prices of those who cared to dicker.
She used a syringe and some medications to ply her trade.
During the investigation into Antoinette Fennor's death, Maxwell said that she'd be in the workhouse if she didn't go into the abortion business, since her husband was "feeble" and unable to work, that she had rent to pay, servants to pay. She admitted that she'd been arrested twice for abortion before Antoinette's death.
On February 16, 1846, Maxwell had been found guilty under the name of Catherine Costello, alias Maxwell, of doing an abortion on Emily D. She had been sentenced to 6 months, and fined $250. The girl's "seducer", Charles Mason, who had arranged the abortion, was sentenced to four months.
Maxwell also caught scrutiny for an abortion performed on a Mrs. Jennie Gale, who testified against Mrs. Maxwell at the Fennor inquest at some point, and who evidently had referred for the abortion that had killed Antoinette.
When Maxwell was brought into the inquest room to be identified by a witness. Snidely Whiplash couldn't have gotten a more negative response:
- Coroner Simms last night resumed the inquest touching the death of Miss Antoinette Fennor. Seated in a corner of the room ... was the father of the unfortunate girl, buried in the great crowd which surged about the doorway and pressed against the railing which inclosed the space where the jury, reporters and counsel were seated, anxious to hear every word as it fell from the witnesses' mouths.
- As she is unable to walk, she was carried into the court room on her chair by two officers, who placed her in the centre of the room, facing [Roche]. In answer to the Coroner's inquiry, "Do you identify that woman as the person whom you arrested?" the officer replied, "I do," and the woman was wheeled back to the private room on the Coroner waving his hand, saying, "Take that woman away." The woman is anything but an agreeable looking personage, and the great crowd that looked upon her seemed to feel the contempt and disgust which the Coroner's words and actions showed he had for the woman as he turned his gaze from her and ordered her taken from the room.