Chloe Roe #1930s #illegalparamedical #newmexico #hemorrhagedeath

SUMMARY: "Chloe" died around 1930 after an abortion perpetrated by dentist Milton A. Grissom in New Mexico.

A young woman, unnamed in court documents, met an untimely end some time around 1930. I will call her "Chloe", and her lover "Fred".

Milton A. Grissom, a dentist, was hired as an abortionist by Fred, the father of Chloe's baby, for $200 -- a promissory note secured by Chloe's car. Fred witnessed the abortion and testified to it.

The abortion was done in Grissom's office. Grissom then took Chloe to his home for several days -- much the same way prochoice icon Milan Vuitch would later treat his home as an abortion clinic annex. While at Grissom's home, Chloe she expelled a dead 7-month fetus. She was taken to the hospital, near death. Grissom was immediately arrested.

Grissom's black satchel full of obstetric instruments was seized as evidence. Fred testified that it was the satchel he had seen Grissom with, and that several of the instruments were those used in the abortion on Chloe. Grissom objected to the admission of the satchel and instruments, on the grounds that it would present him to the jury as an abortionist. Grissom particularly objected to the admission of an extract of ergot, a drug that has no dental use but an obstetrical use for stopping hemorrhage after childbirth or abortion. Grissom pointed out that he had not used the ergot on Chloe; the court argued that having it showed a pattern of behavior indicative of performing abortions.

While Chloe's body was in the mortuary, somebody -- presumably Fred -- reported to the sheriff that Chloe's diamond ring was missing. The sheriff went to the jail where Grissom was being held, and asked Grissom about the ring. Grissom denied having any ring other than the ring he was wearing. When the sheriff searched him, he found Chloe's ring in Grissom's pocket. Grissom objected to this being presented at trial as being prejudicial, but the state asserted that it showed a financial interest. It was presumed that Grissom took the ring from Chloe's finger after her death.

The court, in turning down Grissom's appeal, noted, "It happens in this case that the evidence of appellant's guilt was so strong and complete that there was little need of proving his possession of the ring...."

His appeal was denied.

Chloe's abortion was unusual in that it was performed by a non-physician with medical training. It was far more common for women to find physician abortionists.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1930s.

For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

35 N.M. 323, 298 P. 666 State v. Grissom. No. 3568

  1. 1900s
  2. 1910-1919
  3. 1920s
  4. 1930s
  5. 1940s
  6. 1950s
  7. 1960s
  8. 1970s
  9. 1980s
  10. 1990s
  11. 19th century
  12. 2000-2009
  13. 20s
  14. 30s
  15. 40s
  16. NAF
  17. abortifacient
  18. abortion
  19. abortion mill
  20. abortion mortality
  21. abortionists
  22. abortionists -- female
  23. abortionists -- male
  24. alabama
  25. anesthesia
  26. arizona
  27. black women
  28. botched abortion
  29. california
  30. chicago
  31. colorado
  32. connecticut
  33. cover-up
  34. death
  35. deaths
  36. deception
  37. delay in transport
  38. delay in treatment
  39. district of columbia
  40. dumped body
  41. ectopic
  42. embolism
  43. falsifying forms
  44. fetal indications
  45. florida
  46. former criminal abortionist
  47. george tiller
  48. georgia
  49. hemorrhage death
  50. hospitals
  51. illegal - doctor
  52. illegal - midwife
  53. illegal - nurse
  54. illegal - paramedical
  55. illegal - post roe
  56. illegal - unknown
  57. illegal - untrained
  58. illegal abortion
  59. illinois
  60. inadequate documents
  61. inadequate equipment
  62. inadequate resuscitation
  63. incomplete abortion
  64. indiana
  65. infection
  66. kansas
  67. legal abortion
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  69. louisiana
  70. maryland
  71. massachusetts
  72. maternal indications
  73. maternal mortality
  74. michigan
  75. mills
  76. missouri
  77. mortality
  78. national abortion federation
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  80. new mexico
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  82. north carolina
  83. ohio
  84. oklahoma
  85. pennsylvania
  86. planned parenthood
  87. pre-roe legal
  88. previous misconduct
  89. prostaglandin
  90. quackery
  91. questionable stories
  92. ru-486
  93. rupture
  94. saline
  95. secret abortion
  96. self-induced
  97. suicide
  98. teens
  99. texas
  100. wisconsin