SUMMARY: Claudette Sayles, age 23, died July 30, 1960 from complications of an abortion perpetrated in her Seattle apartment, evidently by a lay abortionist.
According to "When Abortion was Illegal (and Deadly): Seattle's Maternal Death Toll," Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project
, Claudette Sayles, a 23-year-old Black woman was a student living in Seattle in 1960.
Mae Etta Scott, age 22, admitted to assisting in preparations for an abortion to be perpetrated in Claudette's apartment. Claudette died of abortion complications on July 30.
Police arrested Scott and she was charged with second-degree murder. The jury believed Scott's defense that nothing she had done had caused Claudette's death, so they acquitted her.
The Project cites the August 10, August 19, and December 16, 1960 issues of the Seattle Times
.and includes a clipping, "Murder Charge Filed in Death of Woman," from the August 10 Seattle Times
which identifies Scott as a telephone operator and notes that a 20-year-old woman undergoing an abortion at the same time was being held as a material witness.