SUMMARY: Corrine Comstock, age 18, died in Quincy, Illinois on October 16, 1922 from complications of a self-induced abortion attempt.
On September 20, 1922, Dr. E. L. Caddick, a staff surgeon at St. Mary's Hospital in Quincy, Illinois, was called in to perform an emergency appendectomy on 18-year-old Corrine Comstock of Palmyra. During the surgery, he noticed "the condition of the patient" -- though whether this was alluding to her pregnancy or post-abortion complications is unclear.
After the surgery, Caddick spoke to Corrine, who admitted that she had attempted an abortion.
Her condition deteriorated for nearly a month until Corrine's death the night of Monday, October 16. An inquest was held the following night at White Funeral Home and found her cause of death to be blood poisoning brought on by the attempted abortion.
Investigators found that Corrine had been "keeping steady company" with a married man who lived near her in Palmyra. It had been common knowledge that he had been planning to divorce his wife.
Corrine's mother, Mrs. Mina Nixon, said that Corrine had first taken ill the Monday after a September 16 visit to the Palmyra Fair.
- "Girl Tries to Hide Shame and Causes Death," Quincy Whig-Journal, Oct. 18, 1922
- "Coroner's Juries Fix Death Causes of Two Women," Quincy Daily Herald, Oct. 19, 1922