Marian Mills #1930s #teens #oklahoma #illegalunknown

SUMMARY: Marian Mills, age 19, died on July 10, 1934, after an abortion in Oklahoma. The perpetrator was never identified.

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Marian Mills

In 1934, pretty Marian Mills, a beauty queen and professor's daughter, was the 19-year-old "campus sweetheart" of Neal Myers. Myers, a 21-year-old pharmacy student, was the son of Dr. P.B. Myers of Denver.

On July 10, Marian died in the apartment of Mrs. Hazel Brown, the cook for Myers' fraternity house and "the only person of mature age in the house during the 24 tragic hours preceding the girl's death."

Myers was charged with murder in Marian's death, and could have faced life in prison if convicted.

Dr. Roy Emanuel testified that Myers consulted him about a possible pregnancy but had asked for advise, not for an abortion. Emanuel said that he'd recommended a test to verify the suspected pregnancy, and had also told the young man to consult with his father.

"Two or three weeks later he came back ... bringing the report, which showed the girl was not pregnant." Myers had Marian with him, and she said that she wanted an examination, because she didn't think the test was accurate. He did examine her and while he could not definitively say, he didn't think she was pregnant.

The couple returned again the Thursday before Marian's death, and this time his examination verified that the girl was pregnant. Again, Emanuel said, he referred the couple to Myers' father.

Mrs. Brown, for her part, said that Myers had loved Marian and had wanted to marry her. He was opposed to the idea of an abortion. Marian, on the other hand, insisted that her parents would never accept Myers. Brown said that Marian had taken "a harmless drug" and that this was the only attempt that she personally knew of to abort the baby.

During the trial, witnesses testified that Mrs. Brown had refused to call a doctor for Marian, saying that she was "as good as dead," and instructing Myers to run -- which he did, spending three weeks on the lam before turning himself in.

Doctors who examined Marian after her death indicated that she had sought or attempted more aggressive means to "avert motherhood" than just mild abortifacients. They said that some sort of instruments had been used in the abortion that had caused her death.

Myers was supported by Brown, his father, and his fraternity friends during the trial. There were tears of joy in the courtroom when he was acquitted. Marian's father, Professor M. Elbert Mills, "maintained a strict silence."

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I have been unable to find if the perpetrator of Marian's fatal abortion was ever identified. Myers was suspected, and a druggist testified at the trial that Myers had bought strong antiseptics which he said he needed "to sterilize instruments."


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

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  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
  68. llinois
  69. louisiana
  70. maryland
  71. massachusetts
  72. maternal indications
  73. maternal mortality
  74. michigan
  75. mills
  76. missouri
  77. mortality
  78. national abortion federation
  79. new jersey
  80. new mexico
  81. new york
  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
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