U.S.: How a Harrowing Photo of One Woman’s Death Became an Iconic Pro-Choice Symbol

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How a Harrowing Photo of One Woman's Death Became an Iconic Pro-Choice Symbol
by Amanda Arnold
100 years
Oct 26 2016

In 1973, Ms. magazine published a haunting photo of a woman named Gerri Santoro, who'd died of a back-alley abortion. At the time, no one could have predicted what an impact it would have on the pro-choice movement, or how many decades later we would still be fighting to keep women from having to seek out illegal procedures.

People knew of Geraldine "Gerri" Santoro's cause of death—an air embolism caused by a back-alley abortion—before they ever knew her name.

On June 8, 1964, the 28-year-old married woman and her lover, Clyde Dixon, checked into Connecticut's now-closed Norwich Motel with no vacation suitcases or change of clothes for an overnight stay. Instead, she brought a catheter and a textbook. Santoro, six and a half months pregnant, was prepared to let Dixon perform her illegal abortion—that is, until she started hemorrhaging during the process and Dixon panicked, abandoning Santoro to bleed to death on the motel floor.

Continued at source: Broadly/Vice: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/how-a-harrowing-photo-of-one-womans-death-became-an-iconic-pro-choice-symbol