grand jury hears abortion

Grand Jury Hears Abortion Case This Month

(Editors note: This story appeared in the September 6, 1972 edition of the )Hyde Park Herald. It refers to the 7 Jane members arrested for performing illegal abortions earlier that year.)  

Grand Jury Hears Abortion Case This Month

A case involving seven women suspected of having operated an abortion service in Hyde Park and South Shore will be heard by a Cook County grand jury later this month.
The seven defendants are

Susan G., 5342 Harper,
Martha S., 5213 Kenwood,
Sheila S., 5459 Hyde Park Blvd.,
Madeleine S.,6933 Bennett,
Abby G., 47 W. 59th,
Diane S., 820 W. Agatite
and Judy P., 2216 N. Geneva.

The grand jury will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to indict all of the women on the charge of conspiracy to commit abortion.

The grand jury could also indict five of the defendants on a charge of abortion.

The seven women, all of whom are free on bail, were bound over to the grand jury after a preliminary hearing on the charges August 9.

In that hearing, testimony was heard from two Chicago policemen and from two women who said that they went to the defendants for abortions.

One of the policemen, Harold Huffman, testified about a police stakeout in Hyde Park that led to the arrest of six of the defendants on May 3 in an apartment at 7251 South Shore Dr., where the abortions are alleged to have been performed.

Huffman said that he sat for several hours in an unmarked police car in the 5500 block of South Everett after getting a tip that an abortion service was being run in a building on that block.

During the stakeout, Huffman said, he saw many women enter the building at 5532 Everett. At various intervals, he alleged, a group of women would leave the building, get in a car and drive toward South Shore.

After following the women on three occasions, Huffman was able to identify the 7251 S. Shore Dr. building as their destination.

A short time later, Huffman and other police officers went to the eleventh floor of the building and arrested all of the defendants except Ms. G in an apartment on that floor.

Huffman testified that he went into the apartment’s three bedrooms, all of which, he said, "were set up like hospital operating rooms."

He added that in one of the bedrooms he saw a nude woman lying on a bed with an icepack on her stomach. In another bedroom he found a young woman named Gloria W. lying on a bed, according to his testimony.

Ms. W. also testified at last month’s preliminary hearing. She said that she first went to the Everett st. apartment building, where she saw Ms. G. and where she was given some pills.

Ms. W. said that she understood the purpose of the pills was "to prevent infection"‘—presumably referring to an infection that might result from an abortion operation.

After she received the pills, Ms. W. said, she was driven to the S. Shore Dr. building by Ms. P.

If the county grand jury returns indictments in the case, the defendants could stand trial on the abortion and conspiracy charges.