Collection SCA414-GA482-1 - Booking photograph of Rose Pena Ventura.

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Booking photograph of Rose Pena Ventura.

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1 photograph : b&w ; 10 x 12 cm

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Two photographs on one sheet from the Sheriff's Department Los Angeles showing the booking photographs of Rose Pena Ventura. Ventura is seen in full length profile and straight on. The verso of the photograph indicates it was taken September 22, 1955 when Ventura was 32. Her aliases are listed as Rose Pena and Rose Garduna and she was arrested for the crime of abortion.

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Purchased from Michael R. Thompson Rare Books, 2022.


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General note

Abortion became illegal in California in 1850 when the Crimes and Punishment's Act made it illegal to provide or seek an abortion except in cases where the mother's life was at risk. It was illegal to seek an abortion even if one was not obtained. A large medical tourism industry was in place with many women going to Mexico to seek abortion care. The 1953 case People v Buffum allowed for doctors in California to help women plan for and seek abortions in Mexico performed by a Mexican physician. In 1959 California law established that the threat to a woman's life need not be imminent or certain for an abortion to be performed. A series of medical and social changes in the 1950's and 1960's including the thalidomide scandal and outbreaks of Rubella prompted an interest in legalizing abortion in the state. In 1961 the first attempt to pass an abortion bill went before the California government but it died in committee. In 1966 the State Medical Board threatened the licenses of 9 Obstetrician/Gynecologists for performing hospital abortions on women who were pregnant and infected with Rubella and where the fetus may be born with life threatening defects, or may be stillborn. A year later in 1967 the California Therapeutic Abortion Act was signed into law providing access to abortion in cases of rape or incest or to protect the physical and mental health of the mother. People v Belous in 1969 upheld the State of California constitutional right to an abortion. With the 2022 repeal of Roe v Wade California now has the easiest access to abortion in the country and is itself becoming a location for medical tourism.

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Created JB August 2022.

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  • English

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