The Notorious Dr. Flippin
Abortion and Consequence in the Early Twentieth Century
Published by: Texas Tech University Press
Imprint: Texas Tech University Press
Sales Date: March 2011
- Published: March 2011
In 1910 a central Nebraska newspaper, the Aurora Sun, printed an editorial condemning a physician it dubbed “the notorious Dr. Flippin.” Dr. Charles Flippin’s reputation came under siege throughout the state as another newspaper editor alleged that the African American physician had committed “that most despicable of all crimes”—illegal abortion. For thirty years rural Kansans and Nebraskans had hailed Flippin as a godsend because of his skill as a physician and his willingness to help anyone regardless of race or social class. Despite performing abortions even for young white women, Flippin managed to avoid conviction in several trials until finally pleading guilty in 1924. Tallman details the doctor’s extraordinary life and analyzes the forces behind the prosecution of the aging physician. The first book to focus exclusively on attitudes towards abortion in early twentieth-century rural communities, The Notorious Dr. Flippin supplies long overlooked context for current debate and enriches studies of African American, western, women’s, and medical history.