In addition to that there were non-medically trained abortion providers, the most famous of whom was a butcher by trade who operated on kitchen tables around Footscray. Of course, not being a doctor he didn't have access to anaesthetics so he used to stuff a rag in the woman's mouth to stop her screaming and disturbing the neighbours.
If the providers got into trouble, they couldn't call an ambulance and have the woman admitted to hospital because they would have gone to jail for fifteen years or longer, whether a doctor or not. Women died. We will never know how many as they all had body disposal systems - dump them in Port Phillip Bay, bury them in Sherbrooke forest, arrange with the local undertaker to bury two bodies in one coffin.
It was a very dangerous and totally humiliating experience. It didn't stop women from having abortions, but it was very, very bad and a lot of women died. There was a whole ward at the Royal Women's Hospital devoted to women who were there as a result of damage from abortion - they had a thirty bed ward dedicated to it.
There was a special room set aside for women who were dying. Septacaemia and gangrene were the major risks in the pre-antibiotic era."