010 - PTB Discusses Miyuki Ishikawa, Amelia's fear of being touched and our social media skills
She was born in 1897 in a small southern town in Japan called Kinitomi. Not a lot is known about her early life but as an adult she became the director of a hospital ward. She saw families who were having babies and wasn’t able to afford them and chose to take matters into her own hands. At the time abortion was illegal and there were no social programs to help the families.
Ishikawa allowed children to die through neglect. It’s speculated that she killed around 103 babies this way.
She had accomplices, including her husband and a doctor. The doctor was in charge of falsifying the death certificates.
After doing this for a while she decided that she could make money off of this. After allowing the children to die her husband and her would approach the couple and ask for money for letting the baby die.
The government ignored this for a long time but eventually she was caught. Two police officers found the remains of babies at the hospital she worked out. An autopsy revealed that the babies didn’t die of natural causes and three days later she was arrested with her husband. She claimed that she was innocent and that the parents were responsible via negligence. The public supported her defensive but a lefiest author opposed her and spoke out about it, describing it as an act of discrimination since the babies were from poor families.
The investigation revealed 40 bodies in the hospital and another 30 in a nearby temple.
Ishikawa was sentenced to 8 years in prison and her accomplices were given 4 years because this was considered a crime of omission. All three appealed and their sentences were reduced by half.
In June of 1949 abortion was legalized in Japan, partially due to this case.