Backstreet Abortion is the term we use for illegal abortions, which are not performed in hospitals or clinics. Backstreet abortions were usually performed at the pregnant woman's house, she would pay the man/woman who performed it a sum of money. Then the abortion would be performed and after it was over the person would leave the patient whom usually died.
In the UK, the Abortion Act 1967 was introduced largely to prevent this terrible toll that so-called "backstreet" or illegal abortion, abortion was taking on women's health. By legalizing the operation, politicians hoped that fewer women would die or suffer permanent damage as a result of badly performed abortions.
It seems that this was the write thing ton do for in 1965 3050 women were diagnosed with sepsis a disease. By 1975 the figure had fallen to 710 and then fell to 390 in 1982. By 1989 most young Doctors that were trained in Britain had never seen a woman suffering or dying from the effects of a criminal abortion.
Even before the Abortion Act, the number of women in danger after an illegal abortion were getting fewer. It is obviously impossible to get accurate numbers for such illegal activity, but the numbers of women admitted to hospital after botched abortions were decreasing years before 1967.
Backstreet abortions were usually always performed early in a pregnancy. The development of a child makes it impossible to perform an abortion without any medical facilities.