Download Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National by James C. Mohr PDF

By James C. Mohr

'The heritage of the way abortion got here to be banned and the way girls lost--for the century among nearly 1870 and 1970--rights formerly considered ordinary and inherent over their very own our bodies is an interesting and infuriating one.

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Extra resources for Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy (Galaxy Books)

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But Burns described extensively many of the complications that could occur in a spontaneous abortion and made even the worst of them sound manageable. 38 Samuel Jennings quoted Dr. 40 This too must have reassured women who decided to risk an abortion before quickening. "41 The significance of these opinions lay less in whether or not they were accurate than in the fact that writers on abortion, including physicians, saw no reason to stress the dangers attendant to the process. Far from it. They were skeptical about poisons and purgatives, but appear to have assessed physically induced abortions as medically acceptable risks by the standards of the day, especially if brought on during the period of pregnancy when both popular belief and the public courts condoned them anyhow.

Beginning in the early 1840s abortion became, for all intents and purposes, a business, a service openly traded in the free market. 2 Abortionrelated advertising by physicians, which was not prohibited during this period, quickly became a common practice in the United States and was encouraged by members of the also fiercely competitive press corps, hungry for advertising revenue. Abortion-related advertisements appeared in both urban dailies and rural weeklies, in specialty publications, in popular magazines, in broadsides, on private cards, and even in religious journals.

This not only set up the possibility that the abortion section would pass whether the more controversial surgical section passed or failed, which is of course what happened, but also implied that abortion as an operation was qualitatively different in degree of danger from attempts to repair a hernia, an amputation, or a mastectomy. It was logically necessary to Means's argument to allege that abortion at any stage in pregnancy in 1828 had to be, or at least could be made to seem, substantially more dangerous than childbirth.

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