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History Of Abortion Essay

1553 words - 6 pages

Aubrey PrahlSection 01Abortion in Past CenturiesDoctors have been performing abortions for over 500,000 years. The history of abortion has reached back not just decades, but centuries and has always been a major debate among the world. Abortions in the 1800's were illegal because it was such a dangerous procedure and was considered immoral, women did not have the same rights as we do today. Although modern day American's have many opinions on whether abortion is moral or immoral, it has been practiced for centuries suggesting that values have changed into the modern day equivalent. [1: John Riddle, Contraception and abortion from the ancient world to the Renaissance (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992), Page #. ]Some of the first doctors to preform an abortion was somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 years ago. In early historic times the Chinese, Greeks and Phoenicians had skilled surgeons who performed such terminations. In John Riddles book he talks about abortion in history and what it meant. In the twelfth-century, women would use plants as a poison to kill their fetus. If a woman ate the plant, she put herself in an enormous amount of danger because she would either die or she would harm her body so much that her body would naturally abort the child. To this day there is no evidence on what women truly knew about fertility-controlling drugs. [2: John Riddle, Contraception and abortion from the ancient world to the Renaissance (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992).][3: Riddle, John M 1992. Pages 310, 181, 200, 208, 209. ]The nineteenth century was a changing time for abortion rights because there were more social pressures as well as better education. America grew more relaxed and lawmakers were gearing up to deal with this issue. The first abortion legislation was passed in 1821 in Connecticut. Other states were passing legislations as well but kept changing, New York changed over 10 times and abortions were starting to increase. It was hard to make it a capital crime because proof was needed for the actual deed. If they were caught, the courts would tell them that they could not be sentenced if they testified and told the court who performed the abortion on them. Then the ones who performed the actual abortion were the ones who faced sentencing.[4: Loxafamosity Ministries.]There is an article about four women and how they were arrested for preforming illegal abortions on patients from people in different states. Their prison sentences were thirty-three years. Abortions were considered a crime back then and if you were caught you would be severely punished or put to death because it was against the ways of the church to kill babies. This led women to do it secretly until they got caught, or they would perform abortions on themselves without anyone knowing about it. They took abortions very seriously unlike today. Women did not have a say and the struggle over race, gender and class was a serious issue. For...

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