By James C. Mohr
'The historical past of ways abortion got here to be banned and the way girls lost--for the century among nearly 1870 and 1970--rights formerly considered normal 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)
37 Whereas the regulars relied upon their influence in official channels, the irregulars relied upon the anti-elitist spirit of the 1830s and the generally permissive attitude of the American people as a whole regarding the right to decide one's own fate. 38 Under these circumstances, New York's statutory prohibition of abortion, which could have been interpreted to cover abortions before quickening as well as after quickening, lay buried in the code, unenforced. A precedent had been established for future abortion policies, but the practice of abortion itself was little affected by the legislation of 1828 in New York.
Public reaction to the success of the regulars in Albany in 1827 and 1828 was as telling as the legislative results the regulars obtained. Irregulars organized protests and launched a counteroffensive of major proportions in favor of what might be termed laissez-faire medicine. 37 Whereas the regulars relied upon their influence in official channels, the irregulars relied upon the anti-elitist spirit of the 1830s and the generally permissive attitude of the American people as a whole regarding the right to decide one's own fate.
Only at some point between 1867 and 1950, Means surmised, though he did not know when during that long period, could properly performed abortions have become no more dangerous to the mother than childbirth itself in the United States. This argument is open to serious question. Childbirth was just as subject to shock and infection as abortion until the dates Means cites, and it is difficult to imagine that the deathrate from abortions in 1828 substantially exceeded the deathrate from childbirth, especially since contemporary writers did not stress the great dangers of an abortion induced by mechanical means.
Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy (Galaxy Books) by James C. Mohr