Abortion : A Social History Essay

2868 Words Nov 17th, 2014 12 Pages
Abortion has since the beginning of American history been a subject of much sensitivity. Throughout most of America’s history, abortion was outlawed unquestionably. It is very difficult to determine with accuracy the degree of existence and practice of abortions before the 1800s. The reason for the uncertainty being because the lack of legitimate statistics of abortions, added to the fact that unwed pregnancies were kept secret, thus produced a very difficult time for anyone attempting to conduct solid research on the history of abortion. Many believe that because the necessary medicine for abortions and medical practitioners necessary for abortions were not available, infanticide, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: the crime of killing a child within a year of birth, was the most common form of getting rid of an unwanted child. According to Marvin Olasky’s Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America, “infanticide was probably the most frequent way of killing unwanted, illegitimate children”(26). Many states across the United States began to retaliate the notion of abortion, passed laws declaring that abortion was to be illegal, and began to target apothecaries who sold a type of poison that would kill the baby inside the mother’s womb. In the 1860s and early 1900s is when the anti-abortion movement really began to speed up and virtually every state in the U.S. out lawed abortions and only a few permitted it under very specific circumstances. It was not…

Related Documents