Albanian Women Remember Fear of Abortion During Communism

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Albanian Women Remember Fear of Abortion During Communism
The danger of having an abortion in communist Albania did not stop huge numbers of women from taking this perilous path – but for many of these women, the fear and stress of those events has left lasting traces.

Fatjona Mejdini
09 Nov 17

Mira was a 24-year-old tailor from Tirana in 1979 when she found out that her 25-year-old lover had made her pregnant.

“I was shocked and scared since we had no chance of marrying soon. I couldn’t have a baby without getting engaged and married first, as that would have shamed my family and especially my brother in front of society. So I decided to find a way and abort it,” she told BIRN.

Abortion was a crime in communist Albania as it contradicted the party directive to increase the population at almost any cost.

Continued at source: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/albanian-women-remember-fear-of-abortion-during-communism-11-06-2017

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When abortion wasn’t legal in Britain

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TBT: When abortion wasn’t legal in Britain

Kate Lister
Thursday September 14th 2017

Last week, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that abortion was “morally indefensible” in all cases, including rape and incest; and some people were surprised at this.

Now, I would have been surprised to hear these views uttered by Basil Brush, for example, or by Caitlin Moran, but by Jacob Rees-Mogg? Not a jot. The British love an eccentric and the sight of Rees-Mogg wandering about like an extra from Downton Abbey, blithely unaware the last hundred years has happened, tickled us. But Rees-Mogg’s ‘old fashioned’ values extend to far more than tailored suits, a posh accent and having a nanny on staff; they extend to contraception too.

Continued at source: iNews: https://inews.co.uk/explainers/iq/tbt-abortion-wasnt-legal-britain/

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U.S.: Lessons from before Abortion Was Legal

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Lessons from before Abortion Was Legal

Before 1973, abortion in the U.S. was severely restricted. More than 40 years later Roe v. Wade is under attack, and access increasingly depends on a woman's income or zip code

By Rachel Benson Gold, Megan K. Donovan | Scientific American September 2017 Issue
Posted Aug 15, 2017

When she went before the u.s. Supreme Court for the first time in 1971, the 26-year-old Sarah Weddington became the youngest attorney to successfully argue a case before the nine justices—a distinction she still holds today.

Weddington was the attorney for Norma McCorvey, the pseudonymous “Jane Roe” of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized the constitutional right to abortion—one of the most notable decisions ever handed down by the justices.

Continued at source: Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lessons-from-before-abortion-was-legal/

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Chile: Life Under the World’s Strictest Anti-Abortion Law

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Life Under the World’s Strictest Anti-Abortion Law

June 26, 2017 by Erin Becker
Santiago Times

A wavy-haired woman with a kind voice speaks into the camera. “I’m going to tell you how to do it.” Behind her, sun shines in Santiago, Chile. Cars honk; big red buses whiz by; men and women amble toward work.

The woman continues her instructions. Leave your house and buy something you normally would, she says: a newspaper, maybe, or bread. Then head to a busy intersection. “You’ll notice how some cars run the traffic lights.” Her face is serious. “Actually, they say that the faster they’re going, the slower their reaction time.”

Continued at source: Ms. Magazine: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/06/26/life-worlds-strictest-anti-abortion-law/

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U.S.: The Surprising Role of Clergy in the Abortion Fight Before Roe v. Wade

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The Surprising Role of Clergy in the Abortion Fight Before Roe v. Wade
Gillian Frank
May 02, 2017

“Today I want to speak to The Challenge of the Sexual Revolution, or to The Use of the Body in Regard to Abortion,” declared the Reverend Charles Landreth on, June 6, 1971. From the pulpit of First Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Fla., Landreth invited those present to imagine different situations that led to a “problem pregnancy.” Landreth prodded his congregants, asking them to consider what an unwanted pregnancy and lack of access to abortion could mean to an older married woman, a young woman who had been raped or a high-school girl “scared literally to death to tell her staunch Catholic parents and therefore very tempted to run to a quack.”

Continued at source: Time: http://time.com/4758285/clergy-consultation-abortion/

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‘Kiss me, Frank, I’m going’: A century ago, abortion was on trial in Canada’s capital

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'Kiss me, Frank, I'm going': A century ago, abortion was on trial in Canada's capital

Megan Gillis, Postmedia
Published on: April 29, 2017

On any given day outside Ottawa’s best-known abortion clinic, protesters carry placards bearing pictures of bloody and dismembered fetuses. But in the Ottawa of 100 years ago, abortion was killing and maiming women. It was a desperate gamble that many were nonetheless willing to take, Megan Gillis writes.

Pregnant and single, the 24-year-old waitress at a Sparks Street lunch counter said she’d drown herself in the Rideau Canal if Annie Balcomb didn’t agree to help her.

Emily Cornick got her abortion but died anyway, weeping to her sister as she succumbed to peritonitis, “I’m going to die. I am sorry I came here. Oh, what will Mother say?”

Continued at source: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/kiss-me-frank-im-going-a-century-ago-abortion-was-on-trial-here-in-ottawa

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The secret home abortion movement that started in LA two years before Roe v. Wade

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The secret home abortion movement that started in LA two years before Roe v. Wade

by Christopher Greenspon | Off-Ramp®
April 14, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story may be disturbing for some people. It includes frank discussion of abortion and somewhat graphic clinical descriptions of abortion procedures.

Norma McCorvey — better known as the "Roe" of Roe v. Wade, which established a woman's right to an abortion in the U.S. — died in February at the age of 69. She was credited with taking abortion out of the back alley, although she switched sides in the last part of her life.

But two years prior to the 1973 Supreme Court decision, a woman from Eagle Rock had made it her mission to take abortion from the back alley to the living room. Her name is Carol Downer and she helped create an underground network of unlicensed women who performed home abortions. She wrote books on female anatomy, went to jail, and ran a women’s health and abortion clinic in Hollywood which burned down in 1985.

Continued at source: Southern California Public Radio: http://www.scpr.org/programs/offramp/2017/04/14/56179/the-secret-home-abortion-movement-started-in-la-tw/

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The History of Outlawing Abortion in America

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The History of Outlawing Abortion in America

Livia Gershon March 10, 2017

For years, it’s been getting harder for American women to access abortion services as clinics have closed and state laws have raised barriers to getting these procedures. In coming years, the Supreme Court may move closer to overturning Roe vs. Wade altogether.

The first time abortion was criminalized in the United States was in the mid-nineteenth century. Nicola Beisel and Tamara Kay write that a key factor in the anti-abortion arguments of that time was that too many native-born white women were ending their pregnancies, opening the door for the country to be overrun by fertile foreigners.

Continued at source: Jstor Daily: https://daily.jstor.org/the-history-of-outlawing-abortion-in-america/

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Frank Sinatra’s mother provided illegal abortions for Catholic Italian women

Feb 9, 2017
Goran Blazeski

It was December 12, 1915, when in an upstairs tenement in Hoboken, New Jersey, 19 years old Dolly Sinatra gave birth to a boy. It was not an easy or short delivery, and the baby almost died during the birth. The baby had to be removed via forceps that ripped his cheek, neck and especially his ear.

The doctor thought that the boy would not survive, but he was wrong, and he miraculously did survive. The scars remained for the rest of his life, but that didn’t stop this boy from becoming one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. That boy was Frank Sinatra.

Continued at source: Vintage News: https://m.thevintagenews.com/2017/02/09/frank-sinatras-mother-provided-illegal-abortions-for-catholic-italian-women/

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At 16, My Mom Flew to Japan Alone to Have an Abortion

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At 16, My Mom Flew to Japan Alone to Have an Abortion
By Alexis Cheung
Feb 6, 2017

In 1966, my mother flew from Seattle to Japan, alone, to have an abortion. She was 16. It’s strange, as a daughter, to wish you could protect your mom from something that happened so many years ago. But as aggressive rollbacks on women’s health care ensue, with Trump reinstating the Global Gag Rule and nominating a judge to the Supreme Court who could pose a severe risk to women’s reproductive rights, her experience no longer seems so far-fetched. My mother’s abortion was a footnote in an otherwise expansive and fulfilled life — a life, of course, enabled by her decision. This is her story in her own words.

When [my period was] two weeks late, I went to the doctor because my cycle was usually like clockwork. I knew right away that I was pregnant, within six weeks. I bypassed our family doctor and went to another GP. She was the only female doctor in town [Everett, Washington, about an hour from Seattle]. I thought because she was a woman that she’d be able to relate to me, but instead she confirmed the pregnancy and said, “Whatever you do, don’t get an abortion.” At that time, abortion wasn’t legally available where I lived. So my boyfriend and I — thinking there was no alternative — thought we had no choice but to have the baby.

Continued at link
Source, New York Magazine: http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/02/at-16-my-mom-flew-to-japan-alone-to-have-an-abortion.html

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