How to Give Yourself an Abortion
January 9, 2020
Posted by Arielle Swernoff
Illustrated by Matt Lubchansky
For as long as people have gotten pregnant, people have given themselves abortions. Historically, these methods have varied from the brutal to the toxic to the bizarre.
But history hasn’t always gotten it wrong. From the Bronze Age until the 1st or 2nd century BCE, silphium, a plant native to Libya, was used as a safe and effective contraceptive and abortifacient. It’s said the plant was so popular that it was harvested to extinction. More recently, enslaved black people in the American South devised numerous herbal treatments to terminate unwanted pregnancies, some of which are still used today.
Women Have Always Had Abortions
By Lauren MacIvor Thompson
Dec. 13, 2019
Over the course of American history, women of all classes, races, ages and statuses have ended their pregnancies, both before there were any laws about abortion and after a raft of 19th-century laws restricted it. Our ignorance of this history, however, equips those in the anti-abortion movement with the power to create dangerous narratives. They peddle myths about the past where wayward women sought abortions out of desperation, pathetic victims of predatory abortionists. They wrongly argue that we have long thought about fetuses as people with rights. And they improperly frame Roe v. Wade as an anomaly, saying it liberalized a practice that Americans had always opposed.
But the historical record shows a far different set of conclusions.
Contraceptive Knowledge in the Mid-19th-Century United States
December 5, 2019
Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Donna J. Drucker, MLS, PhD, Senior Advisor, English as the Language of Instruction at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. Here, Dr. Drucker explores the changing availability of knowledge about contraception.
What do pennyroyal, fish skins, horse riding, and ergot of rye have in common? They are all contraceptive methods that have been used for centuries. In preliterate societies, information on regulating pregnancy was likely passed down orally from one generation of women to the next as they helped each other with pregnancies, births, and child spacing. In the mid-nineteenth-century US, however, more and more women were literate and information was more securely captured in print. Examining three mid-nineteenth century medical guides, available online and searchable in the NLM Digital Collections, shows the range of information available to those who could access and read books.
TBT: When abortion wasn’t legal in Britain
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/