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The issue of Abortion


The History of Abortion

Early Years

  • In the mid-to-late 1800’s, all states passed laws making it illegal to perform or attempt to perform an abortion. These laws were supported by the medical community, which noted abortion’s moral implications and danger to women. New technology in ultrasound allowed doctors to view the womb and showed them that there was still life before birth.
  • During this time period, notable activists in the women’s suffrage movement, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, spoke out against abortion in their efforts to protect women and children.
  • Because most abortion was illegal, the term “back-alley abortion” became slang for illegal abortions.

1959 saw a rise in attempts to liberalize state abortion laws. Model legislation was created to allow abortion to be legalized in limited circumstances.

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