By James C. Mohr
'The historical past of the way abortion got here to be banned and the way girls lost--for the century among nearly 1870 and 1970--rights formerly considered average and inherent over their very own our bodies is an engaging and infuriating one.
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Additional info for Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy (Galaxy Books)
Prior to the Civil War most American medical schools were run as private businesses and competed for paying customers. Few applicants were denied admission and no professor wanted to drive away—by enforcing high standards—the people who literally paid his salary. Many medical schools were out and out degree mills, where tuition dollars virtually bought a medical diploma. 23 Among those most deeply troubled by the state of medical practice in America during the first half of the nineteenth century were those physicians dedicated to the principles of what later became scientific medicine.
10 Two years later Connecticut's The First Wave of Abortion Legislation, 1821-1841 • 25 legislators likewise revised their state's criminal codes by enacting another massive omnibus bill. One of that law's 157 sections also made abortion by the use of instruments after quickening a crime equal to the use of poisons after quickening. The revisers of 1830 realized that they were making a change of substance rather than a technical adjustment. The penalty for the offense of attempting an abortion after quickening, now that it was more clearly distinguished from the threat of death by poisoning, was set at seven to ten years' imprisonment, rather than up to life as in the old statute.
3 Preeminent among the new abortion specialists was Madame Restell of New York City. 4 In 1841 her first arrest placed both her name and her occupation before the public. 5 The publicity she gained more than offset any temporary inconvenience, and by the middle of the l840s Restell had branch agencies in Boston and Philadelphia. 6 Restell's enterprise would remain lucrative and successful into the late 1870s, when Madame Restell herself was destined to be one of the most celebrated victims of America's sharp shift on abortion policy.