Hundreds of years before Roe v. Wade, abortions were being performed all over the world. From swallowing medicine made of a Spanish fly in the 16th century to paying a visit to Madame Restell — a woman who promised a “safe and immediate removal of all irregularities in females” — attempting to terminate a pregnancy is not a modern idea. Today, as the fate of Roe v. Wade is up in the air, read on to understand its roots.
1500 B.C. Recorded first in Egypt in 1500 B.C., for most of history, abortion has been a dangerous procedure a woman attempted to perform on herself using anything from a leech to a scalding bath.
Read at The New York Times: Leeches, Lye and Spanish Fly — Centuries Before Abortion, What Women Would Do to End a Pregnancy
1800s In an era where birth control was not widely available or reliable, and religious ideas about “sin” stated sex outside of marriage was a “disgrace,” Maria Bodine, an unmarried pregnant woman, was in deep trouble.
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