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Okay I'll ask-WERE there abortions in the Founding Fathers' days?

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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:31 AM
Original message
Okay I'll ask-WERE there abortions in the Founding Fathers' days?
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 08:31 AM by underpants
First let me say that the right is trying to make this all about abortion but is doing so so that it seems that it is the much feared "litmus test" by Libs/Dems. This also serves to fuel the fire of their base but possibly without ever actually doing anything about it, as usual.

I would assume that some form of abortion (shudder to consider the primitiveness of the procedure at the time) has been performed for ages.

Was it so prevalent that the founding fathers would have seen fit to mention it? Was it NOT being mentioned mean that they had no opinion on it or didn't want to state their opinion?

Does its absence really mean anything?


Thanks to RoyGBiv for this quote from Roberts brief on Roe v.Wade
"The court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion ... finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution. . ."
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. As long as women have been getting pregnant...
There has been abortion in some form, or other. Whether it is tea brewed from 'certain' plants, or coat-hangers, or smooth sticks, or what have you, it has always existed. The level of technology, I don't really know at that time, but it certainly existed. I'm sure plenty of people know lots more than I do, though.
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RoBear Donating Member (781 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Catholics for a Free Choice
has some great material on the history of abortion. Among other things, it was okay up till a certain point in the pregnancy, and more okay to abort girls later than boys. Not sure of the name, however.
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formerrepuke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. a (very) brief history of abortion from encyclopedia.com:
"Abortion induced by herbs or manipulation was used as a form of birth control in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and probably earlier. In the Middle Ages in Western Europe it was generally accepted in the early months of pregnancy. However, in the 19th cent. opinion about abortion changed. In 1869 the Roman Catholic Church prohibited abortion under any circumstances. In England and in the United States in the 19th cent. stringent antiabortion laws were passed."

http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/section/abortion_Histo...
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bribri16 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. And don't forget the practice of IUDs by some religions not to be
that can't be mentioned. Teenage girls are inserted with an IUD around age 13 or 14 and that's the end of it until they get married and want to have children. That's how many in other religions take care of the problem and no one ever questions it.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. Yes
It was done among other ways by manually manipulating the uterus to cause the embryo to detach. This was done by a mid-wife and was, of course, done externally without surgery.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
5. Unless they inherited wealth, women had no rights,
including reproductive rights, back then. Of course there were abortions, but it wasn't talked about in "polite" society.
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Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Bingo!
Women were considered "chattle".

TC
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. And it's right back where this group wants women to be again.
From choice, to birth control, to stupid arguments that Social Security is suffering because of lower birth rates, to women working are responsible for lesbians existing. These are ignorant and selfish people. Women have always worked and had unwanted pregnancies. Women have always found a way to abort an unwanted pregnancy throughout history and do so today all over the world, even in countries where to do so is punishable by death.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. How quickly we forget, eh?
Guess if any of us had grandmothers who lived in those times, they'd be revealing the truth about the bad old days before women's liberation. Sadly, the memories are all gone. Freeper women live in some delusional state where they think saving foetuses is more important than protecting their and their daughter's liberties and bodies.
:crazy:
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. RE: Roberts -- it's not the 'Constitutonal right to abortion' ...
... that's a straw man argument which of course the 'tards will win -- because abortion itself isn't mentioned in the Constitution.

Rather, we need to reinforce Roe in the way the case was framed -- in terms of 'right to privacy' for a woman to make her own decisions, over her own health, and her own reproductive choice.

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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. Exactly
The right to an abortion was found in the Fourth And Ninth Amendments....

The Fourth Amendment states that a person should be secure in his person , place, and things from unreasonable government seizure


and the

The Ninth Amendment states that just because a right wasn't specifically stated in the Constitution doesn't mean the right doesn't exist....


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TheFarseer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
23. It's not mentioned as legal OR illegal
The constitution has never been amended to take away rights except for the disaster of prohibition.

I *might* be OK with a ban on abortion if we had a ir-revocable right to government provided birth control on demand but fundies can't even agree on that. There is just no talking to them.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
8. Abortifacients have been around for millenia.
I don't know how prevalent their use was in early America, though they were advertised. Supposedly pennyroyal was used as a home remedy by young women who were too early pregnant.

Physicians didn't do abortions, then.

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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
9. Contact lenses weren't around back then, I can tell you that
So they are unconstitutional.
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
10. You bet...and they were 100% legal...
Unless they occurred very late in the pregnancy and there was a criminal complaint...at which point the midwife who performed one would be charged with a misdemeanor...

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oneighty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
11. Nor do the constitution
say thou shalt not have an abortion. But then there are equal rights for the unborn? Which begs the question when does life begin? Then in turn one might wonder is the lone sperm life? Are those casting their seeds into the belly of a whore abortionists? Hmmm how do the seeds get into the belly?

Sometimes I worry about these things. And ask myself;"Why?"

Sigh.

180
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. Here's a couple of historical links.
http://www.abortioninfo.net/facts/whatis3.shtml
Abortion, in some form, has existed in the human race for millennia. Ancient tribes would sometimes be forced to move quickly, and pregnant women could slow the entire tribe down. Abuse of the woman's abdomen, and later abuse through excessive horseback riding, could cause the baby to be born prematurely. This baby was then either killed or left to die. Unfortunately, the mother also frequently died during the birthing.

http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0856467.html
Abortion induced by herbs or manipulation was used as a form of birth control in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and probably earlier. In the Middle Ages in Western Europe it was generally accepted in the early months of pregnancy. However, in the 19th cent. opinion about abortion changed. In 1869 the Roman Catholic Church prohibited abortion under any circumstances. In England and in the United States in the 19th cent. stringent antiabortion laws were passed.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
16. Were there Women's Rights in the Founding Fathers days?
Yes, women did own property and were politically active. But the times were very much different for women. (Try looking up Mary Wollenstonecraft.)

The issue of having children was much different as well. Larger families were in part for survival. They served a purpose of supporting the family's needs in frontier and rural environments. While I have no doubt they were loved, the mindset of 'let's have a baby' was different. Many "women" were barely into puberty when they married...and many females died in childbirth.
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AlGore-08.com Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. Ummm... A FEW women owned property and VERY FEW were politically active
Common law stripped women of their property when they married, and most lost their property when their husbands died. In colonial America the majority of husbands left no wills, leaving their wives unable to support themselves. In these cases, courts granted widows a minimum of one-third of their husbands' real estate, called "widow's thirds." However, a widow could not own the property in her own name; therefore, she could not sell or will it, but could only live off the rents during her lifetime.

During the eighteenth century this practice changed - - first in England, then in the colonies. Widows lost their claims to personal property, although they kept their one-third shares of real estate. The first state to grant property rights to women was Massachusetts, which did so in 1854.

Women in America did not have the right to vote until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. Prior to that, women had voting rights in New Jersey from 1790 to 1807 only; and in a few Western states starting in the 1870s (Esther Morris was appointed the justice of the peace of South Pass City, Wyoming in 1870: she was the first female government official), although the Supreme Court overruled the Utah and Washington laws in 1887.

Women were not allowed to speak publicly in many places, even after the civil war. Many early abolitionists promoted womens' equality as part of the movement, but that was such a radical idea that the abolitionist movement eventually jettisoned it in favor of the much less radical idea of ending slavery and racial equality - - a move which spawned the first real women's rights movement.

The actual state of women in America was elaborated in the Seneca Falls Declaration of 1848:

http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/17.h...

Seneca Falls Declaration
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they were accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men--both natives and foreigners.

Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.

He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.

He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.

He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming to all intents and purposes, her master--the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.

He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes, and in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women--the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.

After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single, and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.

He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration. He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.

He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education, all colleges being closed against her.

He allows her in Church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.

He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated, but deemed of little account in man.

He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and to her God.

He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation--in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and National legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions embracing every part of the country.

Source: E.C. Stanton, S.B. Anthony and M.J. Gage, eds., History of Women's Suffrage, vol. 1 (1887), 70.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Thanks for the additional info
:)
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The Flaming Red Head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
17. Try this for starters
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
19. Abortion is the world's oldest fix for the world's oldest profession
nuff said.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Marriage?!??!!!
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
24. Not just abortion, but leaving newborns to die of exposure was/is
common.

The fundies who buy items from China should be looking at the 'singel birth rule' in China. Millions of viable children are left to die in the woods, tossed into creeks/rivers, buried alive...but there is no outcry... :shrug:

There is money to be made in China, so they don't count.

In any case, abortion has been around as long as humanity has been around. The aborting of a few cells is nothing compared to what the fundies would have people believe; that physicians are chopping off the heads of children as they are being born... :puke:
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