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Sun May 31, 2015, 11:05 PM

Scarlet Letters: Getting the History of Abortion and Contraception Right

An interesting article I found while helping my friend study for her women's health class.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2013/08/08/71893/scarlet-letters-getting-the-history-of-abortion-and-contraception-right/



Sarah Cole carries firewood for chopping as part of her role as Plymouth colonist Alice Bradford at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Thursday, May 27, 2004.


Abortion was not just legal—it was a safe, condoned, and practiced procedure in colonial America and common enough to appear in the legal and medical records of the period. Official abortion laws did not appear on the books in the United States until 1821, and abortion before quickening did not become illegal until the 1860s. If a woman living in New England in the 17th or 18th centuries wanted an abortion, no legal, social, or religious force would have stopped her.

That, however, is not the way the anti-abortion movement likes to paint the history of abortion in the United States. Anti-abortion organizations such as the National Right to Life spin a narrative in which legal abortion is a historical anomaly and an unnatural consequence of modern America’s loose moral standards. On the National Right to Life’s website, for example, a page titled “Abortion History Timeline” describes “a few rogue doctors and midwives” performing abortions in early America, only “as far back as the 1850s.” In reality, trusted midwives and medical practitioners performed abortions from the beginning of American colonial life and throughout world history. Fox News also falsifies American abortion history on its website. On a page titled “Fast Facts: History of U.S. Abortion Laws,” it claims that abortion in the American colonies “was ruled a misdemeanor if performed prior to quickening.”

...

The Puritans brought their laws on abortion from merry old England, where the procedure was also legal until quickening. Although the Puritans changed much of England’s legal system when they established their “city upon a hill,” they kept abortion as a part of Puritan family life, allowing women to choose when and if they would become mothers—whether for the first time or the fifth time.

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Reply Scarlet Letters: Getting the History of Abortion and Contraception Right (Original post)
Lordquinton May 2015 OP
AtheistCrusader May 2015 #1
Lordquinton Jun 2015 #13
beam me up scottie May 2015 #2
AtheistCrusader May 2015 #3
beam me up scottie May 2015 #4
AtheistCrusader Jun 2015 #5
beam me up scottie Jun 2015 #6
AtheistCrusader Jun 2015 #11
Lordquinton Jun 2015 #12
Lordquinton Jun 2015 #14
mountain grammy Jun 2015 #24
beam me up scottie Jun 2015 #25
Yorktown Jun 2015 #7
Lordquinton Jun 2015 #15
Yorktown Jun 2015 #17
Lordquinton Jun 2015 #18
Yorktown Jun 2015 #19
AlbertCat Jun 2015 #26
Lordquinton Jun 2015 #27
Arkansas Granny Jun 2015 #8
safeinOhio Jun 2015 #9
jeff47 Jun 2015 #10
Lordquinton Jun 2015 #16
Heddi Jun 2015 #20
beam me up scottie Jun 2015 #21
Heddi Jun 2015 #22
Heddi Jun 2015 #23
Lordquinton Jun 2015 #28

Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2015, 11:29 PM

1. I wonder if the AMA could have successfully lobbied against it without the RCC and

like the 'physician opposition' group for Washington state's I-1000, I wonder how much overlap there was between that supposed separate physicians group, and the RCC. I wonder if the contemporary AMA was perhaps catholic dominated.

That fucking church cares a little too much about stifling reproductive freedom.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 01:16 PM

13. this was the same era that Kellogg pushed circumcism to prevent masturbation

Which was also highly religious based. The victorians really left a mark on this world.

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2015, 11:31 PM

2. This is fascinating.

The case for contraception

The notion that contraception, like abortion, is a relatively new phenomenon is also wildly distorted. Since ancient times women and men have been using a variety of contraceptive methods beyond abstinence, and the pill is the only type of birth control that was not available until recent decades. Contraceptive methods historically include everything from “pulling out” to diaphragms and condoms. Distribution of and public education about birth control was legal in the United States until 1873, when the infamous Comstock Act was passed.

The act, which declared that information about birth control was “obscene,” grew out of sentiments similar to those that spurred the anti-abortion movement. It also led 24 states to pass similar restrictions; collectively, the federal and state restrictions were known as Comstock laws. Margaret Sanger, the well-known crusader for birth control and founder of what is now called Planned Parenthood, was arrested for violating Comstock laws while attempting to educate desperate women about how they could better control their own bodies and their families by using contraception.

It was not until 1965 that the last Comstock laws left standing in the United States were ruled unconstitutional. In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruled that married women in every state had the right to access birth control. But unmarried women had to wait until the 1972 Supreme Court ruling in Eisenstadt v. Baird to gain the same right.


Thank you so much for posting it here.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #2)

Sun May 31, 2015, 11:42 PM

3. I kick some money to Planned Parenthood every year.

The work they do for humanity, and the pure strain venom the religious right sling their way is staggering. I help out however I can.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #3)

Sun May 31, 2015, 11:46 PM

4. I know we get scolded often in here for speaking for others but

seriously, on behalf of my sisters and I: THANK YOU

Every bit of support is appreciated, even if you can't donate just the fact that you care enough to speak up for our rights is huge.


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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 12:13 AM

5. When my wife and I were still in high school, PP hooked us up

with the pill, 12$ a month.

Today, our problem is quite the opposite, but I'd rather have trouble trying to conceive at our age, than have tried to raise a child 20 years ago, when resources were scant, and life a lot harder. Family planning helped us build the capacity to raise a family.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 12:26 AM

6. This is what galls me so much about the pope lecturing us about helping the poor.

When you prevent women from controlling the size of their families you are dooming them to a lifetime of poverty.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:20 AM

11. There are those here that will dispute it, but

I think the link between family size, and poverty, is self evident. The more mouths to feed, the more resources you need.

Life doesn't get much simpler than that.

Best thing we can do for developing nations is attack the causes of high child mortality (clean water, vaccines) and enable family planning.

There's a certain church that likes to actively interfere with family planning though...

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 01:14 PM

12. another link

http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_hist.htm

The last entry about pope leo sums it up. Abortion wasn't completely banned in that church until less than 150 years ago, and it was by papal decree, something that a truly progressive pope would do if he stood behind his progressive stance.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 01:19 PM

14. you're welcome

I found it doing research a bit ago and tucked it away, just found it and,so put it up before I forgot again. it's a good article to have in here as abortion is a constant topic and some like to think history is on the religious side.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 09:48 PM

24. I graduated high school in 1965, in Ct.

I remember the ruling. It really is truly amazing, shocking and outrageous, the amount of control the government exercises over women's lives. We have won some battles, but not even close to winning the war.
My new senator thinks he has the right to control women's lives. I'm still in shock that Colorado women voted this fucking creep into office.

The fight is, has, and always will be about government control over women's lives, and too many women are our own worst enemies... it's not about unborn babies, ladies, it's about making our own decisions about everything.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #24)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:25 AM

25. Absolutely mind boggling.

I know many women who won't fight for abortion rights because they don't think they'll ever need one. They are failing future generations of girls and women whose lives depend on them giving a damn.

Traitorous.

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 12:56 AM

7. Religion flies in the face of so many sciences

 

Meddling with history is an extra bonus.

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Response to Yorktown (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 01:25 PM

15. it's an important topic to set straight here

Reminding people that religion didn't just start up last Tuesday so they can sweep centuries of wrongs under the rug. Like asking for proof that god doesn't exist. There's been tons of it over the years, evolution, copernicun solar model, magellon, plate tectonics, lightening rods. They have such a strong control of the conversation that they exclude all the entered evidence, and just redefine god.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 06:22 PM

17. A slight amendment to your text

 

they exclude all the entered evidence, and just redefine god.


They don't totally exclude all new evidence,
they mount a huge wall of denial long enough to reinterpret the texts

Genesis I and II are in the stage of finally being 'spiritually' redefined.
As if Genesis hadn't been used literally for centuries.

It's worse in Islam: God creates man in 6 different ways (from blood, mud, ashes,..)

But I'm sure it will become an illustration of the infinite care god put into creation
(It couldn't be that muhamad was making things up as he went)

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Response to Yorktown (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 06:44 PM

18. true.

Anything but admit they might be wrong.

Any reaction still does not include any evidence in favor of the god position.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 06:50 PM

19. Evidence for god? You got to have faith.

 

It's a personal relationship.

It's at a different, non tangible level.

It gives me hope.

Fill in whatever other reason.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 09:17 AM

26. There's been tons of it over the years, evolution, copernicun solar model, magellon, plate tectonics

 

I love the:

"Most early science was done by the church!" (therefore church = good science)

argument.

They forget, all that science was done and paid for by the (wealthy) church to CONFIRM their fairytale notions of the universe.

And when the discoveries DIDN'T CONFIRM their fairy tale notions, the scientist was punished.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #26)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 05:26 PM

27. Early tobacco research was done by cigarette companies

Sraw your own parallel.

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 05:34 AM

8. Excellent article. Thanks for posting.

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 07:38 AM

9. I've enjoyed asking religious people about this

and have yet to find any bible thumper know about these verses

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023470330

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:01 AM

10. On the contraception front...

Our "heart" symbol comes from the shape of a seed. That particular seed was used by the Romans as a contraceptive. Something within the seed prevented pregnancy.

We really don't know the biochemical details, because the Romans used so much of that plant that they drove it to extinction.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 05:46 PM

16. that's true

I think it's even the first recorded plant driven to extinction by human hands.

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 06:51 PM

20. Planned Parenthood & the health clinic saved me from being a teen parent

I was able to get free and then low-cost Birth control pills when I needed them the most - before i even started having sex. Finally, when I did have sex, I had all the condoms a girl could want, and could go in any time and just get another whole bag of them without even anyone batting an eye.

I was able to get comprehensive wellness checkups for no cost, and when I started earning a salary and working at a company that didn't pay for BC via insurance and I couldn't afford the $85 copay to visit the GYN I was able to get all these exams at PP for little to no cost.

I've been in school for one thing or anther since roughly 2002, and during the times i was FT student and not working and not yet an RN, I was able to go to PP and get those paps and GYN exams and all that good stuff. And birth control.

My husband has also used PP for checkups as well when he had no insurance and needed to have a worrisome lump in his testicles looked at (exam and diagnostic ultrasound were free--thankfully was epididymitis, not testicular cancer).

Now that I earn an upper-middle-class salary, and my husband earns and upper-middle-class-salary, and we're both well insured with pretty great benefits, I don't necessarily have the need for PP anymore. But plenty of young and not so young people do. Which is why we donate with recurring monthly donations to PP. Have since I graduated in 2006.

They saved me, and previous boyfriends, and me and my husband from being parents to an unwanted child. They gave us the freedom to have sex safely and with little fear of conception. They allowed us a safe place to get regular checkups regarding our sexual health, and now we do our part by ensuring that other people who haven't the means or the money to get these services out of their own pocket can be covered through money set aside via donations.

The worst thing that could have happened to me was to be a teenage or young mother. I can say that without a shred of doubt. I was not prepared then just as I have no desire to have a child now. Parenthood is not for everyone, nor should it be. Planned Parenthood and public health departments provide an invaluable service to humans who do not wish to suffer celibacy because of poverty wages.

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Response to Heddi (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 07:21 PM

21. ^^^ I wish I could rec this post a thousand times ^^^

Heddi you are all kinds of awesome.


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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 07:34 PM

22. Thanks to PP, I never had to have an abortion

All this talk about PP being an abortion haven...never had one because I was able to utilize the preventative services they offer to ensure, as much as is medically possible, that I didn't get pregnant.

And when the pill wasn't right for me, they gave me other choices. I was on Depo-Provera for a while (too long, actually), then Nuva Ring, back on the pill, then nuva-ring again. Now I have an IUD that I got through my private OB-GYN but they'd have paid for that too.

They even asked my husband if he was interested in a vasectomy once. He wasn't, and neither was I (we were much younger at the time) but they were happy to help with that option as well.

They're such a great resource and provide something that no 7/11 or grocery store can do. Comprehensive reproductive medical treatment is so much more complex than buying rubbers at the 7-11 like our parents and grandparents did. Education, examination, and understanding the intricacies of individuals and their reproductive needs, plus STD testing, abortion services, and sexual-checkups---not sure which CircleK or Safeway offers those services, despite some prolific* member on this forum promising us that convenience stores are the same as planned parenthood.

* a side note---my MacAir wants to chance Prolific to Pro-Life. Funny how that word also fits that poster as well.

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 07:34 PM

23. Aw thanks :D

I'm not awesome. Planned parenthood is awesome. They made sure my uterus still has that new-car smell

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Response to Heddi (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 3, 2015, 03:12 PM

28. Planned parenthood fills more gaps in our society

Than any catholic outreach ever could.

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