Origin of Abortion Legislation

A leaked draft opinion from Politico suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could soon overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalizes abortion. Overruling the case would lead to abortion bans in about half of the states in the US. Including states that have recently signed legislation in preparation for Roe v. Wade to fall. So what happened before Roe v. Wade set a precedent in the first place.

The act of having an abortion can be traced all the way back to 1550 BC, in Egypt. However, healthcare would not catch up to make abortion safe until the 1930s.

Abortion legislation was originally implemented to protect the woman. In 1857 Horatio Storer, considered by some to be the father of Genecology, started the Physicians’ Crusade Against Abortion. Their arguments focused mostly on the safety of an abortion because of the lack of healthcare at the time. Moral arguments in support of the fetus would not become common until Roe V. Wade in the 1970s . Before that, both sides of the argument agreed that a fetus was not a person until the mother felt it, “quicken“, or move.

Even researching the history and discourse surrounding abortion can be tricky. Watch out for religious or biased websites that avoid putting mention of their one sided motives where you can easily see them. Anti-abortion activist David Reardon went so far as to make up something known as post abortion syndrome. It claims that an abortion psychologically harms a female who undertakes one, but further evidence proves that the data was misinterpreted because said psychological harm could be traced back to numerous causes

Dr. Eva Dadlez advised that when looking at abortion legislation, particularly any that protects the right of the fetus, “we have to consider that it erodes away the rights of the mother”. The state can control what the mother has to worry about, what she eats, what she drinks, her stress levels, how much she sleeps, exercise, etc.

All of this is important to keep in mind as Oklahoma continues to trudge forward with their highly restrictive and controversial abortion bills.

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