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Classic Episode: A Revisionist History of Abortion, Part 1


In colonial America, early-term abortion was a way of life for many women. But by 1900, it had become criminalized across the country -- but not for reasons you'd expect. In this two-part cultural and legal history of abortion, Cristen and Caroline time travel from ancient Greek herbal remedies to induce miscarriage to 19th-century abortionist Madame Restell at the center of America's first major abortion debate.

Episode Sources:

"Abortion in ancient history: Ancient Greece and Rome" http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/abortion/legal/history_1.shtml

"The introduction to 'When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973'" http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97may/abortex.htm

"History of abortion in the U.S." http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/health-info/u-s-abortion-history/

"Madame Restell: The abortionist of Fifth Avenue" http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/madame-restell-the-abortionist-of-fifth-avenue-145109198/?no-ist

"Jane: Abortion and the underground" https://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/CWLUFeature/TribTheater.html

"Planned Parenthood: History and Successes" https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/history-successes

"Anthony Comstock's 'chastity' laws" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/peopleevents/e_comstock.html

"A brief history of the birth control pill" http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/a-brief-history-of-the-birth-control-pill/480/

"Title X Family Planning" http://www.hhs.gov/opa/title-x-family-planning/

"9 things about Planned Parenthood -- and the violence against it -- everyone should know" http://www.vox.com/2015/11/30/9816870/planned-parenthood-violence-controversy

"Americans choose 'pro-choice' for first time in seven years" http://www.gallup.com/poll/183434/americans-choose-pro-choice-first-time-seven-years.aspx

"Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/peopleevents/p_sanger.html

"The great bluff that led to a 'magical' pill and a sexual revolution" http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/10/07/354103536/the-great-bluff-that-lead-to-a-magical-pill-and-a-sexual-revolution

"How false narratives of Margaret Sanger are being used to shame black women" http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/08/20/false-narratives-margaret-sanger-used-shame-black-women/

"The eugenic value of birth control propaganda" https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/webedition/app/documents/show.php?sangerDoc=238946.xml

"Q&A on history of violence against Planned Parenthood as anti-abortion videos renew criticism" http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2015/11/29/planned-parenthood-under-fire-literally-and-figuratively

"A brief history of anti-abortion violence" http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/30/us/anti-abortion-violence/

Academic Insights:

"From commonplace to controversial: The different histories of abortion in Europe and the United States." Anna M. Peterson. Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective. Vol. 6, Iss. 2. November 2012. http://origins.osu.edu/article/commonplace-controversial-different-histories-abortion-europe-and-united-states/page/0/0

"The history of birth control." Kathleen London. The Changing American Family: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Vol. 6. 1982. http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1982/6/82.06.03.x.html

"Lessons from before Roe: Will past be prologue?" Rachel Benson Gold. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy. Vol. 6, No. 1. March 2003. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/06/1/gr060108.html

"When abortion was a crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973." Leslie J. Reagan. University of California Press. 1997. http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft967nb5z5&chunk.id=

"America's hidden history: The eugenics movement." Teryn Bouche and Laura Rivard. Genetics Generation. Sept. 18, 2014. http://www.nature.com/scitable/forums/genetics-generation/america-s-hidden-history-the-eugenics-movement-123919444

"Abortion." Gallup. 2015. http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

"Margaret Sanger: A life of passion." Jean H. Baker. Macmillan. November 2011. https://books.google.com/books?id=u7pgCFIcH2cC&dq=margaret+sanger&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Topics in this Podcast: abortion, Planned Parenthood, pregnancy, reproduction, feminism, history, health


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