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"

"The introduction to 'When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973'"

"History of abortion in the U.S."

"Madame Restell: The abortionist of Fifth Avenue"

"Jane: Abortion and the underground"

"Planned Parenthood: History and Successes"

"Anthony Comstock's 'chastity' laws"

"A brief history of the birth control pill"

"Title X Family Planning"

"9 things about Planned Parenthood -- and the violence against it -- everyone should know"

"Americans choose 'pro-choice' for first time in seven years"

"Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)"

"The great bluff that led to a 'magical' pill and a sexual revolution"

"How false narratives of Margaret Sanger are being used to shame black women"

"The eugenic value of birth control propaganda"

"Q&A on history of violence against Planned Parenthood as anti-abortion videos renew criticism"

"A brief history of 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.

"The history of birth control." Kathleen London. The Changing American Family: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Vol. 6. 1982.

"Lessons from before Roe: Will past be prologue?" Rachel Benson Gold. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy. Vol. 6, No. 1. March 2003.

"When abortion was a crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973." Leslie J. Reagan. University of California Press. 1997.

"America's hidden history: The eugenics movement." Teryn Bouche and Laura Rivard. Genetics Generation. Sept. 18, 2014.

"Abortion." Gallup. 2015.

"Margaret Sanger: A life of passion." Jean H. Baker. Macmillan. November 2011.

Topics in this Podcast: margaret sanger, abortion, Progressive Era, Planned Parenthood, pregnancy, reproduction, feminism, history, health