Dorothy Mcbride On Abortion

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Dorothy E. McBride (2008) explains that in the eighteenth century, when the Constitution was outlined and established, there was a common conviction that it was probable for the developing embryo to have a soul as early as during the second trimester of the pregnancy. This trimester, also called quickening, was thought of as a time where something significant changed in the pregnancy. The fetus was now viewed upon as independent life and was no longer simply a clump of cells; it was a baby. As a result it soon became justifiable to punish whoever aborted a quick fetus, as it was the equivalent of killing a baby. Prevailing U.S. law is, in this context, considerably comparable to the abortion law that was created more than 300 years ago — both…show more content…
However, during the nineteenth century medical practice advanced substantially. The invention of procedures such as the speculum and D&C (dilation and curettage) along with people learning about the dangers of bacterial infections are presumably the most significant ones. In addition to this new techniques involving usage of anesthesia surfaced. It was, for the first time in history, possible to perform safe abortions and yet — along with these improvements — came the criminalization of abortion.

McBride (2008) further points out how the 1930s, during the Great Depression, destitute families did all they could to prevent bringing more children into the world. Women that ended up pregnant generally sought out risky alternatives to abortion and ended up in hospitals where the majority died. During this period as many as 17,000 out of 800,000 performed abortions ended in death count. Turning abortion into a criminal offence only helped increasing the number of unsafe abortions that were executed in
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Patricia Maginnis was one of these women. In the 1960s Maginnis created the Citizizens’ Committee for Humane Abortion Laws and openly asserted that abortion was a decision the government should have no influence over.

Among those who backed up her opinions one finds the National Organization for Women (NOW) who in 1967 publicly declared support of annulling the current laws regarding abortion. The ones expressing the most evident approval of the repeal though were various Women’s Liberation Movement groups such as New York City Redstockings and the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union along with black feminist groups. Their beliefs derived from women’s own struggles which had been disclosed during small group

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