Skip to comments.New York Times writer gets history wrong, claims abortion was always widely accepted
Posted on 12/28/2019 9:35:36 AM PST by Morgana
The New York Times has published an interactive history of abortion in America seeking to inform the reader that legalized abortion is no big deal because, in essence, its always been socially acceptable. However, as one might expect, there are a number of false claims in the article.
According to author Lauren MacIvor Thompson, a historian at Georgia State University and the author of a forthcoming history of Margaret Sanger and Mary Dennett, pro-lifers are ignorant of American history: They wrongly argue that we have long thought about fetuses as people with rights. And they improperly frame Roe v. Wade as an anomaly, saying it liberalized a practice that Americans had always opposed. Lets examine the authors claims.
False Claim #1: Abortion was widely accepted in the first decades of U.S. history.
Thompson says abortion was widely accepted in the early 1800s: Abortion in the early stages of a pregnancy was common and generally not considered immoral or murderous. She adds that Americans considered abortion just another method of birth control like breastfeeding, abstinence, the use of the rhythm method, vaginal douching and the use of herbs like pennyroyal or savin. Yet the portrait Thompson paints is seriously distorted.
As Marvin Olaskys Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America portrays, and is summarized by Abort73.com, the opposite was true. Although abortion was practiced on the fringes of society, mainstream opinion condemned it. As early as 1652, a Maryland man was convicted for intending to commit an abortion. A Virginia law passed in 1710, along with a Delaware law passed in 1719, both sought to protect the rights of the preborn by making abortion a crime. The Presbyterian church officially declared abortion a crime against God and against nature, and the American Medical Association campaigned for stricter pro-life laws and greater enforcement of existing laws. Mainstream media outlets also spoke out against abortion, with even The New York Times calling abortionists disgusting practitioners who continue to escape prosecution. By the 1870s, almost every state had criminalized abortion.
In short, although some women procured abortions Americas early years, the historical evidence does not support the claim that abortion was generally not considered immoral and murderous.
False Claim #2: Early feminists were actually closet pro-abortion activists.
In Thompsons telling, early feminists were cryptically pro-abortion: Most womens rights activists in the 1800s did not openly embrace contraceptives or abortion as part of their national platform. They knew that doing so would have increased mens sexual access to women, while allowing them to escape responsibility for any consequences. She even goes on to imply, again without any evidence, that the contemporary pro-abortion notion of bodily autonomy was somehow at the forefront of early feminists minds: Reformers knew that womens right to bodily integrity, above even the right to vote, was the key to truly becoming full citizens.
Yet as Live Action News has thoroughly documented, early feminists were explicitly opposed to abortion. Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, When we consider that women have been treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit. She deplored the murder of children, either before or after birth as an evil that had become frightfully prevalent.
Elizabeth Blackwell, Americas first female doctor, spoke out against a female physician that committed abortions: The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism.
Susan B. Anthonys newspaper, The Revolution, refused to publish ads for abortifacients and often published editorials against abortion. When approached by a couple seeking an illegal abortion, Dr. Charlotte Lozier refused to commit the shameful, revolting, unnatural and unlawful act.
False Claim #3: Pro-life physicians in the 1800s were motivated by racism and selfishness.
According to Thompson, mid-19th century pro-life physicians were animated by racism: American physicians drew on nativist and anti-immigrant fears to argue that the ignorant, the low-lived and the alien would outbreed good, Protestant Americans and destroy the nation. She also argues that physicians were motivated by self-interest: [M]any viewed anti-abortion reform as the key to improving the publics perceptions of physicians and establishing their place as respected members of society.
Thompsons version of history here is not only wrong, its completely backwards. The real racism came in the form of those like Margaret Sanger who advocated eugenics and paved the way for abortion on demand targeting minority communities. As Sanger, who notoriously addressed the Ku Klux Klan in 1926, infamously wrote in a 1939 letter, We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.
In reality, respected, mainstream physicians groups like the American Medical Association were unabashedly pro-life based on objective medical science that the preborn baby was a distinct person. Respected physicians sought to protect human life, like Dr. Stephen Tracy who stated, At forty-five days, the form of the child is very distinct The head is very large; the eyes, mouth, and nose are to be distinguished; the hands and arms are in the middle of its length At three months, the heart pulsates strongly, and the principal vessels carry red blood.
In the end, Thompsons spin on early American history as abortion-friendly falls flat. The reality is that abortion was not widely accepted in early American history. More often than not, mainstream leaders in early American society viewed abortion for what it is: an evil, and the deliberate killing of a human life.
Anthony Comstock and Comstock's law!
Mr. Comstock chased Margaret Sanger to the Gates of Hell for mailing and promoting birth control by way of US mail. It was considered "obscene" at the time.
If only we had 1000+ Anthony Comstocks today
He is called the father of lies for a reason.
Know you are a history buff and I read your posts just don’t comment on them. Don’t know how much of this history you know of but thought I’d ping you anyway. I know the history of this way back to the 1700’s in America, yes women were trying abortions back then too.
It’s a little more than that they are trying to change/rewrite history.
I know the history of this, Abortion on demand was NEVER accepted.
Now in some places, mind you some places it was allowed until “quickening” but on demand? NEVER.
However, as one might expect, there are a number of false claims in the article.
I would be surprised if there were any true statements in the article.
Of course. Laura Nicole, the Women’s Libber, will lie through her teeth to get what she wants like they all do.
The Left is really going All In on this stuff now. They are not clever. They are not artful. They are not mis-speaking. They just lie, lie, lie, lie, lie.
It was not considered murder but that doesnt mean it was socially acceptable. Even though it was not considered murder they passed laws banning abortion in most of not all states.
Abortion is murder
I tell my kids the simple truth about the Democratic and Republican Party
The Democratic Party hates babies and wants to kill them and murder them and then chop them up and sell their body parts
The republican party wants babies to be born taken care of and loved
Thats all you need to know about the two parties
The New York Times is doing likewise with Transgenerism, gender nuetral and any of the other sexual perverted lifestyles today...... proclaiming these too are “ widely accepted” when in fact all these are promoted, financed, and ‘pushed on society’ by news network conglomerates and special interest groups of the left to weaken this nation.
Next they will probably say that “most Republicans are guilty until they prove themselves innocent”...Oops too late.
I remind Liberals that Margaret Sanger and all she stood for was greatly admired by Der Fuhrer Adolph Hitler.
For example, Sanger wanted Blacks culled like weeds. Hitler agreed.
Well its her truth anyway.
The Left lies so much because most people are ignorant of the facts and fall for it. They love ‘em dumbed down and stupid and ignorant.
“It was not considered murder but that doesnt mean it was socially acceptable.”
Even though it definitely was murder, it may not have been considered in that light years ago. It may have been a simple case of decent human beings being repulsed by such a ghoulish and inhuman procedure. People who can look at abortion and not want/need to vomit has something missing in their genetic makeup — or Satan indwelling them.
Its called lying.
You have to wonder about anyone who believes killing children in the womb is okay.
The New York Times 1619 project is being criticized for lying repeatedly about history, too.
Professors tell New York Times to correct the many errors in its 1619 Project
The 1619 Project Gets Schooled
The New York Times tries to rewrite U.S. history, but its falsehoods are exposed by surprising sources
During ancient times there was a plant, Silphium, that apparently used as a contraceptive and abortifacient. Whether or not it worked as advertised, it was harvested to extinction during the time of the Roman Empire.
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