By Kristin Luker
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Extra info for Abortion & the Politics of Motherhood
Indeed, the same home medical book that contained the detailed descriptions of intrauterine life noted earlier had this to say about uterine hemorrhage or "flooding": When the flooding returns, in great degree, in spite of all efforts to prevent [it], the women becoming extremely pallid, showing excessive loss of blood, but one remedy is left, and that is to produce an immediate abortion. Unless the danger be very pressing, the advice or direction of a physician should be taken before the destruction of the child.
14 It is true that some early colonies did establish different fee structures for "trained" as opposed to "folk" doctors, but these regulations MEDICINE AND MORALITY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 17 were not supported by "enabling" legislation. "Trained" physicians had the right to charge more, but there were no regulatory mechanisms by which they could enforce their higher fees or, more importantly, deny others the right to practice medicine. From the earliest days of the medical profession in this country, therefore, physicians wanted effective licensing laws that would do for them what the guild structures had done for their European colleagues, namely, restrict the competition.
Nonetheless, estimates from differing sources yield roughly comparable results. An Ohio medical investigation concluded that one-third of all "live births" (sic) ended in induced abortion. Dr. 29 Contemporary observers such as these were in unanimous agreement that the women who engaged in abortion did not believe they were doing anything wrong. The common law tradition, they argued, led women to feel that abortion before quickening was morally blameless, only slightly different from preventing a conception in the first place.
Abortion & the Politics of Motherhood by Kristin Luker