Abortion made its biggest gains, however, on the back of another infamous and fast-growing American practice: prostitution. Increased industrialization made business travel far more common for many American men, and the anonymity that went along with such travel gave them far more opportunities to seek the "comforts" of a prostitute... With not much in the way of birth control, and with an average of 30-40 sexual encounters a week, frequent pregnancy was a given. Since being pregnant would put them out of work, abortion became the happy alternative.
On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI). Only 12% of women included a physical problem with their health among reasons for having an abortion (NAF). One per cent (of aborting women) reported that they were the survivors of rape (NAF).
There is more than one kind of in-clinic abortion procedure. The most common is called aspiration. It is also known as vacuum aspiration. Aspiration is usually used up to 16 weeks after a woman’s last period.
D&E — dilation and evacuation — is another kind of in-clinic abortion. D&E is usually performed later than 16 weeks after a woman's last period.
In 2008, approximately 1.21 million abortions took place in the U.S., down from an estimated 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S. (AGI).
Two weeks ago, reported Jezebel's Katie Baker, the organization announced that it "is abandoning the limiting and confusing terms 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' in hopes of reaching more women who don't identify as 'pro-choice' but still support and need their services…When Planned Parenthood polled Americans to figure out how they felt about the labels, the results were confusing, because people found the labels confusing."
Every new life begins at conception. This is an irrefutable fact of biology. It is true for animals and true for humans. When considered alongside the law of biogenesis – that every species reproduces after its own kind – we can draw only one conclusion in regard to abortion: every single abortion ends the life of an innocent human being.
The term pro-choice wasn’t born of a need to describe the pantheon of issues encompassed by the feminist movement. It was reactive. When the anti-abortion movement began organizing under the “pro-life” banner after 1973, abortion-rights activists scrambled to find a similarly morally hefty term to describe their beliefs about reproductive rights. Pro-choice was born.
In the 1960s, inspired by the civil rights and antiwar movements, women organized a women’s liberation movement. They fought, marched, and lobbied to make abortion safe and legal. At speak-outs, women talked publicly for the first time about their illegal abortion experiences. The women’s movement, joined by sympathetic allies within the medical profession, made visible the millions of women who were willing to break the law and risk health and life to obtain an abortion.
During the 1800s, all surgical procedures, including abortion, were extremely risky. Hospitals were not common, antiseptics were unknown, and even the most respected doctors had only primitive medical educations. Without today's current technology, maternal and infant mortality rates during childbirth were extraordinarily high. The dangers from abortion were similar to the dangers from other surgeries that were not outlawed.
Not only were the surgical procedures incredibly sketchy at this time, but self-induced abortions were common as well. Due to a number of reasons, including fear, embarrassment, financial reasons, women aborted their children through physical exertion, applying pressure to the abdominal region, etc. This is also where the famous coat hanger reference came from -- it was inserted into the uterus in an attempt to remove the fetus.
Abortion has been used to control fertility in every known society, regardless of its legality. It was practiced legally in the United States until about 1880, by which time most states had banned it except to save the life of the woman. Antiabortion legislation was part of a backlash against the growing movements for suffrage and birth control—an effort to control women and confine them to a traditional childbearing role.