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date: 19 May 2024


The Oxford Companion to United States History
Carole R. McCannCarole R. McCann, Paul S. BoyerPaul S. Boyer

The legal status of abortion in the United States has undergone dramatic shifts but its practice has been consistent: Throughout American history, many women have relied on abortion to control their fertility. Before the mid–nineteenth century, abortion induced prior to quickening (the moment when the pregnant woman feels fetal movement) was a legal and accepted practice, especially for young, unmarried women. By midcentury, the commercialization of abortion gave greater visibility to its prevalence among married, white, native-born women. This increased visibility coincided with growing agitation by women for fuller inclusion in public life and with increased ... ...

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