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date: 22 May 2022

Birth Control and Family Planning. 

Source:
The Oxford Companion to United States History
Author(s):
Donald T. CritchlowDonald T. Critchlow

Americans have practiced birth control throughout their history. Women in the Colonial Era, relying on centuries-old techniques, used sponges and suppositories to prevent pregnancy. Traditional folk medicine offered recipes for abortifacient brews of aloes, pennyroyal, and extracts from wild juniper bushes that so poisoned or irritated the system that miscarriages occurred as a side effect. Mechanical abortions, performed without anesthesia or antibiotics, were rare, painful, and dangerous.... ...

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