Abortion in pioneer days

Avatar for mrosie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2000
Abortion in pioneer days
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 6:34pm

I have been lurking here for quite some time but this is my first time posting.

Over the weekend, I attended a stage event called "Quilters". It is a musical performance that tells the story of several pioneer women and their lives and difficulties in their times.

Each story is presented as a block or chapter. One of the blocks was about pregnancy and childbirth. It describes the lack of birth control and the large families that came about through circumstance and necessity in the pioneer days in rural settings. The women telling the story describe having 10, 12, 16 children and being desparate not to have more, both because of their lack of resources to provide for more children and their concerns about their own health. They discuss how recipes were passed around for women to cook up concoctions that would end pregnancies in the early stages.

I was wondering if people who are pro-life today make any allowances for women in those situations? In general, modern times have made birth control and education more readily available (although obviously far from perfect) but if a woman simply didn't have the means to prevent a pregnancy, is she justified in controlling her family size with other means?


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2009
Tue, 06-23-2009 - 12:03am

I'm going to hazzard a guess that quite a few would say no, they still wouldn't allow for it in those circumstances.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2009
Tue, 06-23-2009 - 12:36am
I agree with Kate. I imagine that many PLers would say that a woman in that situation should give subsequent children up for adoption or refrain from having sex with her husband.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Tue, 06-23-2009 - 11:03am

Welcome out of lurkdome!

2010 Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2005
Tue, 06-23-2009 - 4:07pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Wed, 06-24-2009 - 3:30pm

There is a story in my family of a female ancestor in the 1890s who kept throwing herself off the roof of a barn to try and cause herself to have a miscarriage.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Thu, 06-25-2009 - 1:38pm

Around that time, women here were drinking gin and throwing themselves down stairs to cause miscarriages.

And if that didn't work, there was always the 'old crone with a twig', as Tim Roth creepily says in Rob Roy.