By Marie Costa
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Extra info for Abortion: A Reference Handbook (Contemporary World Issues)
Thus, the doctors will lobby against attempts by legislatures to define specific circumstances where abortion is or is not justified. 1857 Dr. Horatio Storer, obstetrician and gynecologist, launches what will become a national drive to end legal abortion. The campaign has two primary goals: to turn public opinion against abortion and to persuade state legislatures to pass specific legislation making abortion a crime. 1859 Dr. Storer succeeds in persuading the AMA to pass a resolution condemning induced abortion, including those performed before quickening, and urging state legislatures to pass laws forbidding it.
By 1943, the penalty for performing an abortion on a "genetically fit" woman is death, and allowing one's premises to be used for an abortion merits a prison sentence. By contrast, Page 12 1941 cont. abortions are encouraged among Jewish and other "unfit" women, as a complement to a program of mandatory sterilization of "genetically inferior" persons begun in 1933. 1942 Switzerland becomes the first Western European nation to liberalize abortion laws, permitting abortion in cases of rape, incest, danger to the woman's health, or likelihood of fetal defect.
The controversy, however, is no closer to being resolved. If anything, the debate has become more divisive and bitter than ever. This new edition reflects both the changes and the enduring sameness of the issue. The basic organization of the book remains the same. The chronology in chapter 1 has been updated through 1995. Additions and deletions to the biographical sketches in chapter 2 reflect changes in the cast of players, as some activists have retired or moved on to other things, while others have come to take their places and reshape the debate.