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Contraception and Abortion in 19th-Century America, by Janet Farrell Brodie

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The topics of contraception and abortion have been looked upon differently throughout years past in America. The ideas regarding these topics have changed from being nonexistent to being extremely common in today’s world. In the book, Contraception and Abortion in 19th-Century America, written by Janet Farrell Brodie there are descriptions and sources that state how and why people of the nineteenth century used contraception and dealt with abortion. By reading this book, a person can analyze what practices were used for contraception and abortion, whom the chief advocates of reproductive control in the mid-century were, along with the changing access to fertility control at the end of the century.
Throughout the book, specifically in Chapter Four, it is stated that sexual intercourse and contraception became more open topics, rather than keeping them private. If one method of contraception or abortion worked for one woman, the practice would be spread throughout the community to help others. This technique was similar to Darwin’s “Natural Selection,” rather than survival of the fittest, or “best,” method. People would hear about what types of contraception were available because of the present declining birth rate in the community. Although there were ads about contraception, women seemed to be a low priority audience for the press even though the topic of contraception was a very sought after one in nineteenth century society. Sexual intercourse has always occurred in the world, and so themes and different practices of possible contraception techniques have been ever-present, but not all opinions were true. Contraception decreased the amount of abortion that were done even though there were not very many abortions done. Every n...


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...trol due to these laws except for under the table, black market dealing.
Contraception and abortion were topics that everyone generally knew about. Douching and intercourse without male orgasm, which was allowed in the Oneida community, along with withdrawal were various techniques used. The numerous contraception methods were well known and used by unmarried and married couples community-wide. Advocates published books to make the best and most effective techniques of contraception known publically. This was done until the Comstock laws were put into place, which made even speaking about a form of contraception illegal in some states towards the end of the nineteenth century. Ultimately, contraception and abortion were spoken about and shared throughout the various communities in nineteenth-century America and dramatically decreased the unwanted pregnancy rate.



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