Tag: Abortion

Mail-Order Abortion: A History (and a Future?)

In early November of 2016, while the upcoming election dominated media in all its forms, a number of news outlets took note of a study being conducted by abortion providers in New York, Washington, Hawaii, and Oregon on the safety and practicality of providing abortions by mail. The methods of the Telemedicine Abortion Study, which… Read more →

Irish Abortion Trails and Informal Care Networks: Facilitating Continuities in Care

Women from the north and south of Ireland have travelled to England to access abortion services since the advent of the British Abortion Act in 1967 (and before this as single expectant mothers.)1 Lacking help from health services in either jurisdiction of Ireland, activist networks on these abortion trails have emerged to support the thousands… Read more →

The Miseries and Heartbreak of Backstreet Abortions: Before and After Roe

In 1967, a group of clergy in New York City founded the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion (CCS) to “bring light and hope to the thousands of people who suffer — usually in quiet, and sometimes in death — the miseries and heartbreak of backstreet abortions.” In an era of back-alley butchers, prohibitively high-priced abortions… Read more →

Back to the Back Alley? Abortion Rights and Realities in the Trump Era

On the first day of his presidency, Donald Trump reinstated the global gag rule on abortion. This is no great surprise; Trump is certainly not the first Republican president to restrict access to abortion when assuming office. Still, there is something different about the Trump election and administration: already, of course, when it comes to… Read more →

“Buried with Doctor’s Certificate”: Reading the Uses and Abuses of Bodies in a Medical School Thesis

In 1886, Marie K. Formad graduated from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, entering the small but rapidly growing body of American women holding the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Along with Dr. Formad, the 31 other members of the class of 1886 demonstrated clearly the progress of women’s medical education in the thirty years… Read more →

New York Grandmother Seeks Democratic Presidential Nomination! Ellen McCormack (1926-2011)

No, not that one! Exactly forty years before Hillary Clinton’s historic run and nomination, Ellen Cullen McCormack (1926-2011) ran for president as a Democrat in the 1976 primary campaign that ended with the nomination of Jimmy Carter. But Ellen McCormack was a different kind of female Democratic candidate. In fact, while Hillary Clinton famously rejected… Read more →

Queen Bee

Samantha Bee has been America’s leading late-night feminist comic for over a decade. As the longest serving correspondent in the history of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bee spent 12 years skewering politics and the media. When she was offered her own development deal with TBS to start a late-night comedy show, I’m sure… Read more →

Trump’s Part in Centuries-Long History of Punishing Women and Doctors

In a recent campaign interview with Chris Matthews, presidential candidate Donald Drumpf contended “there has to be some form of punishment” for women seeking abortions, should the procedure be made illegal in the United States. In a rare moment, the candidate quickly retracted his statement, but not before his Republican opponents and pro-life advocates seized… Read more →

Tea Kettles and Turpitudes: Abortion and Material Culture in Irish History

In 1932, a Donegal woman was brought up on criminal charges after she attempted miscarriage by consuming both pills as well as a ubiquitous item in early twentieth-century households: a bottle of castor oil.1 Just a few years earlier a Belfast midwife, Isabel, defended herself in court after being charged with giving another woman an… Read more →

Coat Hangers and Knitting Needles: A Brief History of Self-Induced Abortion

Knitting needles. Arsenic. Deliberately falling. These are just some of the methods that women used to self-induce abortion in the early twentieth century, when abortion was illegal. This is not simply a subject confined to history books any more. Evidence suggests that self-induced abortion is rising once more, thanks in large part to political efforts… Read more →