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Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America

Crossway / 1992 / Paperback

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Product Description

Tracing the history of abortion back to the 1600s, Marvin Olasky culls pertinent articles and news items from a wide variety of sources to produce a document exposing abortion for the evil that it truly is. From pre-Revolutionary instances of abortion and infanticide to the rampant proliferation of abortion among prostitutes and proto-New Age Spiritualists of the 1800s to the eugenics of Margaret Sanger, Olasky outlines the depth and breadth of the abortion problem, attempts to legitimize it, and modern strains of thought concerning it.
Graphic written depictions and candid discussions of sexual matters, along with plain information about matters such as abortion techniques, make this not a book for children or the squeamish, but an important book nonetheless as it brings together information not found elsewhere in a comprehensive form. An important book when it was first published in the early nineties, it has become a classic in the field.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 1992
Dimensions: 6 X 9 (inches)
ISBN: 0891076875
ISBN-13: 9780891076872
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The pre-Roe v. Wade history of U.S. abortion is little understood by most Americans. Opponents of abortion often look at those good old days as a golden age in which abortion was rare and criticism of the practice was adamant. On the other hand, advocates of legalized abortion criticize the bad old days of "back-alley abortionists" but argue that through nearly all our nation's history most Americans accepted the right of abortion. Both sides simplify the past and make assumptions favorable to their current stand; both need a greater grasp of the past regarding this crucial issue.

Were abortions commonplace in early U.S. history? What types of women received abortions in post-Revolutionary America? Who opposed it then and later, and how and why? To what effect? What led to Roe v. Wade?

In this remarkable and controversial work, Marvin Olasky has written an in-depth analysis of the history of abortion in America. Part One describes the three groups of women who were having abortions through the mid-nineteenth century. Part Two examines the failures and limited successes of anti-abortion Americans as they tried to develop a societal mind-set in which abortion was condemned. Part Three carries the story into the twentieth century, examining the moral transition among physicians and the impact of changing values and economic pressures.

The story recounted here is not a simple one. Individual cases described in the historical record sometimes hinge on nuances of evidence rather than overt principles. But it is a story that must be told if we are to go beyond provocative bumper stickers and placards. This is not a book that will please all readers. Instead, it is a fully documented history that tells the truth about abortion in America while clearing away misunderstanding with the established views of both sides in the abortion wars. Most importantly, it surveys and interprets the subject within the framework of the historic Judeo-Christian value system, which provided the basis of American institutions and culture.

The result of extensive study, including many, many hours of painstaking research in the Library of Congress, this brilliant work will radically impact the abortion debate. A great book dealing honestly with the foremost moral crisis of our day.

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