The Unknown History of Abortion

Surprisingly very few persons are aware of the real history of abortion, including important persons involved in the prolife movement.

As it stands now the standard accepted belief is that women have commonly practiced abortion for millennia. The proof of this would seem to be the existence of references to abortion throughout history. Also, adding to this the observation the discovery within the last century that illegal abortion rates cut across religious, demographic and cultural boundaries and we have apparent “bulletproof” evidence that abortion is apparently a “natural” act of women throughout the world and has been since the existence of recorded time.

Nonetheless, in spite of this widely held belief there is compelling evidence that what we have been led to believe about abortion is distorted to say the least.

First and foremost, it is certainly a foregone conclusion that abortion has existed for millenia. However, the “rates” at which abortion has been practiced has not been addressed adequately. While many are led to believe that the illegal abortion rates published by the US and the UN represent the upper historical range of abortion incidences (with legal abortion representing the lower end) few persons apparently have been interested in questioning the US’ and UN’s figures. This attitude is somewhat bewildering given the general acknowledgement that abortion has adversely affected fertility rates which would imply that supposed valid historical abortion rates are not only not sustainable over a considerable length of time but are also not compatible with historical fertility rates.

Furthermore, in spite of the fact that fertility rates have dropped drastically in countries where abortion is legalized yet have not dropped as drastically where abortion is still illegal there is still the widespread notion that illegal abortion rates are still higher than legal abortion rates. It is clear that there are serious problems in the accepted discussion about abortion.

The relevant question is how are these glaring inconsistencies able to stand up to scrutiny? It seems there are primarily two factors involved in preventing abortion rates from being addressed adequately. First, the discussion about the rates of abortion has been methodically controlled and isolated by interested parties since almost the very beginning of the recognition of abortion as a social issue in the latter part of the 18th century and as such abortion can not be readily compared to other social indicators, such as homicide, in order to have a base of comparison of abortion’s supposed observed rates of incidence. Second, there is a generally accepted notion that the world is overpopulated and as such many aren’t interested in resolving the incongruities in the evidence regarding abortion as it seems to be a “necessary” evil for the sake of the long term sustainability

Nonetheless, with the ever increasing acknowledgment of the imminent “demographic winter” due to low fertility rates as a way to dispel the notion that abortion is mostly a benign social issue as opposed to something potentially with devastating economic consequences in addition to being unsustainable, now is the time to look at abortion rates, past and present, and see if it is true what we have been led to believe, specifically that abortion has always been practiced significantly throughout history.

While this may be appear to be a daunting task, the reality is it is easier than most would be led to believe. First and foremost would be to convert abortion rates into the demographic standing of incidence per 100,000 population per year. This standard has been in practice for many years by the US and in fact abortion was once classified this way before being surreptitiously changed. What we find out is that in the beginning of the discussion of illegal abortion rates in the late 19th century figures such as 80,000 abortions per year in New York City alone were proposed. Nonetheless, due to the fact that the abortion figures such as the aforementioned were proposed as totals as opposed to rates coupled with the lack of available homicide statistics meant that these figures weren’t questioned to a great degree in the academic community. Nonetheless, if we convert the 80,000 abortions in New York City into the standard demographic rate we find that this calculates to over 5,000 incidences per 100,000 population per year. However, we see that the homicide rate in New York City at the time was around 30. In fact a 5,000 rate is more comparable to jaywalking than to a serious crime such as homicide, as abortion was considered as evidenced by the social commentary during this period. It should be clear at this point that that a figure of 5,000 “Population Abortion Rate” (used to distinguish this rate from the popular “abortion rate” standard) per year in NYC was implausible to say the least.

Nonetheless, understanding that Eugenists all but controlled the illegal abortion estimate discussion from early on ensured that abortion would be purposely isolated as a social indicator, essential for its gradual moralization from a crime to a civil right. While the overall converted abortion rate would gradually fall to around a figure normally associated with non violent theft such as petty larceny (2,000) this figure would not change much in character and remain to this day in the UN’s illegal abortion estimates. This is understandable given that the very same Eugenist groups that proposed abortion rates equivalent to those of petty crime in order to moralize/legalize abortion are the very same providers of illegal abortion rates for the US government and the UN. This would be the Guttmacher Institute and to some degree the Population Council, both formed by Eugenists with the purpose of legalizing abortion.

Finally, as if there were any doubt now about the ridiculously inflated illegal abortion estimates there is also compelling evidence that the significant legal abortion rates that we have been convinced are either normal historical rates (or not far removed) are not compatible with high fertility rates(greater than 6) something all countries have had in the last two centuries or so, which clearly imples these supposed “normal” abortion rates are anything but normal and in fact are not sustainable long term.

In summary, abortion has always been practiced throughout history and like other serious crimes its rates can never have expected to depart from normal homicide rates, otherwise the society that allowed the practice of abortion at such unsustainable rates (that we are seeing now where it is legalized) would have disappeared or been replaced by surrounding societies with higher fertility rates.