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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

 

 

In France, also, and especially in Paris, there has been a great 

increase during recent years in the practice of abortion. (See 

e.g., a discussion at the Paris Societe de Medecine Legale, 

_Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle_, May, 1907.) Doleris has 

shown (_Bulletin de la Societe d'Obstetrique_, Feb., 1905) that 

in the Paris Maternites the percentage of abortions in 

pregnancies doubled between 1898 and 1904, and Doleris estimates 

that about half of these abortions were artificially induced. In 

France, abortion is mainly carried on by professional 

abortionists. One of these, Mme. Thomas, who was condemned to 

penal servitude, in 1891, acknowledged performing 10,000 

abortions during eight years; her charge for the operation was 

two francs and upwards. She was a peasant's daughter, brought up 

in the home of her uncle, a doctor, whose medical and obstetrical 

books she had devoured (A. Hamon, _La France en 1891_, pp. 

629-631). French public opinion is lenient to abortion, 

especially to women who perform the operation on themselves; not 

many cases are brought into court, and of these, forty per cent. 

are acquitted (Eugene Bausset, _L'Avortement Criminel_, These de 

Paris, 1907). The professional abortionist is, however, usually 

sent to prison. 

 

In Germany, also, abortion appears to have greatly increased 

during recent years, and the yearly number of cases of criminal 

abortion brought into the courts was, in 1903, more than double 

as many as in 1885. (See, also, Elisabeth Zanzinger, _Geschlecht 

und Gesellschaft_, Bd. II, Heft 5; and _Sexual-Probleme_, Jan., 

1908, p. 23.) 

 

In view of these facts it is not surprising that the induction of abortion 

has been permitted and even encouraged in many civilizations. Its 

unqualified condemnation is only found in Christendom, and is due to 

theoretical notions. In Turkey, under ordinary circumstances, there is no 

punishment for abortion. In the classic civilization of Greece and Rome, 

likewise, abortion was permitted though with certain qualifications and 

conditions. Plato admitted the mother's right to decide on abortion but 

said that the question should be settled as early as possible in 

pregnancy. Aristotle, who approved of abortion, was of the same opinion. 

Zeno and the Stoics regarded the foetus as the fruit of the womb, the soul 

being acquired at birth; this was in accordance with Roman law which 

decreed that the foetus only became a human being at birth.[438] Among the 

Romans abortion became very common, but, in accordance with the 

patriarchal basis of early Roman institutions, it was the father, not the 

mother, who had the right to exercise it. Christianity introduced a new 

circle of ideas based on the importance of the soul, on its immortality, 

and the necessity of baptism as a method of salvation from the results of 

inherited sin. We already see this new attitude in St. Augustine who, 

discussing whether embryos that died in the womb will rise at the 

resurrection, says "I make bold neither to affirm nor to deny, although I 

fail to see why, if they are not excluded from the number of the dead, 

they should not attain to the resurrection of the dead."[439] The 

criminality of abortion was, however, speedily established, and the early 

Christian Emperors, in agreement with the Church, edicted many fantastic 

and extreme penalties against abortion. This tendency continued under 

ecclesiastical influence, unrestrained, until the humanitarian movement of 

the eighteenth century, when Beccaria, Voltaire, Rousseau and other great 

reformers succeeded in turning the tide of public opinion against the 


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