Roe vs. Wade: Background information when reading When She Woke

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When She Woke

A Novel

by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2011, 352 pages
    Sep 2012, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
Roe vs. Wade

The United States started adopting laws restricting abortion in the early 1800s, ultimately outlawing it in most states by the turn of the century. Interestingly, at the time, abortion wasn't proscribed as a moral issue the same way it is today; it was criminalized primarily because it was a dangerous practice with very high mortality rates, before the advent of antiseptics and antibiotics. These laws didn't necessarily stop the abortions from being performed, however. According to an article in The Atlantic, "The American Medical Association's crusade against abortion was partly a professional move, to establish the supremacy of 'regular' physicians over midwives and homeopaths... Nonetheless, having achieved their legal goal, many doctors - including prominent members of the AMA - went right on providing abortions."

seal of the US Supreme Court Withal, bans remained until the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973, declaring many of the existing state abortion laws ...

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