This Comment of the Day, by Chris Marschner, is on a different topic entirely, the much discussed assertion by Justice Alito in his draft opinion that abortion cannot legitimately be called a Constitutional right because unlike the other rights, it was generally disapproved in American society and condemned or regarded as shameful over centuries of Western culture.
Chris’ comment was posted in rebuttal of another by esteemed commenter zoebrain, who wrote,
“This piece describes abortion practices in use from the 1600s to the 19th century among the inhabitants of North America. The abortive techniques of women from different ethnic and racial groups as found in historical literature are revealed. Thus, the point is made that abortion is not simply a “now issue” that effects select women. Instead, it is demonstrated that it is a widespread practice as solidly rooted in our past as it is in the present.”
” Abortion was frequently practiced in North America during the period from 1600 to 1900. Many tribal societies knew how to induce abortions. They used a variety of methods including the use of black root and cedar root as abortifacient agents. During the colonial period, the legality of abortion varied from colony to colony and reflected the attitude of the European country which controlled the specific colony. In the British colonies abortions were legal if they were performed prior to quickening. In the French colonies abortions were frequently performed despite the fact that they were considered to be illegal. In the Spanish and Portuguese colonies abortion was illegal. From 1776 until the mid-1800s abortion was viewed as socially unacceptable; however, abortions were not illegal in most states. During the 1860s a number of states passed anti-abortion laws. Most of these laws were ambiguous and difficult to enforce. After 1860 stronger anti-abortion laws were passed and these laws were more vigorously enforced. ”
Alito is factually incorrect in his statements.