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Sociology Of Abortion Essay

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Though motivational factors driving the decision behind abortion cannot always be singly defined, simply put the desire for control over family size was one of the most powerful reasons for inducing a miscarriage (Fig. 8; McLaren 1993). It was generally assumed that the majority of women that considered abortion were unmarried victims of seduction. A single woman would be concerned with damaging the reputation of herself and her family (McLaren 1993). In reality, many women seeking an abortion were in their mid-twenties, married, and were already mothers to one or two children. At the beginning of the nineteenth-century, it was common for the average family to include seven to eight children, however, over the century this number dropped to…show more content…
Therefore, the decision to restrict family size was outwardly made by a man, and abortion, arguably falling to the control of the woman, was considered to be a “backup” or last resort circumstance. In contrast, working class women had a much more active role in family planning and size restriction simply because her income contributed to the survival of the family (McLaren 1977). While working and lower class families used the traditionally accepted forms of birth control such as coitus interruptus and abstinence, other forms like condoms were simply too expensive and unavailable to them. Both classes also remained of the traditional mindset that life was not present until 40-80 days past conception, after the moment of quickening (first feeling of foetal movement). For the working and lower classes, abortion remained an option and not merely as a last
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