I ate my wafer...


So, some time ago, I read Sex and the Civil War: The Stories the soldiers Wouldn't Tell looking for background on military justice. Anyway, its an interesting read with information on a variety of topics, and the information about abortion particularly jumped out at me. The author does a pretty decent job substantiating a ~20% abortion rate (1 in 5 conceptions) in urban areas in the 1860's, which struck me as quite interesting. So, if anyone has seen good journal articles on the topic I'm curious for more information.


  • I believe it, but what sort of information could he cite to substantiate that?

    By Blogger Daniel Silliman, at 2:18 AM  

  • Well, I don't have the book in front of me, but he was citing a number of things:

    A. He made an inference argument from the decline in birthrate, but increase in pregnant brides.

    B. He had some sales records from various producers of abortion equipment and drugs. The one that stands out in my mind was the sale of 9,000 doses in a single year in a city of 100,000, (~50,000 women).

    C. Finally, he had a number of estimates from doctors of the time period.

    Like I sadi, I'm not looking at the boot right now, so the numbers might be off a bit, but I thought he did a decent job of backing up a 20% figure.

    By Blogger Bob, at 1:57 PM  

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