If we're going to talk about abortion in every thread, let's make sure that we're working from the proper historical context.
Scarlet Letters: Getting the History of Abortion and Contraception Right
"If recent legislation passed in Arkansas and North Dakota is allowed to stand, it will be harder for women to get an abortion in those states than it was in New England in 1650. Legislators in Little Rock and Bismarck have passed new restrictions that ban abortions according to when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Federal judges have blocked the new restrictions until legal challenges to their constitutionality are settled. But the six-week deadline contrasts starkly with early American abortion law, where the procedure was legal until “quickening”—the first time a mother feels the baby kick, which can happen anywhere from 14 weeks to 26 weeks into pregnancy.
Abortion was not just legal—it was a safe, condoned, and practiced procedure in colonial America and common enough to appear in the legal and medical records of the period. Official abortion laws did not appear on the books in the United States until 1821, and abortion before quickening did not become illegal until the 1860s. If a woman living in New England in the 17th or 18th centuries wanted an abortion, no legal, social, or religious force would have stopped her."