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Unformatted text preview: health and s afety
is s ues for pregnant wom en and the s anctity of life. Its pos ition was als o a m eans of control of nonlicens ed
m edical practitioners s uch as m idwives and wom en healers who practiced abortion.
The anti-abortion cam paign was als o influenced by political cons iderations . The large influx of eas tern and
s outhern European im m igrants with their large fam ilies was s een as threat to the population balance of the
future United States . Middle and Upper clas s Protes tants were advocates of abortion as a form of birth control.
By s upporting abortion prohibitions the hope was that thes e Am ericans would have m ore children and thus
prevent the tide of im m igrant babies from overwhelm ing the dem ographic characteris tics of Protes tant Am erica.
The anti-abortion legis lative pos ition rem ained in effect in the United States through the firs t s ixty-five years of
the twentieth century. In the early 1960s , even when it was widely known that the drug thalidom ide taken during
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- Summer '14