Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 10. 1971
History and Abortion
History and Abortion.
The earliest known records of abortion methods date from 3000BC in ancient China The ancient Egyptians. Greeks and Romans all developed an extensive literature on abortion. In spite of admonitions to "[unclear: beautiful] and multiply", ancient Jews, lacking the medical knowledge and equipment of the 20th century, nonetheless practised and preached an infinitely more humane approach to abortion than was common until very recently to the Western world.
Among most of the world's population, abortion has not been opposed on religion The Shinto faith in Japan has never contained religious or ethical objections to abortions The Islamic belief has been that life begins in the fetus only after 150 days, that is, around midterm. And neither Buddhist nor Hindu theology prohibited early abortion, it is considered a social rather than a religious issue.
We are therefore left with a patchwork of social and political laws on abortion in countries where these faiths predominate.
Among all the known hundreds of primitive societies throughout history and up to the present time, abortion is unknown in perhaps one. It seems therefore that no matter what prohibitions there may sometimes be against abortion, and no matter what the dangers of the act of abortion, women have always resorted to it and presumably always will—at least until a safe and sure morning-after pill of some kind is perfected and is universally and freely available.