By Kristin Luker
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Extra info for Abortion & the Politics of Motherhood
It is at the fourth month that the mother feels the motion of the child within, which is called quickening. . 41 What can be proved, however, is that the American public did not suffer from the ignorance imputed to it. For at least sixty years prior to the emergence of the physicians' crusade against abortion, Americans had been exposed to the idea that abortion at any period of pregnancy was wrong. Dr. Buchan's Domestic Medicine, a book reprinted so often that it was the nineteenth century's equivalent of Dr.
Therefore, the physicians' choice of abortion as the focus of their moral crusade was carefully calculated. Abortion, and only abortion, could enable them to make symbolic claims about their status. 60 Given the primitive nature of medical practice, persuading the public that embryos were human lives and then persuading state legislatures to protect these lives by outlawing abortion may have been one of the few life-saving projects actually available to physicians. Physicians, therefore, had to exaggerate the differences between themselves and the lay public.
And] the head and trunk may be easily distinguished. Fifteen days after conception, the head and most prominent features of the face are apparent. The nose resembles a small elevated thread . . two black points represent the eyes. At one month, the young, called the fetus, is an inch in length. . All parts of the face may be seen, the body is visible, the haunches and belly are prominent, the hands and legs are formed; the fingers and toes are divided; the skin is thin and transparent. .