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Pol Tyg Lek. 1974 Nov 11;29(45):1957-8.

[Induced abortion--a historical outline].

[Article in Polish]



An historical review of the use of induced abortion is presented, beginning with early eras. The Chinese were the 1st to record the practice of induced abortion, with this operation being administered to royal concubines recorded at 500-515 B.C. Induced abortion was not used in ancient Greece, either for criminal or ethical reason. However, the ancient Greeks did utilize compulsory abortion for serious economic indications, as a means of controlling natural growth. Greek medical, gyneoclogigcal instruments for adminsitering abortions were described by Hippocrates. The Greek moral attitudes on abortion were largely adopted by the Romans, which were later altered by the appearance of Christianity and new ethical ideas. These ideas dominated European attitudes, along with the Church of Rome, limiting induced abortion to cases where the life of the mother was threatened. This attitude has existed until the present century, when these moral ideas are being challanged seriously for the 1st time in modern history.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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