New York Times Op-Ed

The Long, Cruel History of the Anti-Abortion Crusade

Members of the New York State Doctors and Nurses Against Abortion picket the east front of the State Capitol in Albany on April 26, 1972. Associated Press

Amid the anti-abortion measures being pushed through state legislatures, consider the mazy history of abortion in the United States. Women, capable of determining and managing their reproductive rights, have been undermined by men in power before.

Prior to the 1840s, abortion was widespread and not illegal in our country. In the time of the Puritans, America’s deeply religious founding fathers, abortion was allowed until the fetus was “quick” — when the woman could feel the fetus move. Before modern diagnostic ultrasound, abortion was permissible beyond the first trimester — up to four or five months. Our founding fathers got this right; the choice to have an abortion or a child belonged to the woman.

— John Irving, June 23, 2019

Read the rest of John Irving’s Op-Ed here.