By Kate Maloy, Maggie Jones Patterson
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Extra resources for Birth or Abortion?: Private Struggles in a Political World
Lronically, she added, their youngest tumed out to be the easiest to care for of any of their babies. None of the now-grown Callahan children is pro-life, Sidney reported, nor is any of them a practicing Catholic. She believes that these young people are largely the product of their times and of the community in which they grew up. "I think it just goes with the fact that they were brought up in a very secular culture.... They were just upper-middle-class, liberal kids. They just thought like all the other upper-middle-class kids," Sidney said.
Like the diaphragm, which Lillian found too big and uncomfortable, the pessary, she said, was shaped like a round derby hat. It was filled with spermicidal jelly before it was inserted over the cervix. When it failed to protect her, "I got the name of an abortionist from an actress who was under contract at the same studio," Lillian recalled. "It wasn't difficult. " Abortion was not frowned upon in a community whose business relied on its female stars being single, virginal, and alluring, Lillian said.
Taussig, whose research was sponsored by the National Committee on Matemal Health. He estimated that 9 percent of women undergoing illegal abortions became sterile and that the rate doubled for those having more than one. Although the estimated number of abortions being performed in the 1940s and 1950s was elose to one million a year, the public paid scant attention to the problem. Abortion was a whispered word, as Lois HaITis noted. Movies, television, and radio never touched the subject, and until the late 1950s only one or two artieles per year appeared in popular magazines.
Birth or Abortion?: Private Struggles in a Political World by Kate Maloy, Maggie Jones Patterson