By Kristin Luker
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Additional info for Abortion & the Politics of Motherhood
In addition, the "regulars" were predominantly white, upper-income, and native-born; as such, they belonged to precisely the same group that was thought to harbor the primary users of abortion. "SeeW. H. S. Jones,The Doctor's Oath,p. 11. Edelstein argues that Hippocrates (more properly the "Hippocratic school") was the forerunner of our modern-day holistic health practitioners. As such, what in large part was being rejected in this passage was the use of drugs rather than specifically the act of abortion ("Hippocratic Oath," pp.
Only ten of these state laws specified that the physician must consult with another physician before performing the operation; two specifically stated that regular physicians must make the decision; and Maryland stipulated that a "respectable" physician was required. No mechanism was set up for reviewing "medical judgment," and, further, none of these laws described exactly what constituted a threat to life. For example, must the threat be immediate or can it be long term? Similarly, they did not specify the confidence level needed.
James Mohr, in a pioneering work on this topic, argues that the proliferation of healers in the nineteenth century created a competition for status and clients. The "regular" physicians, who tended to be both wealthier and better educated than members of other medical sects, therefore sought to distinguish themselves both scientifically and socially from competing practitioners. Support of anti-abortion activity was admirably suited to this need. 47 At the same time, they could claim to be following the Hippocratic Oath, which contains a clause proscribing at least one form of abortion practice.