Global History - Introduction

Almost two-thirds of the world's women now live in countries where abortion is available on request, or for a broad range of social, economic or personal reasons.

Abortion has been practiced around the world since ancient times as a crude method of birth control. Most ancient societies regarded abortion as routine, but there were exceptions, particularly the Hebrews (Jewish people). Judaism today has experienced the same split over the issue of abortion that is seen in among Christians.

Another exception were the Assryians. Provision 53 of the Ancient Assyrian Code stated that any woman who procured an abortion should be impaled upon a stake and left as food for the carrion eaters, whether or not the abortion killed her.

Now at the beginning of the 21st century, the third abortion war is over thirty years old.

The first war involved the new Christian faith spreading within the Greco-Roman culture.

The second was in America during the mid-19th century, when abortions were freely advertised in virtually every newspaper.

In this Global History of Abortion we explain how abortion evolved and was contested in different countries and cultures.