A Serious Q for the Women - May be squicky for some

I am an aging male child of the great boomer generation. I was around pre- Roe v Wade.

It seemed to me that among the things passed down mother-to-daughter back in those days was a simple technique to terminate an unwanted preqnancy.
No, I am not going to mention the trick I heard - this board may not appreciate the details.

Do you know of a means (NOT mechanical - no instruments used) to abort?
Did you learn this from your mother or other significant woman in your development?
Have you told your daughters (and, possibly just as important, your sons) about this?

FWIW - the technique I m thinking of was mainly a Southern thing - those “proper” ladies knew a thing or two more than they let on.

And they managed to keep this “trick” such a good secret that no one else knows. Don’t you think if it worked or it was safe maybe the word would have spread? Maybe medical workers might have cottoned on to it?

I know techniques to prevent pregnancy pre-Pill days; I know herbal remedies to get rid of one (risks include death of the mother).

My maternal grandmother used at least one of the first; her sister refused to use any. I got to hear listings and descriptions of both groups during conversations about Great Aunt Laura’s Too Many Pregnancies.

How many abortion remedies which didn’t have the potential to kill the mother actually worked?

How many pregnancy prevention techniques actually worked?

Nope, never even discussed the topic with any female in my family. Not US Southern though. But if it was easy, no-risk, no-fail I’d have thought it would have been pretty popular and well known - which suggests it wasn’t.

Either my grandmother’s worked fine, or she got real lucky. And, while no similar discussions were held with the other grandmother, there seems to be a surprising amount of women their age who had the children they wanted (either as many as they wanted, or a string of one gender and then the different-gendered one). Grandma’s technique didn’t require Grandpa’s collaboration, by the way.

Sort of. I know there are herbs that were/are used to induce (premature) labor, but they are very dangerous to the woman as well. I also know about taking extra birth control pills at once. I grew up post Roe-v-Wade so it probably wasn’t a priority to teach even if anyone in my family knew it.

Not Southern, and both sides of my family were farmers and apparently needed plenty of kids to work the farm; I had lots of aunts and uncles.

Gaah. I’m half expecting the Google ads to change to “Pregnancy termination method THEY don’t want you to know about! Single mum in [yourtown] discovers 1 simple trick to abort unwanted fetuses”.

One of the better known “remedies” is pennyroyal (it’s hardly a secret; there’s a Nirvana song that references it) but like all such things the risks include death and other really quite gruesome consequences. I’ve never heard of any safe method of home abortion, mechanical, chemical or herbal.

People, do we have to be so oblique? Can you just share what these methods are? I for one am curious (and very, very thankful I don’t have to rely on them).

I was born in 1973, and my family is Catholic, so there wasn’t a need or probably the ability to share such information.

If I’d heard such a tip, I don’t suppose I’d share it with my kids, since “use birth control, don’t have sex unless you know what you’d do with an unwanted pregnancy and can live with that, and go to the GYN/Planned Parenthood if you need an abortion,” are quite adequate. And I agree with comments above - if this “too controversial for the Dope!!!111” method is safe and effective, it would no longer be a home remedy, but something available medically (OK, maybe not in America, but elsewhere).

Gyrate named the herb that comes directly to mind for me; I think there might have been others but that’s the only one I recall at the moment.

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Do you really think if there was a safe effective "natural " abortion method, there would be so much controversy about legal abortion in this country?

I think my mother mentioned how some women would throw themselves down the stairs on purpose, but that never appealed to me, personally.

(She wasn’t endorsing this method, by the way.)

Abortion was never discussed with me when I was growing up.

People used to drink gin and take hot baths, I guess. And a few years ago there was a case in town where some girl paid a guy a bunch of money to punch her in the stomach. So there’s that.

I am not female, so was not exposed to the full gamut of these things, but I remember something about aspirin and Coke being drunk as an abortificant. The joke was you could avoid prenancy with aspirin alone … simply hold one between your knees.

Having read Dr. Dan Sloan’s book about perorming illegal abortions pre-Roe v. Wade, I learned that Dr. Sloan started doiing this after seeing women come into the mergency room suffering from the effects of do-it-yourself abortions. A popular technique was douching with Lysol :eek:!

My great-grandmother likely died from a botched home abortion.

It seems that it is impossible to discuss this honestly without disclosing the “secret methods.” The OP and Nava claim that there are safe and effective means of home abortion. How can we possibly evaluate their claims unless they tell us what they are?

I’m with the people who say there can’t possibly be such a thing. Until someone offers concrete evidence to the contrary–like the name of an herb or a method–I’m going to assume that the OP and Nava are just playing games with us.

“Oh, oh, I know a totally safe home abortion method!!! But it’s too shocking and secret to tell you!!!” :rolleyes:

We weren’t strictly southern, having lived smack dab on the Mason-Dixon line; however, my mom was brought up with fairly southern sensibilities thanks to my grandmother. I was never privvy to do-it-yourself pregnancy prevention or abortion, thank goodness, though I did read about some of it on my own out of curiosity. As noted above, much of it had to do with unsafe herbs and somehow damaging the fetus externally (injury to the stomach, etc.). Some of the other methods were just plain ridiculous (wearing little bags of herbs to prevent it or encourage pregnancy, various chants, ingesting non-poisonous substances, douching with various liquids and walking backwards around a broomstick or something similar).

If I found my daughter was reading about home remedies, we’d sit down and have a serious talk about the benefits of birth control if she’s sexually active, plus safety, parenthood and alternative choices (abortion, adoption, etc.) should she become pregnant. Hopefully we would’ve had that conversation already. I would answer any questions as honestly as possible of she did ask about home remedies, but I’d tell her that using them should be absolutely out of the question.

My mother (an uptight Northeastern WASP) couldn’t even tell me how babies were made, let alone how to give myself an abortion. I can’t even imagine. I did read a book a while ago set in England in the 1700s, and the main character tried to give herself an abortion with some vile tea made from some kind of herb, but it didn’t work. I think the book was The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark.