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Abortion After Roe$
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Johanna Schoen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621180

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621180.001.0001

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The Development of Dilation and Evacuation and the Debate over Fetal Bodies

The Development of Dilation and Evacuation and the Debate over Fetal Bodies

(p.119) 4 The Development of Dilation and Evacuation and the Debate over Fetal Bodies
Abortion After Roe

Johanna Schoen

University of North Carolina Press

By the early 1980s, abortion providers moved from instillation procedures such as saline to Dilation and Evacuation [D&E]. This chapter traces the initial controversy surrounding D&E and the eventual adoption of the procedure which made abortion services after the first trimester available on an outpatient basis and the experience of midtrimester abortion easier for patients. But the turn to D&E raised ethical and aesthetic concerns and abortion providers who sought to discuss their thoughts about their work quickly found their words used against them. By the mid-1980s, anti-abortion activists created abortion narratives that painted abortion providers as murderers, highlighted women’s regret over abortion, and offered gory descriptions of the abortion experience from the fetal perspective. These anti-abortion narratives silenced discussions within the abortion provider community and limited women’s ability to discuss their abortion experiences as positive. It stigmatized the procedure and those who participated in it.

Keywords:   Dilation and Evacuation, Saline abortion, Fetal bodies, laminaria, midtrimester abortion, Bernard Nathanson, Women Exploited by Abortion, Silent Scream, Abortion stigma

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