The Dark Ages
Ohhhhhhh, now I get it. The Harper Theocracy doesn't care for contraception or women's reproductive rights because these are pagan, pre-Christian concepts. (Anybody else notice how miserable everybody was back when the Church was in charge?)
Which brings us to this nifty new website, 4000 Years for Choice.
4000 Years for Choice visualizes the ancestral traditions passed down for millennia by lineages of mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. The rediscovery of these practices is deeply transformative when one considers “the right to choose”, especially for those who have been exposed to the “abstinence until marriage” and “anti-abortion” rhetoric.
A sample from the timeline, which proves that women have long battled for control of their bodies.
300s BCE – A colony in northern Africa called Cyrenne became rich from exports of silphium, a plant well-known for its abortive and contraceptive qualities. It was said to be a gift from Apollo. After six-hundred years, overharvesting drove it to extinction.
300s BCE – Soranus, a Greek physician and medical writer, wrote about the silphium plant. He suggested that women drink the juice once a month because “it not only prevents conception but also destroys anything existing.”
300s BCE – The birthwort plant was craved into the background of an Egyptian vase found in Thebes and was known for its abortive and contraceptive properties. Ancient Greeks also knew of birthwort. Dioscorides, the Greek physician suggested birthwort be put in a suppository with pepper and myrrh to provoke menstruation or to expel a fetus.
300s BCE – The Greek philosopher Plato commented on population in the Roman Empire. He wrote, “There are many devices available. If too many children are being born, there are measures to check propagation.”
300s BCE – Aristotle wrote that people should produce more abundantly if the city was too small, or use birth control measures if it was too large.
400s BCE – The Hippocratic Oath remained the standard medical oath until the 1970s. It stated, “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.”
1500s BCE – The Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medial text, listed a recipe for a spermacidal plug made from the acacia plant, lint, and honey. This combination produces a lactic acid similar to that found in modern spermicides.
1850s BCE – The Petri Papyrus, a medical text from Ancient Egypt, listed three different contraceptive methods; gummy substances for the cervix and vagina, honey, and sodium carbonate, and a crocodile dung vaginal suppository.
2700s BCE – Emperor Shen Nung of China, who laid the foundation for traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, wrote some of the earliest recipes for contraception and abortion, many of which were quoted well into the 16th century.
3000s BCE – The Royal Archives of China hold the earliest written record of an abortion technique.
We've come a long way from crocodile dung and pepper suppositories.
But, the way the HarperCons think, we may one day have to revert back to them.
Image: The poster for 4000 Years for Choice is by Heather Ault.
H/t I am Dr. Tiller