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    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2012 edited
    In the mid-1950s, a woman went to an abortionist. She had been raped and now, pregnant, she sought his help.
    As he prepared to perform the procedure,  he said to her, "You can take your pants down now, but you shoulda' -- ha! ha! -- kept 'em on before."
    For the service, he charged her $1,000, but, as Leslie Reagan recounts it in her essential book When Abortion Was a Crime, "offered to return $20 if she would give him a 'quick blow job.' "
    Degrading? Yes. Humiliating?  Certainly. And also: Expensive -- very.
    Contrast that scenario with some of the at-home remedies undertaken by another woman, seemingly lacking the spare $1,000. "One woman," Reagan writes, "described taking ergotrate, then castor oil, then squatting in scalding hot water, then drinking Everclear alcohol.