The Abuse of Maternity. Contraception, Elizabeth Edson Evans, Abortion.

The Abuse of Maternity.

Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1875. First edition. 8vo, original purple cloth stamped in black, gilt lettering, 129, [1], [2] pages. Spine sunned, small chip from the head of the spine; some general rubbing; a good to very good copy. Item #19251

An early work against abortion by an American woman, noted in Brodie's bibliography but not otherwise explored; besides arguing against abortion, Evans also quotes Darwin, and counsels that there "are many ways of abusing maternity without resorting to pre-natal murder," and suggests that women seek reproductive autonomy for the sake of health and healthy children. The Albany Law Journal of July 17, 1875, attacked Evans's work as obscene, noting it "contains much that is good and true; its denunciations of infanticide and foeticide are honestly uttered; but it contains some dangerous and some impracticable ideas, and while it would be unobjectionable as a scientific treatise for private circulation among adults, it is a bad book for common and public sale. . . . Among her impracticable ideas is the theory that the married woman ought to have the legal right to the control of her own person in sexual matters. This is one of the matters which the law cannot reach, and if it were practicable, it would go far toward abolishing the marriage relation and substituting promiscuous and licentious commerce." Not noted in Atwater. Evans later is also quoted at length in Naranjo-Huebl et al., Prolife Feminism: Yesterday and Today. Kansas City, 2005. Contemporary ink inscription begun on the front blank, "I don't think that y [sic]."

Price: $350.00