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Soranus, a 2nd-century Greek physician, prescribed diuretics, emmenagogues, enemas, fasting, and bloodletting as safe abortion methods, although he advised against the use of sharp instruments to induce miscarriage, due to the risk of organ perforation.He also advised women wishing to abort their pregnancies to engage in energetic walking, carrying heavy objects, riding animals, and jumping so that the woman's heels were to touch her buttocks with each jump, which he described as the "Lacedaemonian Leap." In De Materia Medica Libri Quinque, the Greek pharmacologist Dioscorides listed the ingredients of a draught called "abortion wine"– hellebore, squirting cucumber, and scammony– but failed to provide the precise manner in which it was to be prepared.An infant born with four legs and two spines is thriving and expected to live a normal life following surgery at Advocate Children's Hospital in Illinois, doctors said at a press conference Tuesday.(March 21) Two newborn babies delivered just hours apart at a South Carolina hospital may have romance, or at least a good story to tell, in their futures.Birthwort, a herb used to ease childbirth, was also used to induce abortion.Galen included it in a potion formula in de Antidotis, while Dioscorides said it could be administered by mouth, or in the form of a vaginal pessary also containing pepper and myrrh.Much of what is known about the methods and practice of abortion in Greek and Roman history comes from early classical texts.Abortion, as a gynecological procedure, was primarily the province of women who were either midwives or well-informed laypeople.
In Book 9 of Refutation of all Heresies, Hippolytus of Rome, another Christian theologian of the 3rd century, wrote of women tightly binding themselves around the middle so as to "expel what was being conceived." Botanical preparations reputed to be abortifacient were common in classical literature and folk medicine.
Such folk remedies, however, varied in effectiveness and were not without the risk of adverse effects.
Some of the herbs used at times to terminate pregnancy are poisonous.
In many western countries during the 20th century various women's rights groups, doctors, and social reformers were successful in having abortion bans repealed.
While abortion remains legal in most of the West, this legality is regularly challenged by anti-abortion groups.Tertullian, a 2nd- and 3rd-century Christian theologian, described surgical implements which were used in a procedure similar to the modern dilation and evacuation.