The Crime of Abortion.— From the moment of conception a new life begins, a new individual exists; another child is added to the family. The mother who deliberately sets about to destroy this life by want of care, or by taking drugs, or by the use of instruments, commits a great crime, and is just as guilty as if she strangled her new-born infant. The crime she commits is child-murder. Women in their frenzy at finding themselves in this condition, and with no slightest idea of the sin that they are committing, are constantly guilty of committing abortions on themselves, or going to professional abortionists to have this crime of child-murder committed. This is another of the sins due to the ignorance of the sex in all matters pertaining to reproduction; and it is a fearfully prevalent one.
Infidelity in Women.— “We have now reached the last infernal circle of the divine comedy of marriage; we are at the depths of the inferno. There is something, I do not know what, terrible in the situation in which a married woman finds herself when an illegitimate love has ruined her for the duties of a wife and mother. As has been so well and strongly expressed by Diderot, infidelity in woman is like incredulity in a priest; it is the last step in human forfeitures; it is for her the great social crime, for it implies all the others.
“Weigh the sufferings of the future, the agonies of years by theecstasy of half an hour. If this conservative sentiment of the creature, the fear of death, does not stop her, what could be expected of laws? Oh, sublime infamy!”— (Balzac).
Part III.— Maternity. _________________
Nature of Conception; Pregnancy Defined; Duration of Pregnancy; the Signs of Pregnancy; Quickening; the Determination of Sex at Will; the Influence of the Male Sexual Element on the Female Organism; Heredity; Hygiene of Pregnancy; Causes of Miscarriage.
With such a mother, faith in womankind
Beats with his bood, and trust in all things high
Comes easy to him, and though he trip and fall,
He shall not bind his soul with clay.”
Nature of Conception.— Conception, or impregnation, is the union of the germ and the sperm cell, the result of which is a new being. On coition, the semen being received into the female organs, which are at that time in a state of turgescence, the spermatozoa, by means of their own vibratile activity, find their way into the Fallopian tubes, and here come in contact with the ovule.
The ovule is a minute cell with a transparent membrane, within which is the yolk containing the germinal vesicle. The spermatozoon penetrates into the ovule and becomes fused with it. The processes of development begin at once to occur. There is congestion of the uterine mucous membrane out of proportion to the rest of the uterus; the ovum finds lodging here, and becomes surrounded by a membrane which incloses it in a separate sac.