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As a matter of common law in England and the United States, abortion was illegal anytime after quickening—when the movements of the fetus could first be felt by the woman.
Under the born alive rule, the fetus was not considered a "reasonable being" in Rerum Natura; and abortion was not treated as murder in English law.
Our earliest texts contain no mention of abortion or abortion law.
When it does appear, it is entailed in concerns about male property rights, preservation of social order, and the duty to produce fit citizens for the state or community.
In the 20th century, many Western countries began to codify abortion law or place further restrictions on the practice.
Anti-abortion groups were led by a combination of groups opposed to abortion on moral grounds, and by medical professionals who were concerned about the danger presented by the procedure and the regular involvement of non-medical personnel in performing abortions.
For example, Henry Morgentaler, a Canadian pro-choice advocate, was never convicted by a jury.
In November 1920 the Soviet regime legalized abortion in state hospitals.However, these countries vary greatly in the circumstances under which abortion was to be permitted.In 1975 the West German Supreme Court struck down a law legalizing abortion, holding that they contradict the constitution's human rights guarantees.He went to prison, appealed, and was again acquitted.In total, he served 10 months, suffering a heart attack while in solitary confinement.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), abortion rates are similar in countries where the procedure is legal and in countries where it is not, Almost two-thirds of the world's women currently reside in countries where abortion may be obtained on request for a broad range of social, economic, or personal reasons. Three countries in Latin America (Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua) and two in Europe (Malta and the Vatican City) ban the procedure entirely.