22 of the Most Torturous Ways in Which Women Were Forced to Have Abortions

A lot of terrible methods have been used over time for abortion. Let’s take a look at some of them.

#22: A coat hanger.

Sharp objects such as coat hangers have been used for abortions. They were used in order to detach the fetus, which resulted in abortion.

A lot of gynecologists have reported patients coming up with such issues. Sometimes, it is self-induced as well. It is highly unsafe.

#21: Knitting needles.

Once again, sharp objects such as knitting needles have been used for abortion. Piercing of the fetus is attempted through the cervix. This process has commonly injured intestines and other organs in that region. It is unsafe and never recommended.

#20: Whalebones and turkey feathers.

Objects with a sufficient length were used for this practice regardless of their shape. Among them, turkey feathers and whalebones were included, too. Such objects were used to try and detach the fetus. They were unsafe as well as unsuccessful.

#19: Scarier instruments.

Objects along the lines of urinary catheters, forceps, and speculum were used during the twentieth century.

This was also partially due to the fact that people did not want to disclose their identities as abortionists. For that reason, they never bought proper equipment. Their fear of getting discovered led them to go for make-shift tools.

#18: Enema Syringe.

Enema syringes were also used as a means of detaching the fetus and effectively ending the pregnancy. They were supposed to damage the fetus.

The syringes were inserted into the uterus with only a soap solution. Such primitive ways then inspired other worse methods.

#17: PLANTS!

Toxic plants from the local regions were made into a cocktail. These were then consumed by the woman wanting or being subjected to an abortion. They were supposed to be strong enough to stop fetus growth.

The plant pictured here is the Daphne Gnidium.

#16: Tampons.

Tampons were also used for this unholy practice.

The worst part, however, is that they were not used separately. They were usually mixed with crushed ants, camel hair, the foam from the mouths of camels, and tail hairs of the black-tail deer. This mixture was then dissolved in bear fat, and put into the vagina along with the tampon.

It was intended to bring an end to the pregnancy but it also gave lots of infections.

#15: Hot baths.

Hot baths were taken to try and get the fetus detached. The idea was to try and get the vaginal mucus membranes open so that the body rejects the fetus.

#14: Squatting.

Pregnant ladies were made to squat with pots of boiling onions under them.

This practice originated from an eight-century Sanskrit text that had listed this method as a recommended one.

#13: Shock.

Shock was one of the common ways of ending pregnancy.

It was done by either pulling out teeth without the application of anesthesia, or having a dog bite the pregnant lady. It was known as ‘shock therapy’ and was supposed to cause an abortion.

#12: Chemicals.

The use of chemicals was common, too.

Substances such as Lysol, alum, and permanganate were inserted inside the vagina as they were believed to be fetus killers because of their strong properties. This is one of the inhumane ways of having an abortion done.

#11: Toxic Tea.

A tea made from Pennyroyal was another method that was used to cause an abortion.

Apparently, it was an effective method, but dangerous, too, as it could result in the death of the fetus and the mother.

#10: Another form of shock.

Another form of shock involved hypothermia.

Women induced it themselves by lying in the cold, believing it would be of some use. The thought behind this was that hypothermia would lead the body to go into shock, thus rejecting the fetus as a result.

#9: Leeches.

In order to have an abortion, some women resorted to inserting leeches in their vagina. They expected them to damage the fetus, this ending pregnancy and causing an abortion.

In a manner similar to that of tampons, leeches were apparently supposed to kill the fetus by physically approaching it or by drawing blood. However, there is no proof to this theory.

#8: Swallowing substances.

Completely hopeless and helpless women resorted to swallowing deadly substances such as lye or gunpowder, in order to kill the fetus and put an end to their pregnancy.

#7: More hopeless measures.


Other hopeless measures that helpless women had to take involved throwing themselves down the stairs in hopes of a miscarriage.

It would cause injury to the abdominal area and thus result in a miscarriage, eliminating pregnancy and causing an abortion.

These hopeless measures even included women hitting their stomachs with meat pulverizers and brickbats. Brutal force was used in hopes of a miscarriage.

Truly traumatizing.

#6: Consuming insects.

Such was the helplessness of women that they did not even stop to think before consuming poisonous insects such as the Spanish fly. They wanted to get rid of the fetus, even if it meant poisoning themselves. Such was the desperation.

#5: Drugs and oils.

Women were forced to consume highly harmful substances such as opium, ergot, and tansy oil.

These substances rot the organs inside and have terrible consequences. Tansy oil killed the fetus, but harmed the woman, too. Ergot has gangrene, psychosis, and death as its downsides.

#4: Vigorous exercise.

Women also resorted to exercise and other strenuous activities.

Things like mountain-climbing, cliff-diving, horse-riding, weightlifting, and other back-breaking labor was believed to have an adverse effect on the fetus. These activities were believed to detach the fetus and result in a miscarriage.

However, some women were even shaken hard by strong men until the fetus popped out of the body.

These methods show you the extent of inconsideration towards the female gender.

#3: ‘Inducing’ menstruation.

Such a horrible activity was thought as a means of bleeding the woman dry and inducing menstruation. It was believed that this would lead to an abortion.

#2: Wearing tight clothing.

Tight clothing was worn by women in order to prevent conception. They would have tight clothes around their waists, in hopes of expelling the fetus from the body.

#1: Starvation.

A few helpless women resorted to starving themselves until the fetus inside them died.

Since it cannot grow without food, women thought this was one of the best ways of getting an abortion.

Why does this happen?

Abortion can happen for a number of reasons. It is only legitimate when the woman in the relationship has made the decision.

In all other cases, it can prove harmful. For one, it is extremely damaging for the woman in terms of physicality and emotions. It mentally kills her and she cannot be expected to take such a big responsibility again. However, if your partner is loving, considerate, and caring, you should feel very luck and cherish them at any given opportunity.

The reason behind that is that forced abortions happen in very unhealthy environments. Forced abortions still happen on a daily basis and because of a lot of different reasons. Unfortunately, none of these reasons are justified.

Sometimes, it is the man who’s ego does not allow his wife or partner to have an abortion. It is completely a senseless trait and is free of all logic and reasoning. Having an abortion should have nothing to do with a man’s feelings, unless of course, he is a mature partner.

Women cannot just get abortions (or not get abortions) simply because it triggers the inferior and negative character traits in a man’s weak personality. Not to say all men are the same, but most of the time these issues have men at the epicenter of them.

Keeping marital abortions on one side, women are also forced to abort on many occasions. For example, in the evil event of a rape or forced intercourse, the use of protection is very rare.

Men do not think and they let their inner animal take over. As a result, pregnancy occurs, leaving the women in a life-death situation. Dying is felt well by the woman in such a situation. What then? The man just walks away while the woman has to live with the mental, physical, and emotional burdens of someone else’s actions. This desperation is what causes women to take such drastic measures.

And for some reason or the other, in many communities, it is always the woman who is blamed. So, in such a scenario, there is really no where a woman can go to find support and shelter. Thus, unhealthy abortive practices take place even today.

Therefore, to all the ladies out there, do not resort to such practices. Try your level best to visit a doctor and get some help. You can be helped. There is a lot of support around you. You just need to look for it.


The purpose of this article was to enlighten and spread awareness.

It should also serve as a reminder that the men reading this article should reassess their personalities and take lesson from these incidents. They can help them to become better human beings in the future. It is also for the ladies, who should be more careful in their choosing of a partner, as some turn out to be abusive afterwards.

All in all, all of us should stay safe and run away from any such situation where we fear something like this might happen. We should only try to improve ourselves. And the ladies, its time you learned some karate!