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In the mid 1880s, doctors began to make decisions about abortion without much oversight. But, it wasn’t always this way. Doctors made it this way. With the founding of the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1847, doctors began to medicalize and politicize aspects of the medical profession, including reproduction. By 1859, the AMA passed a resolution that condemned abortion and urged politicians to outlaw the procedure. Their goal was largely capitalist. They knew that if they could control birth and death, they’d have endless business. Around this same time, physicians also began to try to convince the public that abortion was wrong. But the public didn’t see the embryo as alive, or at least not as alive as the person carrying it. Despite the professionalization of the medical field and the subsequent legal restrictions on abortion, the procedure still occurred—and at rates that are no different from today. Once reproductive health care was taken out of the hands of women, physicians gained increased medical and social power and turned abortion into a moral and ethical issue. 

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