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Why Not? A Book for Every Woman

Horatio Robinson Storer

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
It will be noticed that in the following Essay, the recipient of the special prize for 1864-5 of the American Medical Association, its author makes frequent reference, as to those of another, to his own previous labors. This circumstance, now that his identity has been revealed, might at first seem an infringement of the rules of good taste. In the facts, however, that he felt compelled to take unusual pains to conceal that identity prior to the decision of the Committee, with all of whose members he has long enjoyed intimate acquaintance, and that little other published material as yet exists, from which to draw upon this subject, save his own, he places his excuse, and throws himself upon the generous sympathy and forbearance of his readers. The Essay, when placed in the hands of the Committee, was accompanied by the following statement, which it may not be out of place to reproduce at the present time:— "The writer, knowing nothing of the project to elicit a direct and effective appeal to women upon the subject of criminal abortion, until after it had been decided at the New York meeting, has long been a member of the Association. He is aware, from personal observation, that induced miscarriage is of very frequent occurrence, and that its effects are to the last degree disastrous to the country at large. He has seen the change that has been effected in professional feeling upon the subject as to the need that this depopulation, or rather prevention of repopulation of the country, should be arrested, since the publication of the Report of the Association's Special Committee, which was appointed at Nashville in 1857. "It is, perhaps, presumptuous for him to undertake a task so strongly appealing to all one's eloquence, sympathy, and zeal, and for the proper performance of which there exist so many gentlemen in the profession better qualified than himself. He does it, however, as the passing traveller in distant lands, by casting his pebble upon the pile of similar contributions that mark a single wayside grave, helps raise a monument to warn of danger and to tell of crime, in the hope that this waif of his may, perchance, effect somewhat toward arousing the nation to the countless fœtal deaths intentionally produced each day in its midst, and to prevent them.