Kōrero: Abortion

Public confrontation

Public confrontation

Although abortion was widely disapproved of, an alternative view, also widely held, saw abortionists as helping women out of a difficult situation. In this 1908 case the woman involved – Daisy Edwards – was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced for having an abortion. She then had her sentence remitted (put aside). It is likely that this was done because she agreed to give evidence for the prosecution against Mary Crosswell, the woman who provided her with the abortion. A sense that someone she had helped was now helping punish her for doing so may have been behind the furious reaction from Crosswell and her daughter when they met Edwards on her way to court. Crosswell was acquitted later that year.

Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi

National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Evening Post, 2 September 1908, p. 8

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Ngā whakaahua me ngā rauemi katoa o tēnei kōrero

Te tuhi tohutoro mō tēnei whārangi:

Megan Cook, 'Abortion - Illegal but possible: 1840 to 1950s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/document/29011/public-confrontation (accessed 13 December 2019)

He kōrero nā Megan Cook, i tāngia i te 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 8 Nov 2018