Abolition and Abortion — America’s Deadly “Noble Experiment” Forecasts the End of Anti-Abortion Laws

Barry Gander
14 min readJul 25, 2022

One hundred years ago the mightiest pressure group ever to arise in American history upended the Constitution that had governed the country for 131 years.

A coalition of moralists drove a freedom-loving people to give up a private right that had been taken for granted by millions of people since European settlers started to land.

It was, said one newspaper, “Puritanism run mad.”

It was Abolition — a prohibition on the sale and consumption of alcohol.

And while many have forgotten about it today, the Abolition movement is a model for how the ban on abortion is likely to play out today.

The Abolition drama:

· Was driven by an apparently unbearable problem;

· Created a drastic solution;

· Railroaded the solution into law;

· Refused to acknowledge a down-side; and

· Had to be destroyed, and replaced with liveable alternatives.

By replaying the drama of Abolition, we can glimpse how today’s Abortion fight is going to play out.

Unbearable problem

There was indeed a monster stalking American society in the decades leading up to Prohibition.

Pre-abolition alcohol consumption was a nightmare: nearly 90 bottles a year for every adult in the nation were consumed, even with abstainers — working out to some two bottles of 80-proof liquor per person per week. The count per drinker was of course much higher. Today’s drinkers would have to triple their alcohol consumption to hit that mark.

Most of the drinkers were men. A drunken husband meant more than poverty and pain; many rural and women also had to endure the scourge called “syphilis of the innocent” — venereal disease contracted by husbands that let alcohol erase their judgement and who slept with saloon ladies of questionable habits.

Women’s Suffrage groups liked the idea of prohibition because a lot of men were drunken alcoholic brutes to their wives. Protestants liked prohibition because heavy drinking was commonly associated with…

Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry