Ovid (43 BC - AD 65)
Of what avail to fair woman to rest free from the burdens of war [i.e.
pregnancy], nor choose with shield in arm to march in the fierce array, if, free
from peril of battle, she suffer wounds from weapons of her own, and arm her
unforeseeing hands to her own undoing?
She who first plucked forth the tender life deserved to die in the warfare
she began. Can it be that, to spare your bosom the reproach of lines, you would
scatter the tragic sands of deadly combat?
-De Nuce, lines 22-23; cf. Amores 2.13
Poor women…endure the perils of childbirth, and all the troubles of nursing
to which their lot condemns them; but how often does a gilded bed contain a
woman that is lying in it? So great is the skill, so powerful the drugs, of the
abortionist, paid to murder mankind within the womb.
In reference to Augustinian legislation of 28 BC and 9 AD:
-The lawgivers, who had the same task of searching out and finding what was
good for the city and what bad, and what helped or harmed it, did not they also
consider that it was most beneficial to their cities to fill the houses of the
citizens, and most harmful to deplete them? They considered that childlessness,
or small families, of citizens was unprofitable, while to have children, and in
fact many children, was profitable. Therefore, they forbade the women to abort
and attached a penalty to those who disobeyed; secondly they forbade them to use
contraceptives on themselves and to prevent pregnancy; finally they established
honors for both men and women who had many children and made childlessness