Sacrificed For Honor

Italian Infant Abandonment and the Politics of Reproductive Control

Sacrificed For Honor reveals a shocking and little-known system for the surveillance and control of unmarried mothers and their children that operated in Catholic Europe for nearly three centuries, ending just a century ago. Church policies designed to prevent abortion and infanticide and to save the honor of unwed mothers eventually evolved into laws that required all single women to give up their babies immediately after birth. David Kertzer's riveting reconstruction of this system, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of infant deaths, provides a disturbing historical perspective on the issues of reproductive rights that so trouble us in the United States today.

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