Early termination of pregnancy is forbidden in nearly every country in Africa due to the 'medieval' laws of former colonial rule. For this reason, abortions are either carried out by lay abortionists, or by women who are left to their own devices.
To this end, the amniotic sac is pierced between the fourth and fifth month of pregnancy. The ensuing discharge of amniotic fluid forces the birth of a dead embryo within two to three days. Sharp objects are utilized in the process, such as branches or long thorns.
The piercing of the amniotic sac often leads to complications, such as heavy bleeding and/or life threatening infections. With luck, women are able to arrive at a hospital on time to take care of the situation.
The artifacts in our collection were surgically removed by Dr. Christian Fiala and his associates in 2002.
Prior to the legalization of abortion in most European countries, women were dependent upon similar methods of self-help.