There was a miscarriage, and on the 29th of January 1536, the day of Catherine's funeral, she gave birth to a dead male child.
1 In practice the prerogative is extremely valuable, when used with discretion, as a means of adjusting the different degrees of moral guilt in crimes or of rectifying a miscarriage of justice.
Anne took advantage of his absence to demand possession of the prince, and, on the "flat refusal" of the countess of Mar, fell into a passion, the violence of which occasioned a miscarriage and endangered her life.
It is a common terminology to call premature labour of an accidental type a "miscarriage," in order to distinguish "abortion" as a deliberately induced act, whether as a medical necessity by the accoucheur, or as a criminal proceeding (see Medical Jurisprudence); otherwise the term "abortion" would ordinarily be used when occurring before the eighth month of gestation, and "premature labour" subsequently.
Whatever may have been the exact view taken by the common law, the offence was made statutory by an act of 1803, making the attempt to cause the miscarriage of a woman, not being, or not being proved, to be quick with child, a felony, punishable with fine, imprisonment, whipping or transportation for any term not exceeding fourteen years.
The English law on the subject is now governed by the Offences against the Person Act 1861, which makes the attempting to cause miscarriage by administering poison or other noxious thing, or unlawfully using any instrument equally a felony, whether the woman be, or be not, with child.
If a woman administers to herself any poison or other noxious thing, or unlawfully uses any instrument or other means to procure her own miscarriage, she is guilty of felony.
It cannot, however, be shown that the leaders of the church at this time sought to procure the miscarriage of justice in dealing with such cases.