An abortifacient is a substance that causes an abortion or the termination of a pregnancy. In animals, this can be a hormonal injection that prevents pregnancy following an unwanted mating (referred to as a mismating/mismate shot). Throughout history, many herbal and chemical substances have been used to prevent conception and birth such as dong quai, goldenseal, black cohosh, and pennyroyal. Interestingly, in the ancient world there was a plant called Silfium that was so highly regarded as an abortifacient that it was harvested into extinction and no longer exists.

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