CHAPTER 52 — A BRIEF HISTORY OF ABORTION
American Life League
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.
William Butler Yeates, "The Second Coming."
Throughout history, abortion has always been widely and generally available to women for various reasons. The anti-abortion movement is a relatively new phenomenon, having cropped up only since the mid-1800s in this country. The anti-choicers cause a lot of social tension and are out of place when compared to the context of social history in general. These people would have been more at home during the Inquisitions.
The pro-life/anti-life struggle, which seems to be in the news every day now, is not by any means a new phenomenon. The strategies, tactics, arguments, and parameters for both sides were set before the beginning of recorded history. Only the names and the places and the dates have changed.
Abortion in Earliest Recorded History.
There are very few documents on the topic of abortion available to us before the time of Christ. However, those that we can find invariably recognize that abortion is not only deadly for babies and women, but to entire societies as well.
In the 12th century before Christ, more than 3,000 years ago, Provision 53 of the Ancient Assyrian Code stated that any woman who procured an abortion should be impaled upon a stake and left as food for the carrion eaters, whether or not the abortion killed her.
Ancient methods of abortion and birth control and their impacts upon societies have been discussed for millennia. Aristotle, in his work Politics, said that "The proper thing to do is to limit the size of each family, and if children are then conceived in excess of the limit so fixed, to have miscarriage induced."
Plutarch remarked on the natural and inevitable results of such policies as he described the decline of Greek civilization in Volume 37 of his Pulibus; "One remarks nowadays over all Greece such a low birth rate and in a general manner such depopulation that the towns are deserted and the fields lying fallow, although this country has not been ravaged by war or epidemic. The cause of this harm is evident. By avarice or by cowardice, the people, if they marry, will not bring up children that they ought to have. At most, they bring up one or two ... It is in this manner that the scourge, before it is noticed, has rapidly developed. The remedy is in ourselves, we have but to change our morals."
The theologian Minucius Felix, who lived in the second century after Christ, remarked that "It is among you that I see newly-begotten sons at times exposed to wild beasts and birds, or dispatched by the violent death of strangulation; and there are women who, by the use of medicinal potions, destroy the unborn life in their wombs, and murder the child before they bring it forth. These practices undoubtedly are derived from a custom established by your gods; Saturn, though he did not expose his sons, certainly devoured them."
Four hundred years later, another theologian, Tertullian, graphically described the already-advanced 'art' of dilation and evacuation (D&E); "Accordingly, among surgeon's tools, there is a certain instrument, which is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus first of all, and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hood, wherewith the entire foetus is extracted by a violent delivery. There is also a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: they give it, from its infanticide function, the name of enbruosphaktes, the slayer of the infant, which was of course alive ... life begins with conception, because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does."
The majority of ancient medical texts gave information on abortion procedures that paralleled the above description and even contained detailed diagrams that could be used for teaching various types of abortion procedures.
Abortion During the Classical Period.
During the classical period, laws restricting abortion varied substantially. Greece permitted both the abortion and infanticide of imperfectly-formed children. Grecian standards regarding young children were quite loose; a child could be killed by exposure (leaving the infant outside to perish from the effects of the elements) merely if the father did not consider it handsome or beautiful enough, if the mother could convince the father that the child did not contribute to the best interests of the family, or if it did not measure up to the physical 'styles' of the time.
Plato (427-341 B.C.) and Aristotle (384-341 B.C.) were two of the earliest advocates of eugenics, and approved of the exposure of offspring for the good of society, a view mirrored by Margaret Sanger nearly 2,500 years later.
Hippocrates (460-382 B.C.) dissented from this view. He prohibited abortion in his Oath, which was taken verbatim by physicians until very recently, when the American Medical Association and others quietly and conveniently dropped his prohibition against the murder of the unborn child.
Now that this first step has been taken, euthanasiasts are inevitably pushing to have the entire oath discarded. German euthanasia doctor Julius Hackethal stated at a 1985 Hemlock Society conference; "Sorry my English is not good enough ... I am impotent, English-impotent ... I studied that [Hippocratic] oath exactly. The conclusion of my Hippocratic Oath study is: "A more bad physician's oath doesn't exist!" One sentence of the patient-hostile Hippocratic Oath is: "I will never give anyone a deadly poison, not even at their request, nor will I give them any advice as to a deadly poison." But it doesn't apply for the last 50 years. Today I judge such an oath to be an act of unmedical patient-hostility, an act of inhumanity" [emphasis in original].
Hippocrates was born on the Greek island of Kos. He formulated an entirely new framework of theories of medicine, including stringent sanctions on abortion, all of which were contained in his Corpus Hippocraticum, a body of 70 treatises on science and medicine. Hippocrates practiced medicine in Athens and died after a long life in Larisa.
The complete original Oath of Hippocrates is shown in Figure 52-1.
THE ORIGINAL OATH OF HIPPOCRATES
I swear by Apollo, the physician, and Asclepias and Health and All-Heal and all the gods and goddesses that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath and stipulation:
To reckon him who taught me this are equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him and relieve his necessities if required; to regard his offspring as on the same footing with my own brothers, and to teach them this art if they should wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation, and that by precept, lecture and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own sons and to those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath, according to the law of medicine, but to none others.
I will follow that method of treatment which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion.
With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my art. I will not cut a person who is suffering from a stone, but will leave this to be done by practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter I will go into them for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and further from the seduction of females or males, bond or free.
Whatever, in connection with my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I may see or hear in the lives of men which ought not to be spoken abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret.
While I continue to keep this oath unviolated may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men at all times but should I trespass and violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot.
Lessons From the Greeks and Romans.
The kingdoms of Greece and Rome obtained abortion on demand in precisely the same manner that the United States, Canada, and many other countries did; in ancient Greece and Rome, some women killed themselves with self-administered 'herbal remedy' abortifacients. The lawmakers and ancient pro-aborts exaggerated and decried these deaths and passed laws legalizing abortion for any reason up to birth and after.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Abortion and the Early Church.
Abortion was not mentioned at all during the first 80 years of the early Christian Church's existence, because to Jesus and the first Christians, abortion obviously fell under the broad stricture "Thou shalt not kill." However, by the end of the first century, the Church had declared abortion to be a serious sin. The first-century Didache declared that "You shall not kill an unborn child or murder a newborn infant."
From this point until 1930, the entire Christian Church in all of its branches condemned abortion without compromise. Athenogoras of Athens, Tertullian, Minicius Felix, Clement of Alexandria, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, and St. Basil were just a few of the early Church fathers who clearly and ringingly condemned feticide. At times, various theologians speculated about the time of ensoulment of the fetus, but the actual lawmaking body of the Church remained firm in its condemnation of abortion. In fact, of the more than 8,000 saints formally recognized by the Catholic Church, not a single one has been 'pro-choice.'
For further information on the stands of current-day churches on abortion, see Chapters 42, 43, and 44, "Church Positions on Abortion."
Original Jewish law strictly banned abortion except in cases where the mother would die if she carried to term. Those Jewish sects that believe in the divine nature of the Torah still condemn abortion. Those 'Jewish' sects that have turned away from the original teachings of their faith are invariably pro-abortion (for more detailed information on the traditional Jewish position regarding abortion, see Chapter 44, "Jewish Faith Position on Abortion").
The Common Law Tradition.
The state calls its own violence 'law,' but that of the individual 'crime.'
German author Max Stirner.
British and American Tradition.
In general, American legal tradition has rather closely followed that of the English. England observed the laws of the Catholic Church until the 15th century. The Father of Common Law, Henry of Brackton (1216-1272), was the first person to mention abortion in the newly developing tradition of English Common Law. Brackton asserted that "If there is anyone who has struck a pregnant woman or has given [abortifacient] poison to her, whereby he has caused an abortion, if the fetus be already formed or animated, and especially if animated, he commits a homicide."
In the 16th century, Sir Edward Coke, in his Institutes of the Law of England, modified Henry's total injunction against abortion; "If a woman be quick with a child, and by a potion or otherwise killeth it in her womb, or if a man beat her, whereby the child dieth in her body and she is delivered of a dead child, this is a great misprision and no murder; but if the child be born alive and dieth of poison, battery, or other cause, this is murder."
In other words, Coke considered the abortion of a child past quickening to be a felony offense, but did not mention the status of an offender who killed an unborn child before quickening. In 1765, Blackstone echoed Coke's view in his Commentaries.
Heartbreak in France.
It is fairly obvious that the pro/anti-abortion battle was raging in Europe even as early as the mid-18th century. A member of a French anti-abortion group, Jean Micheleau, had previously forced his lover to have an illegal abortion and then had repented of his crime.
In 1740, he wrote a wrenching pro-life poem to his dead preborn child that still rings true today;
"Upon My Dead Child"
whose eyes were closed in Death's pale night,
Ere fate revealed thee to my aching sight.
Embryo, imperfect as my tortured thought;
Sad outcast of existence and of naught;
Thou, who to guilty love first owest thy frame,
Whom guilty honour killed to hide its shame;
Formed by love's too pleasing power!
Honour's dire victim in luckless hour!
Soften the pangs that still revenge thy doom;
Nor from the dark abyss of nature's womb,
When back I cast thee, let revolving time
Call up past scenes to aggravate my crime.
Two adverse tyrants ruled thy wayward fate,
Thyself a helpless victim in their hate;
Love, in spite of honour's dictates,
gave thee breath;
Honour, in spite of love, pronounced thy death.
It is fascinating to note that a famous French novelist who lived at the same time as Jean Micheleau was the first European to propose that abortion be legalized.
This man's novels were replete with several recurring themes, one of the strongest of which was the pleasure which certain disturbed individuals derive from killing both pregnant women and unborn children. In one of his novels, he describes with great relish the skewering of a pregnant woman with a red-hot iron rod driven through both her and her unborn baby.
The novelist's name? The Marquis de Sade.
Recent English Law.
The first modern English law written against abortion was the 1803 Miscarriage of Women Act, which banned the use of abortifacient drugs. An 1828 law strengthened the previous statute by banning the use of instruments to cause abortion. In 1861, a landmark English law outlawed all abortions for any reason whatsoever, and any abortion was regarded as a serious felony. This law remained on the books (though modified) for 107 years, until 1968. Its one major modification was the 1929 Infant Life Preservation Act, which permitted abortions only to save the life of the mother.
England began its plunge down the slippery slope in 1938 with the use of a predictable (and totally fabricated) "hard case," the tactic used all over the world to obtain abortion on demand for any reason. Professional pro-abortionists alleged that a 14-year old girl was lured into a stable to see a horse with a wooden leg (no kidding) and was supposedly gang-raped by four guardsmen. She became pregnant, and went to a crusading pro-abortion 'doctor' (Alec Bourne), who gave her a free abortion. He then turned himself in. In the resulting case of law, Rex v. Bourne, Judge Alex McNaghten decided that delivery of the baby would impair the girl's mental health, and acquitted the abortionist.
Naturally, the guardsmen were never called into court to answer to the charge of rape and for good reason. The incident never happened. It is curious indeed that virtually the same fabricated gang-rape story was used by a plaintiff to obtain abortion in demand in the United States thought the Roe v. Wade case.
Apparently there are historians among the pro-abortionists.
This was just the beginning.
The Bourne case galvanized the abortion pushers. In 1948, an English court ruled that a doctor could decide for himself whether an abortion was necessary, and this was the practical beginning of abortion on demand in England. Soon, the names of 'doctors' who considered all abortions 'necessary' were widely circulated, and England's abortion rate more than tripled in a single year. In 1958, the Court, seeing that abortion on demand was a reality, decided that mental health was a valid reason for abortions.
Finally, Parliament in 1967 passed the Abortion Act of 1967, which permitted abortion for eugenics or the mental or physical health of the mother, which of course, in practice, meant abortion for any reason at all.
Today, a person cannot enter the field of obstetrics-gynecology in the United Kingdom unless he signs a binding statement that he is pro-abortion. Hospitals hold competitions to see who can perform the most abortions, and tables are published to embarrass those hospitals with low abortion rates.
The British National Health Service does not allow gynecologists to refuse to perform abortions, and conscience clauses are unheard of under the socialized medical system. One doctor was advised that "There is no room for Catholics in this part of the National Health Service."
The History of Abortion in the United States.
An Honorable Tradition.
The organized American pro-life movement in America has a very long and honorable history. It is more than a century older than the Republic at least 350 years old.
Library of Congress archives show that Captain John Smith, who was befriended by the Indian chief Pocahontas, heard evidence against abortionist Dorcas Howard in 1629.
Benjamin Wadsworth, future president of Harvard College, condemned abortion as "Murder in God's account" in 1712. Primarily due to the activities of organized pro-life groups, New York City passed a law against midwives performing abortions in 1716.
Between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century, leading pro-life organizations included the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the Society for the Suppression of Vice, the YMCA and YWCA, the Florence Crittenden Society, and the Salvation Army (the latter three groups are now pro-abortion).
Before 1900, the slogan "Adoption, Not Abortion" was even more popular that it is today. There existed literally hundreds of Crisis Pregnancy Centers and shepherding homes for unwed mothers, some with room for more than 1,000 to live at one time. Their names were legion: Some of the largest chains of sheltering homes and CPCs included the Homes of Mercy, Door of Hope, the Life and Hope Missions, the Rescue Missions, Beulah House, the Jewish Home for Girls, the Home for the Friendless, Bethany Home, the Norwegian Home of Shelter, the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, the Association for Befriending Children and Young Girls, the New Shelter for Young Women, the Magdalene Benevolence Society, the House of Mercy, the House of the Good Shepherd, and Boynton Refuge Home.
And, of course, the mainline Protestant Churches condemned abortion with one voice, as described in Chapter 42, "Church Positions on Abortion."
Early Abortion History.
Pro-abortion people invariably assert that the United States has not always had laws banning abortion, and therefore it should remain legal. This is an obviously disingenuous argument for two primary reasons.
Just because an act was once legal does not mean that it should always remain legal. This is a poor man's version of stare decisis. Under this logic, slavery should be legalized again because it was once the law of the land, and women should once again be banned from voting.
Secondly, laws proscribing abortion in the middle 1800s were a reaction to a growing problem. Abortion was not perceived as a problem until the 1850s, because at that time, increasingly overt publicity by quack abortionists began to raise awareness on the part of real doctors.
Involvement of the AMA.
Early law generally drew an artificial line at "quickening," not because abortion prior to quickening was tolerated, but because a reliable pregnancy test had not yet been developed. There was no legal or medical way to prove with certainty that a woman was pregnant indeed, the woman herself could not know with certainty until quickening, because the generally poor diet of the people often led to extremely irregular menstrual periods.
By the end of the 19th century, pro-abortionists were already agitating for baby-killing. One of the first arguments they used was that life began at quickening, and abortion should therefore be allowed before this point.
This argument was decisively rejected by the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. Isaac Quimby wrote in an 1887 issue of the American Medical Association Journal that "This fallacious idea that there is no life until quickening takes place, has been the foundation of, and formed the basis of, and been the excuse to ease or appease the guilty conscience which had led to the destruction of thousands of human lives [through abortion]."
In 1859, the Committee on Criminal Abortion of the American Medical Association unanimously adopted the following resolution; "[The American Medical Association] condemns the procuring of abortion, at every period of gestation, except as necessary for preserving the life of either mother or child and requests the zealous cooperation of the various state medical societies in pressing this subject upon the legislatures of the respective states."
Physicians recognized the haunting signs of post-abortion syndrome as early as 1870, and this was one reason that the AMA continued to vigorously oppose abortion. One doctor noted the pervasive and lingering psychological impacts of abortion as he wrote that "We cannot recall to mind an individual [woman] who has been guilty of this [abortion] crime (for it must be called a crime under every aspect), who has not suffered for many years afterward in consequence. And when health is finally restored, the freshness of life had gone, the vigor of mind and energy of body have forever departed."
Between 1859 and 1875, 15 states (California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming) enacted laws that conformed to the above resolution.
By 1875, every state had either adopted new statutes conforming to the 1859 AMA resolutions, or had merely amended existing anti-abortion laws. This meant that, by 1875, every state had laws on the books banning abortion.
In the late 1800s, the women's suffrage movement and other feminist concerns were just beginning to exert a national influence. This is significant, because even a century ago, abortion was recognized as a great advance in men's rights, not women's rights. It was the woman who got pregnant and who had to suffer through the abortion; she was caught between society's disapproval and her own conscience. As early feminist Matilda George so rightly put it, "This crime of 'child murder,' abortion, lies at the door of the male sex." As described in Chapter 129 in Volume III on "Neofeminism," the early suffragettes were almost unanimously pro-life.
Interestingly, a cadre of thousands of professional women, called the "new abolitionists," sought to ban both abortion and contraception beginning in about 1860. These women, including E. Blackwell, A.B. Blackwell, and Frances Willard, associated free sex with the selfish impulses of men who lacked both self-control and respect for women. The "new abolitionists" believed that a single standard of morality should apply to both men and women.
Curiously (but not surprisingly), some of the strongest advocates of legal abortion then and now are men. This is natural pro-abortion men want to be able to sexually exploit women without consequences, and abortion serves admirably to remove the 'consequences' of conception the preborn child. Abortion has become our country's great social eraser. It is no accident that the greatest champions of abortion in both major parties in the Senate Ted Kennedy and Bob Packwood have been in constant trouble for abusing women.
As a sidelight, the Nazis strongly encouraged abortion among "non-Aryan" women before and during World War II. Adolf Hitler's July 22, 1941 restrictive population control policy stated that "When girls and women in the Occupied Territories of the East have abortions, we can only be in favor of it; in any case we should not oppose it. The Fuhrer believes that we should authorize the development of a thriving trade in contraceptives. We are not interested in seeing the non-German population multiply."
The German abortion program is described in detail in Chapter 53, "The Holocaust Analogy to Abortion."
Following the atrocities of World War II in 1948 and 1949, the World Medical Association (of which the AMA was a member), adopted the Declaration of Geneva and the International Code of Medical Ethics which stated "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity ... A doctor must always bear in mind the importance of preserving human life from the time of conception until death."
Pre-Roe v. Wade.
The beginning of the modern abortion-rights movement is generally considered to be 1959, when the American Law Institute (ALI) published proposed revisions to existing abortion laws. At the time that this 'Model Penal Code' was proposed, abortion was illegal in every state, except in most cases to save the life of the mother.
The Model Penal Code urged that abortion be performed in licensed hospitals when indicated to preserve the mental or physical health of the mother or when the pregnancy was the result of incest or rape. This type of legislation would obviously lead to a situation essentially equivalent to abortion on demand.
During the 1960s, the pro-abortion movement constructed its framework of strategies and slogans. These were heady times for revolutionaries and anti-lifers of every stripe, and the modern American eugenics/euthanasia movement also received its initial impetus at this time.
The first influential "thinker" to liken "forced childbearing" to rape was eugenicist Garrett Hardin. He also argued for the absolute right to abort for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy.
Also during this time, the pro-abortionists began their serious drive to take over all three branches of the federal government. On January 29, 1970, National Organization for Women president Betty Friedan and Rep. Patsy Mink (D., Hawaii), testified against United States Supreme Court nominee Harrold G. Carswell at Senate hearings on the grounds that he was "insensitive" to "women's rights" (i.e., abortion).
So Robert Bork was certainly not the first Supreme Court nominee to get 'the treatment' at the hands of hateful Neofeminists.
Sherri Finkbine and Rich Folk's Abortions.
After the "progressive" ALI abortion laws had been proposed, pro-abortionists needed a test case to support their arguments. Sherri Finkbine's situation was ideal for their purposes. The abortion issue was first defined for many Americans by the intense publicity surrounding this case.
Finkbine, the mother of four, hosted the "Romper Room" television series in Scottsdale, Arizona in the early 1960s. Her stage name was 'Miss Sherri.'
Her husband brought her some samples of the tranquilizer thalidomide, and she then heard about the fact that many pregnant women who had taken the drug had given birth to babies with missing limbs. At about the same time, she found out that she was pregnant.
She began to fear that her preborn baby would be deformed, and made her situation public. Local courts upheld State anti-abortion laws and said that she could not have the abortion done in a Scottsdale hospital.
So she traveled to Stockholm to have her baby exterminated.
Finkbine has been a pro-abortion crusader ever since, saying in 1992 that "This [question of abortion] shouldn't be an issue in the political arena. When a woman has to make this kind of decision, she should see her doctor, not her lawyer."
The thought of possibly having a "deformed child" obviously revolted Finkbine. She stated that she did not want a child who "... sits in the park and has people give him peanuts and things. Had it not been for the abortion, I would have taken care of the four children I had, and the head and torso [referring to her baby]."
Despite projecting a motherly, caring image to thousands of people on "Romper Room," Finkbine, by her actions, essentially told the public that she could really only relate to perfectly healthy White babies. Any child with any kind of handicap should not come near her, as evidenced by her callous labeling of a handicapped child as a "head and torso."
Her claim that her preborn baby was deformed was naturally never verified.
The Finkbine case, and the rubella epidemic of 1964 and 1965, inflamed the public with the fear of a flood of deformed babies and helped originate the now-tired (but still effective) pro-abortion argument that only the rich will be able to afford abortions if the procedure becomes illegal.
Just how valuable Finkbine's help had been to the pro-abortion movement was revealed a quarter-century after the death of her preborn baby when Sarah Weddington, lead plaintiff's attorney in Roe v. Wade, told her that "It's a privilege to meet you. If it hadn't been for you, my job ten years later would have been much more difficult."
Beginning of the End.
Eight years after the American Law Institute's 'model' abortion law was released, Colorado became the first state to liberalize its statutes, allowing abortion only for the mother's life and rape and incest. Governor Richard Lamm, who pushed the bill relentlessly, considered it a failure because he would not settle for anything less than abortion on demand (incidentally, Lamm was the same person who gave his famous pro-euthanasia "duty to die" speech in 1986).
During the next five years, the abortion-rights movement was on a roll, and by the end 1970 a total of 14 states had liberalized their abortion laws, as shown below;
• 1967 Colorado, California, and North Carolina
• 1968 Georgia and Maryland
• 1969 Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, New Mexico, and Oregon
• 1970 Hawaii, Alaska, New York, and Washington.
When it seemed to abortion supporters that no more states would pass looser abortion laws, they tried twice to legalize baby-killing through the referendum route in 1972. They were thrashed at the polls both times. In North Dakota, they lost by a 79% to 21% margin, and in Michigan, they lost 62% to 38%. After this blow, the pro-aborts became uncontrollably angry, and their hate and bigotry showed clearly.
For example, Anne Nicol Gaylor, in her incredibly-named book Abortion is a Blessing, whined that "Antiabortionists love to refer to the 1972 Michigan referendum, in which a proposition to legalize abortion was defeated 61-39 per cent, but that particular referendum probably only proves that the Catholic Church has a lot of money ... The Catholic Church used its tax-exempt machinery openly for the political purpose of helping defeat a referendum, and of course it won. Tyranny is always better organized than freedom."
Naturally, Gaylor didn't mention that the pro-abortion forces spent twice as much money than the pro-lifers during the campaign and that many Neoliberal churches fought hard for the pro-abortion referendum.
Apparently, it all depends on whose "tax-exempt machinery" you're talking about.
At this point, the abortion pushers realized that they could not make progress in any further states. The people were obviously against abortion, and no more state legislatures appeared ready to liberalize their laws. In fact, many of the states whose legislatures had already liberalized their laws conducted polls that showed the people to be heavily against such actions; some states were even on the verge of re-criminalizing abortion.
The Instantaneous Turning Point.
Then came Roe v. Wade. In a single day, seven old men usurped the power of the states and imposed their will on all of society. Bella Abzug and the National Organization for Women weren't satisfied, however; they stated that they wanted abortion enshrined permanently in the Constitution (via the Equal Rights Amendment) right up to birth, and that they wanted all abortions to be paid for by the taxpayer, at a total cost of more than one billion dollars per year.
Make no mistake: As drastic as Roe v. Wade is, it is still not enough for the Neofeminists, as evidenced by the Draconian Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate even the most trivial restrictions on abortion, such as informed consent, conscience clauses, any level of parental involvement, and 24-hour waiting periods. A recent Ms. Magazine article asserted that "Even with a right to abortion, women cannot have full liberty and equality without the social conditions that assure that their reproductive and sexual decisions reflect genuine and joyful choices rather than reluctant necessities or painful compromises. Roe v. Wade, therefore, does not represent the final realization of the goal of reproductive freedom, but rather a crucial step along the way."
Since Roe, the abortion debate has been simmering on the front burner. Pro-abortion groups admitted to becoming complacent when they wrongly perceived that they had won the final victory in 1973. Pro-lifers were caught off-guard and remained in a state of stunned disbelief for several years.
However, the pro-life forces began to marshal their strength in the legislative arena by 1975 and in the streets a decade later. One after the other, 37 states cut off free abortion funding. The Hyde Amendment cut off Federal abortion funding for more than 99 percent of the original 275,000 free abortions. Crisis pregnancy centers proliferated. Then, in 1987, Operation Rescue hit the streets, and the battle was truly joined.
In the face of this organized and implacable opposition, the pro-abortion forces could do only one thing: Fall back upon the old, tired rhetoric and lies from twenty years ago. There is absolutely nothing original in their approach. They are totally sterile in imagination. The only advantages they have are a seemingly limitless reservoir of money to draw on, and the willing cooperation of the heavily anti-life media.
Current and typical pro-abortion propaganda emphasizes only the 'hard cases' and nothing else. Planned Parenthood's 30-minute video "Personal Decisions" is a case in point. It stresses that abortion must remain legal, or social anarchy will result. Its 'typical cases' for abortion are a rape victim, a 16-year old schoolgirl, a woman with a deformed baby, a first-year medical student who was the 'victim' of failed birth control, an abused single woman, and the obligatory destitute Catholic girl (the last case is mandatory in these propaganda pieces to 'show' that Catholics get abortions too you never hear of a nice Jewish or Protestant girl getting an abortion, of course)!
Recent Church Positions Regarding Abortion.
The major Protestant denominations also banned abortion until the middle of the twentieth century, when some of them relaxed their stands. For information on the current positions of 160 churches with members in the United States, see Chapter 42, "Church Positions on Abortion." The history of the Catholic Church's opposition to abortion is described in detail in Chapter 43, "Catholic Church Position on Abortion."
Currently in the United States, churches comprising 82 percent of all persons who attend church are pro-life (banning abortion completely or allowing it just for the life of the mother). Those churches that represent a mere 18 percent of the population are 'pro-choice,' and many of these are currently reevaluating their positions on abortion.
Necessary Pro-Life Involvement for Victory.
Any pro-life (or pro-abortion) victory in this battle will, of necessity, be only temporary. The pro-aborts are correct when they say that there will always be abortion. There will always be selfish women who put their personal convenience above the very life of someone else.
By the same token, there will always be a pro-life movement because there will always be people ready to defend the most helpless of human beings. However, the pro-life movement will be able to overpower the anti-life forces if and only if all life-loving persons get involved!
For further information on what YOU can do to save lives, see Chapters 25 through 28 in Volume I on "Pro-Life Strategy."
References: The History of Abortion.
 Poem is provided in Moses Moissedes. "Contribution a L'Etude de L'Avortement dans L'Antiquite Crecque." Janus, 26, 1922.
 Plutarch, remarking on the decline of Greek civilization. Pulibus (Volume 37), page 221. Also quoted in Colonel Robert de Marcellos. "Fertility and National Power." The Human Life Review, Winter 1981, pages 34 to 51.
 Minucius Felix, theologian (c. 200-225), Octavius, page 30.
 Tertullian, theologian (150-225), Treatise on the Soul, pages 25 and 27.
 From the transcript of a speech by Dr. Julius Hackethal entitled "Medical Help By Suicide As a Method of Voluntary Euthanasia," presented at the Second National Voluntary Euthanasia Conference of the Hemlock Society on February 9th, 1985, in Los Angeles, California.
 German author Max Stirner, quoted in Jonathon Green. The Cynic's Lexicon. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1984, 220 pages.
 Dr. Kenneth M. Mitzner. "The Abortion Culture." Triumph, March 1973, pages 20 to 24.
 "The New Scandal: Doctor on the Dole." London Daily Express, January 12, 1973.
 Marvin Olasky. "Victorian Secret: Pro-Life Victories in 19th-Century America." Policy Review, Spring 1992, pages 30 to 37. A fascinating view of pro-life activities in the 'early days' of abortion. Many or most pro-life activists will not agree with the author's plea for a 'containment' strategy instead of an 'abolitionist' approach.
 Raymond Tatalovich and Byron Daynes. The Politics of Abortion: An Overview of U.S. Abortion Policy. 1981, page 21.
 Horatio Storer. Criminal Abortion in America. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1860. Pages 99 and 100.
 Sheila M. Rothman. Women's Proper Place: A History of Changing Ideas and Practices 1870 to the Present. 1978, page 89.
 James C. Mohr. Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy, 1800-1900. New York: Oxford Press, 1978, pages 113 and 200.
 Leon Poliakov. Harvest of Hate. Syracuse, New York, 1954, pages 272 to 274. Also see Alexander Dallin. German Rule in Russia, 1941 to 1945. London: Winchester Books, 1957, page 457.
 World Medical Association Bulletin April 1949, page 22 and January 1950, pages 6 to 34. Also see Dr. Leo Alexander's classic article "Medical Science Under Dictatorship." The New England Journal of Medicine, July 14, 1949.
 Keith J. Grady. "The Value of Life: Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, 106 S.Ct. 2169(1986)." Hamline Law Review, Fall 1987, pages 623 to 662. Also see Dennis McDougal, Los Angeles Times-Washington Post Service. "Emotionally Charged Abortion Issue Told in 'Sherri.'" TV Click, The Sunday Oregonian, February 9, 1992, page 26.
 Garrett Hardin. "Abortion Or Compulsory Pregnancy?" Journal of Marriage and the Family, May 1968.
 Conversation between Sarah Weddington and Sherri Finkbine, Quoted in Patricia Myers. "Shades of Gray." Phoenix Magazine, October 1989, pages 40 to 45.
 Anne Nicol Gaylor. Abortion is a Blessing. New York, New York: Psychological Dimensions, Inc. 1975, 124 pages, page 48.
 Ms. Magazine "Special Report," April 1989, page 92.
Further Reading: The History of Abortion.
Dave Andrusko (editor). A Passion for Justice.
National Right to Life Committee, 419 7th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004. 1988, 160 pages. This is one of an excellent continuing series of National Right to Life Committee books that summarize the preceding year in the courts and legislatures, and looks ahead to future years.
Ruth Barnett. They Weep on My Doorstep.
Halo Publishers, Portland, Oregon. May be ordered from Post Office Box 1383, Silver Springs, Florida 32688-1383. 223 pages. This is a fascinating account of a naturopath who committed illegal abortions in Portland, Oregon, with the full knowledge of the authorities, for more than 40 years. This book tells the real story of what illegal abortions were like before Roe v. Wade: Barnett describes how immaculate her clinic was, how few complications she had (no deaths in 40,000 abortions), how phony the "back-alley" abortion stories are, and how she accumulated millions of dollars and lives a lavish lifestyle. This book is a "must-read" for any pro-life activist who wants the real scoop on the days of illegal abortions, and not some weepy propaganda piece by fictionalized "brutalized" women.
Birth Control Review.
DeCapo Press, a division of Plenum Press, 227 West 17th Street, New York, New York 10011. Telephone numbers: 1-(800) 321-0050, (212) 620-8000, and (212) 620-8495. Yes, it still exists, although Planned Parenthood fervently wishes it didn't; DeCapo Press still publishes the complete set of Margaret Sanger's Birth Control Review. This is the ultimate resource for settling arguments about what Sanger did and did not say and do. Volumes 1 and 2: 1917 and 1918. Volume 3: 1919. Volumes 4 and 5: 1920 and 1921. Volumes 6 and 7: 1922 and 1923. Volumes 8 and 9: 1924 and 1925. Volumes 10 and 11: 1926 and 1927. Volumes 12 and 13: 1928 and 1929. Volumes 14 and 15: 1930 and 1931. Volumes 16 and 17: 1932 to September of 1933. Volumes 16 through 24: October 1933 to January 1940.
Mario A. Castello, M.D. A Carnation a Day: A Pro-Life Doctor's Story.
Dorrance & Company, Philadelphia. 1977, 113 pages. A doctor who has seen many horrors in his time describes how he became a physician and how his experiences have helped him solidify his position that all human life is sacred. He also describes how his voice has become lost in the mad rush by the 'new' medical profession to kill, kill, kill.
Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer. A Woman's Book of Choices: Abortion, Menstrual Extraction, RU-486.
New York: Four Walls Eight Windows Press. 1992. It is an ominous sign of the times that illegal abortion manuals were printed by the Neofeminists 25 years ago in secrecy and passed hand to hand, and now they are sold in mainline bookstores and sit innocently on library shelves. This book was written by the Neofeminists in anticipation of tougher days, and is a totally unselfconscious description and endorsement of all of the 'self-help' methods of abortion.
Celeste Michelle Condit. Decoding Abortion Rhetoric: Communicating Social Change.
University of Illinois Press, Chicago. 1990, 233 pages. The author, while blithely ignoring the central arguments of the abortion debate, nevertheless provides an interesting sketch of how the main arguments used by both sides have helped to shape public policy, and how these arguments have changed as the battle has changed character.
Daughters of St. Paul. Yes to Life.
Order from Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02130. 328 pages, 1976. May also be ordered from Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This is an outstanding sourcebook that summarizes the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding abortion from the first century to 1975. The book quotes the writings of the early church fathers in the first through fifth centuries and the teachings of five recent Popes, in addition to the documents issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Bishops of nineteen countries speak out eloquently and forcefully against abortion in this book. This book will be the ultimate debate weapon for any pro-life activist confronting any member of 'Catholics' for a Free Choice or any other pro-abort who believes that there is 'room for disagreement' within the Catholic Church about abortion.
Eugene F. Diamond, M.D. This Curette for Hire. Published by the ACTA Foundation, 4848 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60640. 1977, 141 pages. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. The author discusses the deterioration of medical ethics and the critical role of the doctor in all anti-life activities: Abortion, fetal experimentation, sterilization, euthanasia, infanticide, sex therapy, abortifacients, and more.
Nardi Enzo. Procurato Aborto nel Mondo Greco Romano.
Milan, Italy: Giuffre, 1971. The most complete known work on the history and methodology of abortion in the ancient world.
Marian Faux. Roe v. Wade: The Untold Story of the Landmark Supreme Court Decision That Made Abortion Legal.
New York: Macmillan, 1988. 330 pages. Reviewed by Maggie Gallagher on page 45 of the July 22, 1988 issue of National Review. This book is interesting primarily because it is so profoundly trivial in nature when compared to those written on the same subject by Judge Noonan, Dr. Nathanson, Judge Hekman, and many others. The author purports to 'examine' the infamous Roe v. Wade decision from the pro-abort's viewpoint. However, since the decision and the pro-abort view are both insupportable, most of the book addresses not the decision or its underpinnings, but instead parrots tired slogans 'justifying' abortion and trivia about the day-to-day life of the plaintiffs (i.e., one of the pro-abort lawyers was very vain about her hair). It also repeats all of the old slander about pro-lifers and adds some new pro-abort slogans (example: pregnancy is an 'injury' to all women). Interestingly, the author's name is French for "false."
Colin Francome. Abortion Freedom: A Worldwide Movement.
London: George Allen & Unwin. 1984, 241 pages. Although written from the pro-abortion viewpoint, this book contains much valuable information regarding the basic philosophy and strategy of the worldwide pro-abortion movement.
Thomas A. Glessner. Achieving an Abortion-Free American By 2001.
Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1990, 281 pages. The director of the Christian Action Council traces the history of the destruction of protection for the unborn in this country and outlines a political and legislative strategy for rebuilding it. The book has good emphasis on attacking and defunding Planned Parenthood. Appendix D is Marvin Olasky's very useful analysis of the abortophile public relations campaign against crisis pregnancy centers.
Michael J. Gorman. Abortion & the Early Church: Christian, Jewish & Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World
InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 60515. 1982, 124 pages. This book emphasizes the positions of early religions towards abortion and infanticide and covers the relevance of such teachings today. A good resource for those who want to refute the claim that the Catholic Church has not always opposed abortion.
George Grant. Third Time Around: A History of the Pro-Life Movement From the First Century to the Present.
Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers, 1749 Mallory Lane, Suite 110, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027. 1991, 225 pages. The author covers numerous topics, including the mission and activities of early Christians in combatting abortion and infanticide; the history and activities of the pro-life movement during the Renaissance; and the resurgence of pro-life activism in the late 20th Century.
Germaine Greer. Sex & Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility.
Harper & Row Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, New York 10022. 1984, 550 pages. Greer faced head-on the most deep and avoided questions relevant to Western society and fertility: Is our obsession with world overpopulation causing us to reject our own fertility? Why do we reject the few children we have so that they will inevitably reject us in our old age? Greer examines chastity, attitudes towards fertility, sterility, and childbirth; abortion and euthanasia; and the histories of the birth-control and eugenics movements.
Father Robert J. Henle, S.J. "A Historical View of the Right to Life."
The Catholic League Newsletter, July 1981. This four-page reprint rebuts the lie-packed 1981 National Organization for Women publication entitled "An Abbreviated Chronology of Reproductive Rights, 2600 B.C. to the Present." In addition to correcting all of NOW's deliberate falsehoods and anti-Catholic slander, Father Henle shows that those ancient societies that practiced cannibalism, slavery, oppression of women, perpetual warfare, and had a great number of superstitions generally had very permissive abortion and infanticide laws. Those societies that had what anthropologists call the "high religions" and a high degree of civilization had a general consensus against abortion. For example, the ancient Vedic writings of India condemned abortion from 1500 to 500 B.C. Buddhism as far back as 600 B.C. totally condemned abortion. And, since 622 A.D., Islam has condemned abortion.
Lawrence Lader. Abortion II, Making the Revolution.
Boston: Beacon Press, 1973. The definitive work on early (1960-1970) pro-abortion strategy by the king of the abortion propagandists. Lader was a close friend of the 'leading lights' of the early pro-abortion movement, including Betty Friedan, Margaret Sanger, and Dr. Bernard Nathanson. Pages 36 to 40 describe the early history of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Kristin Luker. Abortion & the Politics of Motherhood.
Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1984, 320 pages. The author examines the history of the California 'experience' with liberalized abortion law and shows how a political cause became a moral crusade for pro-abortionists. She also interviewed more than 200 pro-abort and pro-life activists and uses the results to draw conclusions about their beliefs as affected by their environments. Although the author writes from a pro-abortion standpoint (i.e., she thinks that adoption is bunk), and despite the fact that much of her bias shows, she brings up some very interesting and worthwhile points for those interested in the psychology of the activists on both sides of the abortion battle.
Bernard M. Nathanson, M.D. The Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality.
Idea Books, Post Office Box 4010, Madison, Wisconsin 53711. 1985, 192 pages. Reviewed by Nancy Koster on page 6 of the November 24, 1983 issue of National Right to Life News. A former prolific abortionist exposes the anti-Catholic bigotry of the pro-abortion movement, discusses the role of the blatantly biased media in obtaining abortion on demand, and explores what the science of fetology has revealed about the unborn child. This enjoyable book is written in George Will's wry and acerbic style. Dr. Nathanson is one of the co-founders of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Chapter 3, "Catholics," pages 177 to 209, describes in detail how NARAL used blatant anti-Catholic bigotry to push liberalized abortion laws and undermine the teachings of the Church. Other examples of NARAL skulduggery abound in this book. For example, NARAL asserted to the state of Massachusetts that pro-life groups have no right to endorse pro-life candidates, even if the groups are not tax-exempt. In the ensuing lawsuit, FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Inc., the right to distribute such literature was upheld. This is typical of the harassment lawsuits brought by NARAL and others when any pro-life efforts are in progress. Pro-aborts almost never spend money themselves, but get a government entity to go after pro-life activists. Also see Chapter 1, "Abortion and the Media," pages 7 to 109, and Chapter 2, "Fetology for Pro-Life," pages 111 to 175. Chapter 2 consists of a detailed and interesting history of fetology in the United States.
Marvin Olasky. Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America.
Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. 1992, 318 pages. Reviewed by George Grant in the December 1992 issue of the Life Advocate. An emphasis on the 19th-century pro-life movement and a recommendation that we "stigmatize and contain" the horror of abortion today instead of trying to absolutely eliminate the killing of preborn children.
Roger Rosenblatt. Life Itself: Abortion in the American Mind.
New York: Random House. 1992, 195 pages. The author approaches the killing of 5,000 babies every day by insisting that we should "learn to live with conflicted feelings on abortion." He describes the history of abortion and compares how other societies have dealt with it. The entire book is an appeal to the 'middle ground' in this issue and the author seems to be contemptuous of the 'extremists' on both sides and believes that they should be disenfranchised. This, of course, would not hurt the pro-aborts one bit, because they already have what they want. Rosenblatt describes our society as it will inevitably become unless pro-lifers can make an impression: Comfortable with any kind of Holocaust.
Curt Young. The Least of These: What Everyone Should Know About Abortion.
Chicago: Moody Press, 1984. 225 pages. A good basic primer on the history and origins of the pro-abortion movement, the philosophy of the pro-life movement, and methods of abortion, among other important topics.
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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia Published by American Life League.