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
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
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 During the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.,
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
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
Her claim that her preborn baby was deformed was naturally never
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
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
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
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
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
 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'
 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
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"
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
Mario A. Castello, M.D. A Carnation a Day: A Pro-Life Doctor's
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Marvin Olasky. Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in
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
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
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
© American Life League BBS — 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia Published
by American Life League.