By Daniel K. Williams

ISBN-10: 0199391645

ISBN-13: 9780199391646

On April sixteen, 1972, 10000 humans collected in significant Park to protest New York's liberal abortion legislation. feelings ran excessive, reflecting the nation's severe polarization over abortion. but the divisions didn't fall well alongside partisan or non secular lines-the assembled protesters have been faraway from a number of fire-breathing tradition warriors. In Defenders of the Unborn, Daniel ok. Williams finds the hidden background of the pro-life move in the United States, exhibiting reason that many see as reactionary and anti-feminist started as a liberal campaign for human rights.

For many years, the media portrayed the pro-life circulation as a Catholic reason, yet by the point of the vital Park rally, that stereotype used to be already hopelessly outmoded. the categories of individuals in attendance at pro-life rallies ranged from white Protestant physicians, to younger moms, to African American Democratic legislators-even the occasional member of deliberate Parenthood. one among big apple City's such a lot vocal pro-life advocates used to be a liberal Lutheran minister who was once top recognized for his civil rights activism and his protests opposed to the Vietnam struggle. The language with which pro-lifers championed their reason was once no longer that of conservative Catholic theology, infused with assaults on birth control and women's sexual freedom. relatively, they observed themselves as civil rights crusaders, protecting the inalienable correct to lifetime of a defenseless minority: the unborn fetus. It used to be due to this grounding in human rights, Williams argues, that the right-to-life circulate received such momentum within the early Nineteen Sixties. certainly, pro-lifers have been successful the conflict ahead of Roe v. Wade replaced the process history.

Through a deep research of formerly untapped data, Williams offers the untold tale of recent Deal-era liberals who cast alliances with a various array of activists, Republican and Democrat alike, to struggle for what they observed as a human rights reason. Provocative and insightful, Defenders of the Unborn is a must-read for an individual who craves a deeper knowing of a highly-charged factor.

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Extra resources for Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade

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While most of the encyclical was devoted to the issue of contraception, which he viewed as the more immediate threat, he also believed that abortion was merely a more extreme manifestation of the same impulse: a general attack on the family. The individualism that had led some to attempt to prevent pregnancy by artificial means was leading others to justify the termination of pregnancies that had already begun. Although hardly anyone in the United States had yet dared to publicly claim the right to an abortion, the pope was aware that some in Europe were arguing for that right, and that in the Soviet Union, abortion was legal and widely practiced.

To Taussig, Rongy, and other abortion law reformers, this was obvious, and it accorded well with longstanding legal doctrine. But to Catholic doctors, it threatened to set a dangerous precedent. In 1937, the National Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Guilds declared that the demand for abortion was a direct result of the assumption that humans had the right to attempt to improve society by deciding who should live and who should die, a right that Catholic physicians believed belonged only to God.

It was a small step from preventing pregnancy to terminating it. 42 The calls for abortion legalization were an affront to the Church’s core moral and social values: its teachings on sexuality, the family, the creation of human life, the value of human persons, natural law, and human rights. They were therefore a threat of the highest order. By 1942, the Federation had moved abortion to the top of its list of stated concerns. ”43 The conflict between two opposing viewpoints was launched. On the one side stood secularists such as Taussig who adopted a relativistic value system based on utilitarianism—whatever would accomplish the greatest good for the greatest number—and who believed that humans had the right to improve social happiness by controlling the creation and termination of life.

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Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade by Daniel K. Williams


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