Few realize this, mostly because they were unborn at the time, but the exact opposite of Roe vs. Wade occurred in the late nineteenth century. The heinous act of abortion, whether done by poison, drug, or chemical, was commonplace until someone actually spoke up for the unborn. It occurred with a doctor called Horatio Storer, and the man willing to document his ventures, Frederick Dyer, did speak up.
Storer’s ground-breaking study and practice of gynecology was a first. Because gynecology was literally unknown in 1859, he was originally thought of as a ‘quack’. Public reluctance to discuss a crime that had existed for the last hundred years inhibited the push to eliminate induced abortion.
At that time, a ‘promoter’ of abortion was the huge advertising revenues paid to newspapers from abortionists and “abortion-drug” sellers. Profits for abortions were huge motivational tools for a few physicians, even though abortions were detested by almost all their other colleagues.
By 1910, the “Crusade against Abortion” had produced numerous state laws against abortion. Many women realized that a living human being existed from conception. Physicians likely persuaded millions of women to continue pregnancies, that started by asking their physicians to end that pregnancy
Right after the “Crusade” started, the editor of the Philadelphia Medical and Surgical Reporter Samuel Butler coined the word “infantiphobia” for intra-uterine murder. It sounded much like words used today (i.e., infanticide, feticide, etc…). Many women at that time rationalized abortion by the belief that it’s no sin if it is done very early in the pregnancy. They assumed they knew when the “soul” was present.
One book, The Science of a New Life, by Dr. John Cowan, 1875, at the Museum …of New York, listed a number of abortion dangers with later planned children which caused death immediately, or within hours or days. Some of those he listed were diseases of the pelvis; vesicle and uterine fistula; vagina; uterine displacements; sterilization; and puny, unhealthy, deformed, and short-lived children.
Today, despite more advanced medical procedures, abortive women risk a higher frequency of child abuse, crime, murder, PSTD, breast cancer, bleeding, hypertension, anemia, and sepsis. Cowan, tongue-in-cheek, claimed it would be better to kill the child after birth, since this would be less dangerous in its effects on the mother.
To think a mother is contemplating the murder of her own child, is to realize how the world could have devolved if the mother of Washington, Shakespeare, Lincoln, or even Pope John Paul II would have aborted their child.
Storer argued that the purposeful destruction of a living baby was clearly murder as early as 1859. You can read about Dyer in the guest column: “Are you alive because of the laws against abortion …?
Historian Frederick Dyer calculated the reduced abortions from the “Physician’s Crusade” likely includes 5% of the US population beginning in 1860. If one does the math correctly, the number of people born due to the exponential increase in two generations of people who have Storer’s Survivors as ancestors is absolutely astounding.
As Dyer puts it, “If you have primarily protestant ancestors, you can be fairly certain that your own existence was one result of the successes of the Physician’s Crusade for the unborn.”
If one looks at population articles by Jonathan Last, one can see where population is headed. Fertility rates have dropped by over 50% worldwide in less than 40 years. After 2050 with current methods of replacement, a precipitous freefall with population is likely. The biggest reason—the average child birth rate per family will be below the minimum number for exact human replacement (2.1 children per woman). And the biggest reason in the US will be abortion made totally legal by Roe vs. Wade (1973).
Worldwide fertility rate drop from 1970-2006 was 4.7 to 2.6 children per woman. Forty years from today (2050), you will begin to see a world population decline.
The great Spanish philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952), once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
It’s more than ironic if they were two generations younger, the majority of those alive today would’ve voted for their own death by voting for a politician who enabled Roe vs. Wade. It’s a good bet they would have voted differently.
Kevin Roeten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.