By Daniel K. Williams
On April sixteen, 1972, 10000 humans accrued in principal 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 smartly alongside partisan or spiritual lines-the assembled protesters have been faraway from a host of fire-breathing tradition warriors. In Defenders of the Unborn, Daniel ok. Williams finds the hidden background of the pro-life circulate in the United States, exhibiting reason that many see as reactionary and anti-feminist begun as a liberal campaign for human rights.
For a long time, the media portrayed the pro-life move as a Catholic reason, yet by the point of the important Park rally, that stereotype was once 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 in all ny City's such a lot vocal pro-life advocates used to be a liberal Lutheran minister who was once top identified for his civil rights activism and his protests opposed to the Vietnam battle. The language with which pro-lifers championed their reason used to be now not that of conservative Catholic theology, infused with assaults on birth control and women's sexual freedom. quite, 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 Sixties. certainly, pro-lifers have been profitable the conflict sooner than Roe v. Wade replaced the process history.
Through a deep research of formerly untapped documents, Williams offers the untold tale of recent Deal-era liberals who solid 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 somebody who craves a deeper knowing of a highly-charged factor.
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Additional resources for Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade
Taussig offered a middle ground that was more appealing. ” He hoped that free birth control clinics and better contraceptive devices would eventually make the practice almost obsolete. But in the meantime, he believed, doctors had a duty to campaign for the liberalization of abortion laws in order to prevent the “needless wreckage of human lives” that resulted from illegal abortions. ” He recognized that this pronouncement was a direct affront to Catholic views of morality, but he believed that the Church’s prohibition on abortion had been responsible for “much unnecessary suffering, disease and death” and therefore should be given no consideration in making public policy.
65 The Catholic physicians’ call for a total ban on abortion received almost no support from Protestants, who believed that doctors should be free to make their own determinations about whether an abortion was medically necessary. 66 Catholics, by contrast, had spent the previous two decades opposing the medical profession over birth control, and they did not share Protestants’ faith in doctors’ ability to make the right decisions. A Clash of Values 37 A Human Rights Cause Alarmed by the possibility that anyone might question the fetus’s right to life, Catholics attempted to translate their natural law-based claims into concrete legal guarantees phrased in the language of international human rights, a new concern for many liberals at the time.
33 In addition, Rongy claimed that, as a gynecologist, he knew many colleagues in the profession who routinely offered ostensibly legal “therapeutic” abortions that were not necessary to save women’s lives. Though Rongy’s views were diametrically opposed to the pope’s in most respects, he concurred with Pius XI in seeing a link between public acceptance of contraception and increased demand for abortion. “Now that the tide of public opinion is swelling in favor of greater freedom in the matter of childbearing,” he wrote, more women were requesting abortions.