Abortion and the Definition of the Beginnings of Human Life

ABORTION AND THE DEFINITION OF THE BEGINNINGS OF HUMAN LIFE Until the 1970s, medical professionals, human rights groups, and birth control providers traditionally understood human life to begin at conception/fertilization: Hippocratic Oath The ancient Greek Hippocratic Oath – for thousands of years the standard for Western medical ethics – was routinely sworn by doctors upon medical school graduation. It states: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anyone if asked for it, now will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” This last sentence has now been deleted from most medical school commencement ceremonies. American Medical Association For 125 years, the American Medical Association took a firm anti-abortion position, declaring in 1859 that abortion is the “unwarranted destruction of human life.” In 1871, the AMA denounced doctors who would perform abortions as “false to their professions, false to principle, false to honor, false to humanity, false to God.” But, in 1989, the AMA called abortion a “fundamental right,” to be decided “free of state interference” in the absence of compelling justification. World Medical Association Partially in response to revelations of medical war crimes at the Nuremberg Nazi trials, the World Medical Association in 1948 adopted a new physician’s code, the Declaration of Geneva, which stated: “I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception.” This declaration was reaffirmed in the 1970 Declaration of Oslo. The United Nations The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the General Assembly in 1959, stated that a child “needs special safeguards and...

A Timeline: Abortion-On-Demand in the USA

KEY ROLE OF LIFE-AFFIRMING STATE LAWS IN THE SUBSTANTIAL DECLINE OF  ABORTION NUMBERS DURING THE 1990s  [research by Harvard-MIT Data Center post-doctoral fellow M. J. New, publ. by the Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org)] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/CDA04-01.cfm 1859. The American Medical Association condemns abortion. 1860s Said to be the beginning of a social and political birth control movement. 1873. Comstock law is passed (a federal law agianst the manufacture, sale, or possession of contraceptives in the District of Columbia and federal territories; also forbade the mailing of contraceptives or advertisements for them). 1875. Every state in the U.S. has adopted laws banning abortion. 1917. Margaret Sanger forms the Birth Control League (now Planned Parenthood) to promote contraception and abortion, and begins a push for the church to accept contraception. 1920. Lambeth Conference at which Anglican Church leaders acknowledged the contraception debate but responded, “We utter an emphatic warning against the use of unnatural means for the avoidance of conception.” 1930. Lambeth Conference at which the acceptance of birth control makes its way into the church. A major victory for Sanger and her cohorts. 1950s Alfred Kinsey’s fraudulent sex reports help define children as sexual from birth. Push to change state laws which would eventually allow and promote sexually explicit sex education programs in public schools. 1961. The National Council of Churches gives its backing to unnatural forms of birth control. 1965. Griswold v. Connecticut sounds the death knell for all anti-contraception legislation in the U.S. The Supreme Court invented a doctrine of privacy to permit the use of birth control. 1967. Colorado becomes the first state to allow abortion for cases of rape,...