The Stoics claimed that an unborn child was plant-like and did not become human until birth, therefore believing that abortion was morally acceptable...and according to Aristotle, a male embryo didn't gain a human soul until 40 days after conception, 90 if they were female. Before that, they supposedly had vegetable or animal souls. This so called "justification" for abortion that unborn children are not living human beings has been around for thousands of years.
Abortion was legal in the United States up until the point of "quickening" (when a mother could feel movement from the baby), until 1821 when New York made post-quickening abortions a felony. Eight years later, they made pre-quickening abortions a misdemeanor.
|Abortion tonic in a glass bottle shaped like a baby. Circa 1850|
The criminalization of abortion in the US skyrocketed during the 1860's, and by 1900 it was almost entirely illegal in every state. The only situation that was considered acceptable was when the mother's life was at risk. But, in 1959 the American Law Institute proposed a model penal code for state abortion laws. The code advocates the legalization of abortion in cases of rape and incest, the physical or mental health of the mother, and fetal "deformity". A lot happened from 1959 to 1973. New York allowed abortion on demand up until the 24th week of pregnancy, and similar laws were passed in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on it's first case involving abortion in United States v. Vuitch in 1971, and upheld a District of Columbia law that permitted abortion only to protect the mother's life or "health". But the Court makes it very clear that by "health" they mean, "physical and psychological well-being", therefore allowing abortion for virtually any reason.
By 1972, 4 states were allowing abortion on demand, 13 states had and ALI-type law, Mississippi allowed abortion in cases of rape and incest, Alabama for the mother's physical health, and 31sates still only allowed abortion to save the mother's life.
On January 22, 1973, abortion became legal through all 9 months of pregnancy in all 50 states, for any or no reason at all. Since that day 57,000,000 children have been murdered in the name of "choice". That number is unfathomable, but you can watch The Sound of Abortion to have at least a rough idea of how many unborn babies lives have been barbarically brought to a screeching halt over the past 40 years.This legalized flood of innocent blood has been allowed to go on for far too long and should have been brought to an end a long time ago.
"We are attempting to vanquish something far worse than abortion. We are at war with the worldview which makes it acceptable in the first place." - AHA