This blog was created for members of the Y-LIFE Youth Group to get the message out about events and projects the group is working on to further what Pope John Paul II called "The Culture of Life." We will also be using it to blog in our own words about what it's like to be young and pro-life in today's society.
If you haven't read Installment No. 1, please click here. Please find below the second part of an article written by Timothy J. Once again, the stars stand for footnotes, which will be put into the series as Tim gets them sent to us. Read on:
Installment No. 2:
In addition to this argument, the Court misinterpreted the words of Plato and Aristotle to mean that they supported abortion, when in reality they did not. While the Court cited several examples to prove their point, all of them are subject to a good degree of skepticism. In one of the most interesting ones, Plato spoke about ways to regulate the population and mentioned everything from encouraging temporary abstinence to sending out colonies. The court maintained that this was one of the proofs that Plato supported abortion, but the fact is that abortion was not mentioned even implicitly in this passage.* Clearly, the Court’s opinion of abortion in ancient Greece and Rome was unsound and ethically questionable. After such an obvious misrepresentation of the actual historical records in just the first section of its investigation, one begins to wonder if the Court was merely ignorant, or if there were ulterior motives.
In the area of common law, which can be explained as the collective decision and belief of previous judicial bodies, the Supreme Court concluded that it was “doubtful”* that the killing of a “quick” fetus was ever held as a crime. To support this position, the Supreme Court relied heavily on the testimony of Cyril Means*, a pro-abortion supporter from the 1950’s and 60’s. By placing so much confidence on an abortion advocate without balancing the opposite viewpoint, the Court violated the neutral position that it is supposed to assume in resolving any case. This would explain why the Court’s historical probe was so weak, for in an effort to support a position that it knew went against historical fact, it was selective with the evidence and distorted facts to make it appear that its arguments were supported.
As the common law principles of the United States came largely from England, it is essential to look at that country’s view of the issue as it pertains to the unborn. James F. Stephen has written a thorough account of English criminal law in which he notes that even before the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066, abortion was held as a crime.* In addition, there are written statements from four of the best English authorities on common law, Bracton, Fleta, Coke, and Blackstone, that abortion was a serious crime. Although the Court acknowledged the comments of Bracton and Fleta condemning abortion, it seemed to regard them as unimportant and continued to rely singularly on the work of Means. With Coke, who said that abortion was a “great misprision, but no murder”, the Court took the modern understanding of this phrase, which is that “misprision” can be translated to mean “misdemeanor”.* However, Blackstone, whose name was synonymous with law in the mid 18th century*, took a different approach and said that “misprision” could be translated to mean a grave offense that was not punishable by death, but was nonetheless very serious.* Furthermore, Blackstone also commented that, “One who is in the womb is already born, whenever a question arises for its benefit.”* This quote from such an influential person in common law history proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that English common law held that the unborn were persons and protected them accordingly.
Please find below the first part in an article written by Timothy J. You will find this timely, since many of us are all headed to D.C. for the March for Life on January 22. Here's your history lesson, so you can go armed with all the information you could possibly need to defend the pro-life position. The stars stand for footnotes, which will be put into the series as Tim gets them sent to us. Thanks, Tim! Fantastic job on this series. Without further ado ...
Installment No. 1:
Regardless of what side one takes on the issue of abortion, it is obvious that the decision made by the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973 in the case of Roe versus Wade, which legalized abortion during all three trimesters of pregnancy, was of historic proportions. As notable as this case was, it is now quite clear that Roe versus Wade was fatally flawed, being both legally incorrect* and unconstitutional in a myriad of ways. Although the justices who presided over the case were able to conceal their biased reasoning to the untrained eyes and ears of the general public, further research reveals gaping holes in their assertions and the proof they cited as evidence of these. Thus, the aim of this research report will be to expose the main areas of Roe versus Wade’s problems and ultimately provide reasons why this case was neither legally correct nor in accord with the Constitution of this great land.
The Supreme Court’s investigation into Roe versus Wade started by looking at the history of abortion in ancient times. After only a brief investigation, the Court concluded that “ancient religion did not bar abortion”*. However, the Supreme Court looked mostly at Greek and Roman history for evidence of the acceptance of this practice. Yet, abortion concerned more than just the Greeks and Romans and interestingly enough, the first legal evidence of abortion appeared much further back in history than these civilizations with a reference in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, which appeared in about 1728 B.C. This reference spoke of the penalties pertaining to a person who “unintentionally but culpably caused a woman to miscarry”.* Thus, the first ever-recorded reference to abortion does not infer its approval, but rather the penalties for such an act. It must be further noted that substantial evidence exists that many other ancient civilizations, besides the Babylonians, clearly had an anti-abortion mentality, among which were the Assyrians, Egyptians, Hittites, who had “notoriously low” sexual standards, and particularly the Jews, from whom evolved Christianity and many of its established principles in the Constitution.* Given the legal scope the Court was looking for in history, this information would have been fairly easy to find, but yet there was no mention of any of it in the Court’s examination. From these facts, one can see that the Court’s research of abortion throughout history was glaringly incomplete and that its findings did not reflect the established standard in ancient times of many cultures.
With regard to the Greeks and Romans, the Supreme Court took the position that abortion in Greco-Roman times was “resorted to without scruple”.* However, abortion was not so commonplace that society was silent on the issue. Many of the most eminent and influential people in Greece and Rome made very clear statements against abortion, among whom were: Soranus, Seneca, Rufus, and Ovid, the poet, who wrote that “the first one who thought of detaching from her womb the fetus forming in it deserved to die by her own weapons”.* If some of the most famous people in Greece and Rome spoke out against abortion, it can be safely reasoned that abortion was not resorted to with as little scruple as the Court declared, for history continuously shows that the common people invariably follow the ideology of those who hold power and prestige.
Hi Everyone, We will be having a Y-LIFE meeting at 4:00 on Sunday, January 17th at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. We will be discussing the March for Life as well as our upcoming conference. Please let me know if you plan on attending the meeting. With love for life, Ella firstname.lastname@example.org