The abortion holocaust is not a new battle in this country. Shortly after the birth of America, many lawmakers, lawyers and doctors adamantly fought against it.
Dr. Hugh Lennox Hodge was a Philadelphia obstetrician and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania during the 1800’s. In an introductory lecture to his course on obstetrics in 1854, Hodge stated that an abortionist is a “charlatan, who sustains his existence by the price of blood.” He explained that if a woman were to come to a medical doctor in pursuit of an abortion, “he must, as it were, grasp the conscience of his weak and erring patient and let her know in language not to be misunderstood that she is responsible to her Creator for the life of the being within her.”
Hodge also lamented out of his love for God and children:
“We blush, while we record the fact that in this country, in our cities and towns, in this city, where literature, science, morality and Christianity are supposed to have so much influence; where all the domestic and social virtues are reported as being in full and delightful exercise; even here, individuals, male and female, exist, who are continually imbruing their hands and consciences in the blood of unborn infants. Yea, even medical men are to be found, who for some trifling pecuniary recompense, will poison the fountains of life, or forcibly induce labor to the certain destruction of the foetus, and not so unfrequently of its parent.
So low, gentleman, is the moral sense of community on this subject. So ignorant are even the greater number of individuals, that even mothers in many instances shrink not at the commission of this crime, but will voluntarily destroy their own progeny, in violation of every natural sentiment, and in oppostion to the laws of God and man. Perhaps there are few individuals in extensive practice as obstetricians who have not had frequent applications made to them by the fathers or mothers of unborn children (respectable and polite in their general appearance and manners), to destroy the fruit of illicit pleasure under the vain hope of preserving their reputation by this unnatural and guilty sacrifice.”
Philadelphia legal writer, educator and Christian apologist Francis Wharton, who wrote several books on American law, penned an entire chapter on abortion in his book “American Criminal Law,” which was published in 1855. Wharton called abortionists “persons who are ready to degrade their humanity to this occupation” and stated in regard to abortion in general, “Such conduct cannot be too strongly condemned, and is the more deserving of receiving the punishment awarded for the criminal offense in question.” He proceeded to outline the wonders of fetal development in his book, showing that even in the fourth and fifth week of development, the facial features of the baby are distinctly recognized.
In fact, in 1850, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court became the first high court in the nation to declare that abortion must be prohibited at any stage of gestation for any reason. While other state courts allowed preborn babies to be aborted up to four months of gestation by reason of a “quickening” theory, which stated that a person was not protected until the mother felt them kicking in the womb, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would accept no such argument. In Mills v. Commonwealth, the court declared that the theory “is not … the law in Pennsylvania, and ought never to have been the law anywhere.” The ruling became a strong precedent that other state courts began to review and follow.
In regard to actual laws on the books, it is recorded that Illinois is the first state to completely outlaw abortion as laws were passed in 1827. By the 1900’s, however, due to the influence of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, nearly every state in the nation prohibited abortion for any reason, with the exception of Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina.