“With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life – from its commencement to its close- is protected by the common law.
“In the contemplations of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, that life is protected.”
When life was declared as an unalienable right given by God in the Declaration of Independence, and when the 5th and 14th Amendments to our U.S. Constitution speak of protections for life, life in the womb was certainly included and was expected to be protected by law.
The founders of our nation were not unfamiliar with abortion. In 1652 a conviction was handed down in Maryland for “intent to abort,” and in 1656, a woman was arrested for murder after procuring an abortion. (Proprietary v. Mitchell in Archives of Maryland, Vol. 10, (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1936. p.182-185; 464.)
In Delaware, for example, a 1719 law made illegal the act of giving counsel for abortion, delineating its as a crime, “accessory to murder.” (Delaware Laws, Chapter 22, Section 6, p. 67 (1797)).
And in Virginia, a 1790 law made illegal the act of concealing a pregnancy, and later being found with a dead baby, a capital crime. (William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large, Vol. 3. Philadelphia: Desilver, 1823. p. 516-517).
Make no mistake, the child in the womb is a person and God knows each one. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to the nations before he was born (Jeremiah 1:5). John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit of God while in the womb, and he “leaped” in Elizabeth’s womb in response to Mary’s voice, who was pregnant with our Lord Jesus (Luke 1:41).
Americans must employ every means available to save the lives of those yet in the womb. Our greatest victory will be reestablishing the personhood of the unborn and providing them protection under law.