By Marie Costa
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Extra info for Abortion: A Reference Handbook (Contemporary World Issues)
The law also makes the death of either the mother or the fetus after quickening a felony. Page 6 1840 By this time 10 of the 26 states have some statutory restrictions on abortion. " The Maine law also includes an exception for therapeutic abortions in the event the mother's life is threatened. In practice, most of the early antiabortion laws are enforced laxly, if at all. All of them were passed, not on their own, but as parts of major revisions of criminal codes or of omnibus crime bills. As Mohr (1978) says, "This was significant because it indicates that there was no substantial popular outcry for antiabortion activity; or, conversely, no evidence of public disapproval of the nation's traditional common law attitudes.
There is some debate as to whether even late abortions were actually prosecuted under common law. In his writings on the subject, St. Thomas puts forward the concept of hylomorphism, which says that human beings are a unity of two elements: primary matter, or the potentiality of the body, and substantial form, or the actualizing principle of the soul. Both elements are necessary for a human being to exist, implying that the embryo must have a fully human bodyone developed beyond the early stages of pregnancybefore it is capable of receiving the soul and becoming human.
S doctor, only he had the right to decide whether her health was threatened by her pregnancy and whether an abortion was necessary [see 1969]. July 29. Pope Paul VI issues Humanae Vitae, an encyclical that reaffirms the doctrine that Catholics may not use any form of birth control other than the rhythm method or abstinence. Also in 1968. President Lyndon Johnson's Presidential Advisory Council on the Status of Women, chaired by former Oregon Senator Maurine Neuberger, releases its report, calling for repeal of all abortion laws.
Abortion: A Reference Handbook (Contemporary World Issues) by Marie Costa