pptx file - American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and

Horatio Robinson Storer, M.D. and
the Physicians’ Crusade Against
Frederick N. Dyer, Ph.D.
Research Solutions, Inc.
Columbus, Georgia
Presented February 25, 2012 at the
Educational Meeting of the
American Association of Pro-Life
Obstetricians and Gynecologists at
the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel,
Washington D.C.
Goals of this presentation:
• Identify Dr. Storer’s major contributions to
gynecology and gynecological surgery.
• Describe Dr. Storer’s key role in starting the
“Physicians’ Crusade Against Abortion.”
• Discuss how the “Physicians’ Crusade Against
Abortion” has greatly influenced who is alive
today in the U.S.
Who was Horatio Robinson Storer?
Who was Horatio Robinson Storer?
• Born in Boston February 27, 1830. Died in
Newport, R.I. September 18 , 1922.
• Harvard University: A.B. 1850; A.M. & M.D.
1853; LL.B. 1868.
• Studied a year with Edinburgh’s Dr. (later Sir)
James Young Simpson.
• Began medical practice in Boston in 1855 with
emphasis on obstetrics and gynecology
Who was Horatio Robinson Storer?
• Physician to the Boston Lying-in Hospital, St.
Joseph’s (Catholic) Home, & St. Elizabeth’s
Hospital for Women.
• Professor of Obstetrics & Medical
Jurisprudence at the Berkshire Medical
College, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
• Prize Essayist & Secretary American Medical
Association 1865, & Vice-President 1868.
Father was David Humphreys Storer,
• Obstetrics professor and later Dean of Harvard
Medical School.
• Better known for his widely acclaimed “Report
on the Fishes of Massachusetts,” published in
August 1839.
• As will be seen, contributed to the physicians’
crusade against abortion.
Anesthesia Pioneer
• Horatio observed many of the earliest uses of
ether during surgery, though not the first by John
Collins Warren on October 16, 1846.
• Worshipped chloroform discoverer, James Young
Simpson of Scotland.
• Storer’s limited and later full advocacy of
chloroform anesthesia angered Boston etherites.
• Advocated anesthesia for childbirth.
– Storer saw this leading to fewer abortions by women
who often chose abortion to avoid childbirth pain.
Dr. Storer’s contributions to
gynecology and gynecological surgery
• Storer 1863: “Immediately on entering practice, it
became evident to me that the great field for
advance in obstetric therapeutics was the interior
of the uterus,—an opinion that was daily
strengthened during the intimate relations to
which I was admitted by Prof. Simpson in 1854.”
• At that time (1853), women suffered or died with
problems that could have been found and easily
treated if they had digital examinations.
Dr. Storer’s contributions to
gynecology and gynecological surgery
• “During the sixteen years since we graduated in medicine
we have never once prescribed for a married woman with
any, the slightest, pelvic symptoms,—and this is what
perhaps no other living man can say,—without a careful
digital examination; and while in a small proportion of
cases we have found so healthful a local condition that we
were able to dismiss the pelvic region from all participation
in treatment, in scores upon scores of other cases, where
not the slightest suspicion had existed on the part of the
patient that there was here any cause for anxiety, we have
detected the grave, effective, and real exciting cause of the
distant or apparently constitutional disorder previously
Dr. Storer’s contributions to
gynecology and gynecological surgery
• The first physician in America to give a
complete collegiate course (60 lectures) upon
the Diseases of Women as distinct from
• One of the earliest successful hysterectomies.
• Invented gynecological instruments and
One of the earliest successful
• On September 23, 1865, Horatio successfully
performed an operation for the removal of the uterus
and ovaries. His case was only the 6th successful
hysterectomy out of a worldwide total of 24 such
• The exposed tumor was found to almost completely
fill the abdomen and the abdominal mass was
“continuous with another also of large size, and of very
irregular outline, completely filling the cavity of the
pelvis.” The great weight of the mass, later determined
to be thirty-seven pounds was more than twice as
heavy as any previously removed.
Invented the clamp shield.
• Horatio described his new clamp shield. It
provided a much stronger clamp on the uterine
pedicle and which shielded “tissues beneath and
around it from being lacerated.” It also served to
lift “the uterus, so as to bring as much as possible
of the cervix within its grasp,” and “lessens the
number of ligatures necessary to be subsequently
applied.” Numerous reports of Horatio’s and
others’ surgery would credit this clamp shield for
successful outcomes.
Invented the clamp shield.
Invented the “Boston speculum.”
• Horatio viewed his new speculum as such a
valuable advance that he published its
description. The key feature was that the
“duckbill” blades of the speculum could be
reversed “by a slight touch of the finger” and the
instrument then became a retractor. “If it is as
appropriate for an inventor as for a naturalist to
attach to a novelty its specific name, I would
request that my instrument should be known as
the Boston speculum, as I am anxious to do what
little I can for the credit of my native city.”
Invented the “Boston speculum.”
Pocketing the ovarian pedicle
• In September, 1867, an ovarian tumor of “some
two years’ standing” and weighing forty-three
pounds was removed from a 41-year-old woman.
The clamp shield was applied to the pedicle and
the ovary and its tumor separated from the
pedicle with scissors. Horatio performed the
surgery and for the first time “pocketed the
• The closing of the incision and the “pocketing”
were described as follows:
Pocketing the ovarian pedicle
• The walls of the primary incision were united by
twenty sutures of iron wire; the extremity of the
pedicle being brought between the inner lips of
the wound, at its lower angle, and there
‘pocketed;’ this being effected by passing three of
the stitches through itself and both inner edges
of the abdominal wound, and then bringing the
external edges closely together; the raw surface
of the pedicle being in apposition to the raw
surfaces of the wound, and yet covered over
fairly and completely by the line of superficial
Pocketing the ovarian pedicle
• 24 years later, Horatio’s former student and
close friend, Dr. Henry Orlando Marcy, was to
write Horatio about the “discovery” of the
procedure at Johns Hopkins in 1891.
Vaginal eversion of the female rectum
• Horatio’s first published description of vaginal eversion
of the rectum was in the May 1868 American Journal of
Obstetrics. The technique involved insertion of the
finger into the vagina, then the rectum is “everted
through its sphincter like the finger of a glove.” Horatio
indicated that he had practiced this for “many years”
and shown it to a great many physicians present at his
operations and examinations. Horatio suspected that
although original with himself, it may have been “but
the rediscovery of something already well known.”
• Storer claimed this facilitated diagnosis and treatment
of hemorrhoids and other rectal disease.
Started first society and journal
devoted to gynecology
Started first society and journal
devoted to gynecology
• 7 volumes of the Journal of the Gynaecological Society
of Boston were published from 1869 to 1872 (Storer’s
extended illness ended journal).
• It included:
• Proceedings of the Gynaecological Society of Boston.
• Original articles, including publication of his father’s
suppressed 1855 abortion section.
• Editorial Notes where Storer
– Discussed Harvard Medical School deficiencies,
– Decried excessive nuisances like the Revere Copper
Company and the Brighton slaughter-houses,
– Castigated abortion and abortionists.
Abortion was common in the middle
of the 19th century.
• You may find it surprising that abortion was common in
the middle of the 19th century.
• November 6, 1839. Hugh Lenox Hodge, M.D.’s
Introductory Lecture: “this crime, this mode of
committing murder, is prevalent among the most
intelligent, refined, moral, and Christian communities”
• March 1844. Gunning Bedford, M.D. “It, indeed, seems
too monstrous for belief that such gross violations of
the laws both of God and man should be suffered in
the very heart of a community professing to be
Abortion was common in the middle
of the 19th century.
• May 1844 . Boston Medical and Surgical
Journal editorial: “In the city of Boston. There
are men … celebrated … for their success in
exterminating foetal life.
• June 1850. David Meredith Reese, M.D.
editorial: “We cannot refer such a hecatomb
of human offspring to natural causes.”
Abortion common in middle of 19th
• January 1851. John P. Leonard, “Quackery and
Abortion”: “This kind of charlatanism is rife,” ALSO:
“Besides these bills of mortality, the records of criminal
courts will furnish sufficient proof that this crime is
every day becoming more prevalent.”
• November 1855. David Humphreys Storer’s
Introductory Lecture: “The lecturer is silent, the press
is silent, and the enormity, unrebuked, stalks at midday
throughout the length and breadth of the land. “*
– *David’s abortion comments were not published with the
rest of his speech. Horatio published them in his journal in
March 1872.
Abortion common in middle of 19th
• December 1855 Boston Medical and Surgical
Journal editorial protesting the suppression of
David Storer’s abortion remarks: “To whom
shall the community look for a verdict upon
practices which disgrace our land and prevail
to an extent that would hardly be credited, if
not to physicians—and, chiefest among them,
to medical teachers?”
Abortion common in middle of 19th
• March 1857 letter to Horatio from C.W.
LeBoutillier, M.D. of Minnesota: “The practice of
producing abortion is frequently resorted to in
our vicinity.”
• April 1857 letter to Horatio from Wm. Henry
Brisbane, M.D. of Wisconsin: “It is my present
intention to endeavor to get a law paper by our
legislature to meet the case, much too common,
of administering drugs & injections either to
prevent conception or destroy the embryo.”
Abortion common in middle of 19th
• Storer’s 1857 Suffolk [Boston] District Medical
Society Report on Criminal Abortion included:
• “In no less than fifteen instances during the
past half-year has the Chairman been called to
treat the confessed results, near or remote, of
criminal abortion; and, of these patients, all
without exception were married and
respectable women.”
Abortion common in middle of 19th
• From Horatio’s November 1859 article, “The
Duty of the Profession.”
• One basis for physician guilt was their current
“apathy and silence” on the subject of
abortion, despite the fact that “thousands and
hundreds of thousand of lives are thus directly
at stake, and are annually sacrificed.”
Abortion common in middle of 19th
• Augustus Kinsley Gardner, M.D., January 1960.
• “We look with a shudder upon the poor ignorant
Hindoo woman, who from the very love of her
child, agonizes her mother’s heart, when in the
fervor of her religious enthusiasm she sacrifices
her beloved offspring at the feet of Juggernaut or
in the turbid waves of the sacred Ganges, yet we
have not a pang, nor even a word of reprobation,
for the human sacrifices of the unborn thousands
annually immolated in the city of New York
before the blood-worshipped Moloch of fashion.”
Abortion common in middle of 19th
• Edwin Moses Hale in his 1867 pamphlet, “The
Great Crime of the Nineteenth Century,”
claimed “two-thirds of the number of
conceptions occurring in the United States,
and many other civilized countries, are
destroyed criminally.”
Storer’s key role in creating stringent
legislation protecting the unborn
• 1857: Requested the American Medical Association create
a Committee on Criminal Abortion. They agreed and he was
made Chairman.
• 1859: Published nine articles on abortion for physicians in
the North-American Medico-Chirurgical Review.
• 1859: Prepared Committee’s Report on Criminal Abortion
and the Resolutions that were presented at the Annual
AMA meeting in Louisville.
• 1860: Prepared Memorial sent to state legislatures
requesting improvement of laws pertaining to abortion.
• 1860: Prepared Address sent to State Medical Societies
requesting their cooperation in seeking improved laws.
Storer’s articles in the North-American
Medico-Chirurgical Review
“Criminal Abortion,” (January 1859)
“Its Frequency, and the Causes Thereof,” (March 1859)
“Its Victims,” (May 1859)
“Its Proofs,” (May 1859)
“Its Perpetrators,” (May 1859)
“Its Innocent Abettors,” (July 1859)
“Its Obstacles to Conviction,” (September 1859)
“Can It be at all Controlled by Law?” (November 1859)
“The Duty of the Profession,” (November 1859)
– Articles published in 1860 as the book, Criminal Abortion in America.
Storer’s articles in the North-American
Medico-Chirurgical Review
• The final paragraph of Storer’s first North-American
Medico-Chirurgical Review article read:
• “And now words fail. Of the mother, by consent or by
her own hand, imbrued with her infant’s blood; of the
equally guilty father, who counsels or allows the crime;
of the wretches who by their wholesale murders far
out-Herod Burke and Hare; of the public sentiment
which palliates, pardons, and would even praise this so
common violation of all law, human and divine, of all
instinct, of all reason, all pity, all mercy, all love,—we
leave those to speak who can. “
Storer’s articles in the North-American
Medico-Chirurgical Review
• Reading “Of the Mother…” in 1994 made me realize
that Storer was strongly pro-life and that he definitely
needed a biography. It is unfortunate that James Mohr
did not include “Of the Mother…” in his 1978 Abortion
in America. It would have reduced the need for Joseph
Dellapenna’s 2006 Dispelling the Myths of Abortion
• Storer repeated “Of the Mother…” in 3 later books. “Of
the Mother…” also was frequently repeated by other
physicians and even by a judge in later articles and
1859 Report of the AMA Committee
on Criminal Abortion
• The Report began: “The heinous guilt of criminal
abortion, however viewed by the community, is
everywhere acknowledged by medical men. Its
frequency—among all classes of society, rich and poor,
single and married—most physicians have been led to
suspect; very many, from their own experience of its
deplorable results, have known.” Additional evidence
of abortion’s frequency were “comparisons of the
present with our past rates of increase in population,
the size of our families, the statistics of our foetal
deaths, by themselves considered, and relatively to the
births and to the general mortality.”
1859 Report of the AMA Committee
on Criminal Abortion
• Horatio then moved to the reasons for the large
number of abortions. These included the “widespread popular ignorance of the true character of
the crime,” the innocent abetment of abortion by
physicians who “are frequently supposed careless
of foetal life,” and “the grave defects of our laws,
both common and statute, as regards the
independent and actual existence of the child
before birth, as a living being.” As “[a]bundant
proof upon each of these points,” Horatio called
attention to his nine articles in the NorthAmerican Medico-Chirurgical Review.
1859 Report of the AMA Committee
on Criminal Abortion
• The Report then moved to the duties of
physicians. “The case is here of life or death—”
he continued, “the life or death of thousands—
and it depends, almost wholly, upon ourselves.”
He called on physicians to enlighten the public
about fetal development, to avoid any
appearance of negligence “of the sanctity of
foetal life,” and to establish an “obstetric code;
which ... would tend to prevent such unnecessary
and unjustifiable destruction of human life.”
1859 Report of the AMA Committee
on Criminal Abortion
• He then turned to the deficient laws on
abortion and called on physicians “as citizens”
to improve them. “If the evidence upon this
point is especially of a medical character,” he
continued, “it is our duty to proffer our aid,
and in so important a matter to urge it.”
The 1859 Report of the AMA Committee on Criminal Abortion
The Committee would advise that this body,
representing, as it does, the physicians of the land, publicly
express its abhorrence of the unnatural and now rapidly
increasing crime of abortion; that it avow its true nature, as no
simple offence against public morality and decency, no mere
misdemeanor, no attempt upon the life of the mother, but the
wanton and murderous destruction of her child; and that while
it would in no wise transcend its legitimate province or invade
the precincts of the law, the Association recommend, by
memorial, to the governors and legislatures of the several
States, and, as representing the federal district, to the President
and Congress, a careful examination and revision of the
statutory and of so much of the common law, as relates to this
Resolutions of the
Committee on Criminal Abortion
• “Resolved, That while physicians have long
been united in condemning the act of
producing abortion, at every period of
gestation, except as necessary for preserving
the life of either mother or child, it has
become the duty of this Association, in view
of the prevalence and increasing frequency of
the crime, publicly to enter an earnest and
solemn protest against such unwarrantable
destruction of human life.
Resolutions of the
Committee on Criminal Abortion
• “Resolved, That in pursuance of the grand and
noble calling we profess, the saving of human
lives, and of the sacred responsibilities thereby
devolving upon us, the Association present this
subject to the attention of the several legislative
assemblies of the Union, with the prayer that the
laws by which the crime of procuring abortion is
attempted to be controlled may be revised, and
that such other action may be taken in the
premises as they in their wisdom may deem
Resolutions of the
Committee on Criminal Abortion
• “Resolved, That the Association request the
zealous co-operation of the various State
Medical Societies in pressing this subject upon
the legislatures of their respective States, and
that the President and Secretaries of the
Association are hereby authorized to carry
out, by memorial, these resolutions.”
AMA Report and Resolutions
• Horatio was too ill to travel to Louisville .
Louisville 3 May 59
• Dear Dr
• I have ordered the paper sent to you daily during our associate
existence. You will see that your report was read and the
resolutions unanimously adopted. Your report was highly spoken of,
not a dissenting voice in any direction. I am sorry my dear Dr to
hear from Dr Townsend the cause of your not being with us. I do
hope my dear yoke fellow (though I am not the oldest ox) that your
illness will be of short duration, and that a little relaxation will
restore you to your wanted measure of health and professional
Yours truly
• Thos W Blatchford
AMA Report and Resolutions
Louisville 5 May 1859
• My Dear Dr
I cannot tell you the number of Gentlemen who have
spoken to me about your Report since I read it nor can I
begin to tell you the high encomiums, bestowed upon it
without a single drawback. I thought you would like to
know it. To know that our labors are appreciated by our
brethren when those labors have been bestowed in the
cause of humanity is a precious cordial for one's soul in this
old and thankless world.
• …
Yours very sincerely
Thos W Blatchford
1860 Memorial Requesting
Improvement of Laws
• “To the Governor and Legislature of the State of
__________ the Memorial of the American Medical
Association, an Organization representing the Medical
Profession of the United States.” The Memorial then
indicated that criminal abortion was “the intentional
destruction of a child within its parent; and physicians
are now agreed, from actual and various proof, that the
child is alive from the moment of conception.” It
described the high and increasing rate of criminal
abortion that led to the deaths of “hundreds of
thousands” and “the serious injury thereby inflicted
upon the public morals.”
1860 Memorial Requesting
Improvement of Laws
• “Public sentiment and the natural sense of duty
instinctive to parents proving insufficient to check
the crime, it would seem that an appeal should
be made to the law and to its framers.” The
various problems with existing statutes were then
briefly described including the inconsistency of
the Common Law that “fails to recognize the
unborn child as criminally affected, whilst its
existence for all civil purposes is nevertheless
fully acknowledged.”
1860 Memorial Requesting
Improvement of Laws
• The Memorial then referred to the “duty of
the American Medical Association ... publicly
to enter an earnest and solemn protest
against such unwarrantable destruction of
human life.” “The duty would be but half
fulfilled did we not call upon those who alone
can check and control the crime, early to give
this matter their serious attention.” It
1860 Memorial Requesting
Improvement of Laws
• “The Association would in no wise transcend its
office, but that office is here so plain that it has
full confidence in the result. We therefore enter
its earnest prayer, that the subject of Criminal
Abortion in the state of _____________, and the
laws in force on the subject in said State may be
referred to an appropriate Committee, with
directions to report what legislative action may
be necessary in the premises.”
• Horatio’s 9 North-American Medico-Chirurgical
Review articles were enclosed with the Memorial.
1860 Address Sent to State Medical
• The Address consisted of the three Resolutions on
Criminal Abortion plus the following:
• In pursuance of our instructions, a memorial, of which
a copy is herewith enclosed, has been transmitted to
the Governor and Legislature of the State of
_______________, and it now has become our duty
earnestly to request of the body you represent, such
early and hearty action in furtherance of the memorial
of the Association, as may insure its full success against
the common, though unnatural crime it aims to check.
Memorial and Address were effective
• Within a year New York and Connecticut
strengthened their laws after medical society
• The concerns of Ohio physicians about criminal
abortion were communicated to their Legislature
and in February 1867 the Ohio Senate passed a
bill strengthening the state’s abortion law.
• The Special Committee of the Ohio Legislature claimed they
drew many of their facts from Storer’s Why Not? a Book for
Every woman. This may have also occurred in other states
and territories
Memorial and Address were effective
• “The statute laws of Ohio, Massachusetts, New York,
Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states now
conform to the remodeled theory of gestation. A
private note from Dr. Storer, of Boston, informs us
that vigorous measures are being taken to so change
the laws of a few remaining states that statutes may
secure the punishment which is escaped under
certain constructions of the common law.”
• From “Criminal Abortion,” March 13, 1867
Northwestern Christian Advocate, a popular Methodist
newspaper. (Rare clergy involvement at that time that
Storer and other physicians stimulated.)
Memorial and Address were effective
• Connecticut’s 1860 law “was a unique piece of
legislation that combined “into a single forceful
act the denial of the quickening doctrine, the
notion of women’s liability, and anti-advertising
principles. It was the forerunner of similar
legislation that would be passed in almost every
state and territory in the next two decades.”
[Mohr, JC, Abortion in America: The Origins and
Evolution of National Policy, 1800-1900. New
York: Oxford University Press, 1978: 202]
Storer’s efforts to make women aware
that abortion was murder.
Why Not? A Book for Every Woman
• At the 1864 Annual Meeting of the American
Medical Association in New York. Michigan
delegates proposed that the Association “offer a
premium for the best short and comprehensive
tract calculated for circulation among females,
and designed to enlighten them upon the
criminality and physical evils of forced abortion.”
• The Association agreed, Storer’s essay won the
prize, and he was authorized to publish it. He
chose the title, Why Not? A Book for Every
Why Not? A Book for Every Woman
• Horatio began by noting that this may have
been the first occasion when the medical
profession had chosen to “directly address
itself to the judgment and to the hearts of
women upon a question vital to themselves
and to the nation.” He enumerated the
various bearings of the essay on women’s
discretion, conscience, moral character, peace
of mind, sanity, domestic happiness, and selfrespect.
Why Not? A Book for Every Woman
• He showed that induced abortions were “a
crime against life, the child being always
alive,” as well as crimes against the mother,
nature, public interest, and morality.
• He pointed out that quickening was but a
sensation of the mother and that movement
of the fetus occurred much earlier. “These
motions must be allowed to prove life,”
Horatio continued, “and independent life.”
Why Not? A Book for Every Woman
• Although much of the essay was taken from his earlier articles
written for physicians, the following was written for his female
audience, many of whom may have had abortions, and for
• “I would gladly arrive at, and avow any other conviction than that I
have now presented, were it possible in the light of fact and of
science, for I know it must carry grief and remorse to many an
otherwise innocent bosom. The truth is, that our silence has
rendered all of us accessory to the crime, and now that the time
has come to strip down the veil, and apply the searching caustic or
knife to this foul sore in the body politic, the physician needs
courage as well as his patient, and may well overflow with regretful
sympathy. “
Why Not? A Book for Every Woman
• Horatio called for foundling hospitals that would help
prevent infanticide and abortion by the unwed mother.
• “But for the married, who have not this strong stimulus
of necessity, and the excuse of having been led astray
or deceived, there need be no public channel provided,
through which to purchase safety for their children. Is
it not, indeed, inconceivable that the very women who,
when their darlings of a month old or a year are
snatched from them by disease, find the parting
attended with so acute a pang, can so deliberately
provide for and congratulate themselves, and each
other, upon a willful abortion?” “Here words fail us. Of
the mother, by consent or by her own hand, …”
Why Not? A Book for Every Woman
• The book went into four editions, 1866, 1867,
1868, and 1871.
• Over the years several physicians wrote how they
distributed the book to patients requesting
abortion and the women changed their minds.
• In 1897, when Horatio reviewed his anti-abortion
efforts he indicated that because of the book
“hundreds of women acknowledged that they
were … induced to permit their pregnancy to
accomplish its full period.”
• In 1888, the Texas physician, Henry Clay Ghent,
discussed the “duty of the medical profession” to
teach the rest of humanity that life began at
conception and that it was an enormous crime to
end it in the womb.. He discussed his own
successes in preventing abortion: “We are
satisfied we have been able to convince many
fathers and mothers of their erroneous notions
and criminal intent, and to-day could point to
scores of bright, beautiful, living monuments of
different ages and of both sexes, as so many
attestations of the truth of the statement.”
• In 1894, the Brooklyn surgeon, Mary Amanda Dixon
Jones, described 21 requests for abortion she had
received from women. She did not know the outcome
in 4 cases. In 12 cases her admonitions had the desired
effect and the women bore their children. In 5 cases,
the woman found some means of having the abortion.
• “Many are now walking the streets that I have saved—
have prevented their mothers from destroying them.”
Probably there were more children saved than the 12
she described, but if it were 12, one would predict 20
or more offspring being born to these 12 , 40 or more
grandchildren of these 12, and over one hundred
descendants of these 12 in our current generation.
Legal Restrictions Reduce Abortions.
• In September 1889, a lawyer who believed
women had a right to abortion, published the
first call for abolishment of abortion laws.
• Junius Hoag, M.D., quickly responded: “If the
laws do nothing else these laws certainly enable
us now and then to rid the community of an
infamous physician, who would otherwise have
continued his abominable practices to the end of
the chapter. Who shall say how much good is
done, both directly and indirectly in putting a
stop to the crimes of one such an individual?”
Legal Restrictions Reduce Abortions.
• Hoag continued: “In the laws concerning abortion
we find an outspoken expression of the best
sentiments of society. The law is a constant
monitor; the clergy and all other educators may
fail in their duty to properly instruct the people,
but we still have left instruction in the law. The
man who would remove this barrier to crime, lays
the axe at the very root of civilization, society,
home. Why one should wish to do so, I cannot
Legal Restrictions Reduce Abortions.
• Charles Sumner Bacon, M.D. in 1904 noted
indictments for criminal abortion rarely
occurred unless the women died or became
seriously ill and, even then, “her relatives
generally try to prevent any investigation in
order to shield her reputation.” Bacon claimed
the law still was useful when death or injury to
the mother did occur and “for the restraining
effect it may have.”
Legal Restrictions Reduce Abortions.
• Conversely, reducing legal restrictions increases
abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute,
abortions gradually rose from 898,600 in 1974, the full
year following legalization, to 1,497,700 in 1979.
• As Dr. New will no doubt show, even minor restrictions
like parental notification reduce abortions.
• We can be confident that the restrictive abortion laws
passed from 1860 to 1880 reduced abortions. The laws
also supported physician persuasion of women to
continue pregnancies.
• Storer wrote in 1869: "Every life saved is, as a general
rule, the precursor of others that else would not have
been called into existence."
• A soldier saved during the war in 1944 was located in
1999 by the Atlanta resident who saved him. The
soldier had recovered from his head wound, had
married, and had 23 living descendants.
• Not every life saved mushrooms to 23 people alive in
two generations, but the number of “others” “called
into existence” by the physicians’ crusade in the four or
five generations since the physicians’ crusade started is
• The “survivors” of pregnancy because of the new
laws and because of physicians’ successful
persuasion of women to continue pregnancies
may have made up 5% or more of the children
born during the century when physicians were
actively opposing unnecessary abortion.
However, to be conservative and to simplify the
math, assume that 3% of the children of the
single generation while Storer was actively
involved owed their existence to the physicians’
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• 25 percent or more of pregnancies may have been
ending in induced abortion in the middle of the
nineteenth century. However, assume it would have
been only 15 percent ending in abortion with 85
percent of pregnancies going to term. If 1 of every 6 of
these women who would have had abortions changed
their minds because of the physicians’ crusade, this
would leave 12.45 percent of pregnancies ending in
abortion and 87.55 percent of pregnancies going to
term. The ratio of 87.55 to 85 is 1.03, i.e., there would
have been 3 percent more children being born as a
result of the crusade.
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• Assume 3 percent of the single generation while Storer
was actively involved were “Crusade survivors.”
• By chance, the .97 proportion of this generation who
were not “Crusade survivors” would marry each other
at the rate of .97 x .97 = .9409. This means that 94.09
percent of the next generation would not have had one
or both of “Crusade survivors” for a parent.
• However, it also means that 5.91 percent of that
generation would have had one or both of “Crusade
survivors” for a parent.
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• Similarly, the .9409 proportion without
“Crusade survivor” parents would marry each
other by chance at the rate of .9409 x .9409,
which, when rounded, equals .8853. This
means that 88.53 percent of the next
generation would not have had one or more
of “Crusade survivors” for a grandparent, but
11.47 percent would.
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• Similar calculations show that in the next
generation, 21.6 percent of children would
have had one or more of “Crusade survivors”
as a great-grandparent, and 38.6 percent of
the next generation (approximately our
current generation) would have one or more
of “Crusade survivors” as a great-greatgrandparent.
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• .8853 X .8853= .7838. 1-.7838=.2162
• 21.6 percent of children of the next
generation would have had one or more of
“Crusade survivors” as a great-grandparent.
• .7838 X .7838=.6143 1-.6143=.3856
• 38.6 percent of the next generation
(approximately our current generation) would
have one or more of “Crusade survivors” as a
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• However, the abortion reductions produced
by the “physicians’ crusade” were not limited
to a single generation and three percent
probably is a low estimate for the number of
additional children born because of the
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• If one assumes five percent for just two generations
beginning in 1860, the 38.6 percent figure for our
current generation becomes a whopping 72 percent.
This exponential increase in succeeding generations of
people with “Storer’s survivors” as ancestors may
surprise you.
• If you have primarily Protestant ancestors going back a
few generations, you can be fairly certain that your
own existence was one result of the successes of the
physicians’ crusade for the unborn.
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• Catholic women did not participate in the
epidemic of induced abortion in any numbers
until well into the twentieth century. Horatio
Storer and other physicians credited the
Catholic confessional for this.
• If your ancestors were largely Catholic, you
can be thankful to the priests of your greatgreat-grandmother, great-grandmother, and
grandmother for your existence.
The crusade’s profound effect on who
is alive today
• The laws and the physician persuasion they
supported were still saving children right up to
• I am particularly thankful for the physicians’
crusade laws and the physician persuasion the
laws supported.
• My mother was 42 when I was born in 1938.
She already had 3 boys, a girl, and a farm that
was deeply in debt (eventually lost).
Storer’s 1922 Self-sketch Provided for
Dr. James Joseph Walsh’s Cyclopedia
• “For nearly seventy years, Dr. Storer has written much
upon the real time of commencement of foetal life, &
of its sanctity. He has been supported, frequently and
most authoritatively, by the concerted aid of the
American Medical Association, the great body of
reputable physicians, of which his father was a
president and himself a vice-president. That action of
the Association has been the most beneficent of its
existence, and for the fact that he was to a small extent
enabled to take a part, Dr. S. will be held in grateful
remembrance, rather than as a progressive and
successful surgeon.”

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