here - J. Reuben Clark Law School

Report
Roe at 40:
A Short History of Roe v. Wade, Abortion in the
USA, and of the LDS Church Response to Roe
Lynn D. Wardle
The Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law
Brigham Young University
Mini-Symposium on Roe at 40
J. Reuben Clark Law School
Brigham Young University
January 22, 2013
I.
II.
II.
Introduction:
A Short History of Abortion in the USA
A. Common Law & American codifications until 1966
B. Roe and the Revolution in Abortion Law
C. Roe by the numbers: How Many Abortions?
D. The Effects of Roe Upon the Law
The Doctrines and Policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints Concerning Elective Abortion
A. Organization of the LDS Church, its Leadership, and the Importance of
Teaching
B. Official Position of the LDS Church re: abortion
C. Nineteenth Century LDS Condemnation and Rejection of Elective Abortion
D. LDS Church Response to the Movement to Legalize and Social Acceptance of
Elective Abortion in Since 1960
E. Linking the Doctrine to Foundational Theological, World-view Principles
F. LDS Church Positions on the Legalization of Elective Abortion
G. Enforcement of the LDS Policy Rejecting Elective Abortion
H. Mormons’ Support for and Adherence to The LDS Church Position Opposing
Elective Abortion
III. Conclusion: What Lies Ahead for Roe?
William Blackstone, Commentaries on the
Common Law of England (1756)
• Abortion was a crime at common law since 12th
century
• Blackstone, Rights of Persons:
“Life is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent by
nature in every individual; and it begins in
contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir
in the mother’s womb. For if a woman is quick with
child, and by potion or otherwise, killeth it in her
womb; or if anyone beat her, whereby the child dieth
in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this,
though not murder, was by the ancient law homicide or
manslaughter. But the modern law doth not look upon
this offense in quite so atrocious a light but merely as a
heinous misdemeanor.”
Declaration of Independence (1776)
• “all Men are created equal, that they are
endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the
Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these
Rights Governments are instituted among men .
. . .”
• Codification of Abortion common law in 19th
century and Modification to reflect new
scientific knowledge of procreation (alive at
conception so fetal life protected from
conception)
Ongoing Abortion Law Reforms Pre-Roe
Hard cases
life and serious health risks for mother
rape or incest
severe fetal defect
Reform
ALI, Model Penal Code (3 exceptions)
4 states + 14 states reform laws 1967-72
Roe v. Wade,
410 US 113 (Jan. 22, 1973)
• Unwritten (SDP) constitutional right of privacy
includes abortion decision
• No significant restrictions before birth
• No restrictions at all in 1st Trimester
• Only minor regulation of medical safety in 2d Tri
• After ‘viability’ (28 wks) state may restrict
– - unless nec to protect life or health of mother –
defined very broadly to include financial health,
stress, etc.
DOE v. Bolton: Georgia’s ALI model Penal Code abortion
provisions unconstitutional
Effect: All abortion laws in all 50 states invalidated
Expansion: Major Supreme Court Abortion Cases (2013)
(Excluding Most Summary Dispositions and Procedural or Incidental
Cases)
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1. United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971)
2. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
3. Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973)
4. Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809 (1975)
5. Connecticut v. Menillo, 423 U.S. 9 (1975)
6. Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52 (1976)
7. Bellotti v. Baird (I), 428 U.S. 132 (1976)
8. Maher v. Roe, 432 U.S. 464 (1977)
9. Beal v. Doe, 432 U.S. 438 (1977)
10. Poelker v. Doe, 432 U.S. 519 (1977)
11. Colautti v. Franklin, 439 U.S. 379 (1979)
12. Bellotti v. Baird (II), 443 U.S. 622 (1979)
13. Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980)
14. Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980)
15. H. L. v. Matheson, 450 U.S. 398 (1981)
16. City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, Inc., 462 U.S. 416 (1983)
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17. Planned Parenthood Association of Kansas, Missouri, Inc. v. Ashcroft, 462 U.S. 476 (1983)
18. Simopoulos v. Virginia, 462 U.S. 506 (1983)
19. Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986)
20. Diamond v. Charles, 476 U.S. 54 (1986)
21.* Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474 (1988)
22.* Webster v. Reproductive Health Center, Inc., 492 U.S. 490 (1989)
23. Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990)
24. Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, Inc., 497 U.S. 502 (1990)
25. Rust v. Sullivan, 500 U.S. 173 (1991)
26.* Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)
27.* Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, 508 U.S. 263 (1993)
28.* National Organization for Women, Inc. v. Scheidler, 510 U.S. 249 (1994)
29.* Madsen v. Women's Health Center, Inc., 512 U.S. 753 (1994)
30. *Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, 519 U.S. 357 (1997)
31. Lambert v. Wicklund, 117 S.Ct. 1169 (1997)
32. Mazurek v. Armstrong, 117 S.Ct. 1865 (1997)
33. *Hill v. Colorado,530 U.S. 703(2000)
34. Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000)
35. Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, 126 S.Ct. 961 (2006)
36. *Scheidler v. National Organization for Women, Inc., 126 S.Ct. 1264 (2006)
37. Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 127 S.Ct. 1610 (2007)
* = pro-life free speech or expression case
• Other Notable Supreme Court Cases Involving Abortion
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5) *Lawson v. Murray, 515 U.S. 1110 (1995)
6) Leavitt v. Jane L., 116 S.Ct. 2068 (1996)
7) Janklow v. Planned Parenthood, 517 U.S. 1174 (1996)
8) *Lawson v. Murray, 525 U.S. 955(1998)
9) * Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 551 U.S. U.S. 449 (2007)
10) *Lefemine v. Wideman, __ U.S. __, 2012 WL 5381602 (Nov. 12, 2012)
Arnold v. Sendak, 429 U.S. 968 (1976)
*Guste v. Jackson, 429 U.S. 399 (1977)
Hartigan v. Zbaraz, 108 S.Ct. 479 (1987)
Fargo Women s Clinit v. Schafer, 507 U.S. 1013 (1993)
* = pro-life free speech or expression case
The Five Categorical Wrongs of Roe
1. Roe v. Wade has severely distorted American law
2. Roe has severely distorted Americans’ practice of
abortion
3. Roe has caused a serious erosion of the ethic of
respect for the sanctity of inconvenient life.
4. Roe has caused a severe erosion of the dignity of
Personhood.
5. Roe has seriously eroded rights of conscience
I. Fifteen Wrongs (Four Distortions) of
Roe v. Wade upon Law in the U.S.
I. Structural Distortions
1) Abortion Regulation nationalized
Violation of federalism; federal govt (crts) set policy
2) Abortion Regulation Constitutionalized (SDP)
3) Judiciary created new constitutional right (SDP) (White, J.
judicial ‘fiat’)
Violated Separation of Powers, Check & Balances
4) Abortion Regulation judicialized - Courts (mostly fed)
creat/monitor/expand new constitutional right
5) Altered / circumvented amendment process of Art. V
II. Substantive Doctrinal Distortions
6) Substantive Private Right to Kill Unborn Child read into Constitution
7) US has most radical abortion law in the world (MA Glendon)
8) No restriction until 3rd trimester – viability (abortionists’ choice) 2d trimester only minor regulation - of method
9) Denial of Pro-Life First Amendment Speech & conscience rights
10) No laws requiring notice to husband permitted
11) Circumvention of parents’ rights accepted (jud bypass)
12) Nearly all abortion restricts struck down for 40 years (except $
funding, p’al notification, informed consent)
III. Process Distortions
13) Legislature and political process largely excluded, shut down.
14) Judicial process has politicized abortion law even more and more
extreme result than when political branches control (contrast US v.
Europe) – major election issue every federal election.
15) Politicized judiciary – spectacle of contention re: SCOTUS nominees
ABORTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES, In Even and “5” years, 1972-2008
Year
Number Rate
Ratio
%Repeat %<19
% Unm’d
1972
587,000
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
1973
745,000
16.3
193
N/A
32.8
71.0
220
15.2
32.5
72.4
19.3
1974
899,000
1975
1,034,200
21.7
249
—
—
—
1976
1,179,000
24.2
265
22.7
32.1
75.4
1978
1,410,000
27.7
294
29.5
30.8
76.5
1980
1,554,000
29.3
300
33.0
29.6
79.4
1982
1,574,000
28.8
299
36.8
27.5
80.9
1984
1,577,000
28.1
297
N/A
26.4
81.8
1985
1,589,000
28.0
298
40.5
26.2
82.3
1986
1,574,000
27.4
294
41.4
25.7
82.3
1987
1,559,110
26.9
289
42.2
25.4
82.4
1988
1,590,800
27.3
288
N/A
25.6
82.6
1990
1,609,000
27.4
280
45.0
23.0
82.0
1992
1,529,000
25.9
275
47
—
—
1994
1,423,000
22.5
266
N/A
21.85
81.66
1995
1,359,400
22.5
259
—
—
—
1996
1,360,200
22.4
259
N/A
N/A
N/A
N1998
1,319,000
21.5
250
—
—
—
48
19.37
2000
1,313,000
21.3
245
N2002
1,293,000
20.9
242
2004
*
N2005
1,206,200
2006
*
2008
1,212,400
19.4
19.6
83.08
82.012
—
—
47
—
—
n/a
n/a
n/a
224
n/a
Year
Number
Abortions
1972
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
587,000
1,034,000
1,554,000
1,589
1,609,000
1,359,400
1,313,000
1,206,200
Abortion
Rate/
1000
Women
-21.7
29.3
28.0
27.4
22.5
21.3
19.4
Abortion
% Abortion
Ratio/ 100
Repeaters
Pregnancies
-24.9
30.0
29.8
28.0
25.9
24.5
22.4
-15.2 (74)
33%
41%
45%
47%
48%
47%
Abortions: 1972-2005 (AGI data)*
*The Alan Guttmacher Institute produces the most reliable data on abortions in the United States. However, even the AGI estimates that 3-6% of all
abortions are unreported. (CDC data is usually 12-19% lower than AGI because of CDC’s passive methods.)
Sources: Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States, May 2010 available at http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html#2 (seen 7 July
2010) (22% of pregnancies end in abortion; 1.21 million abortions; half of all women having abortions had previous abortions; 2% of women 15-44 have
abortions each year; one-third of all American women will have an abortion); Sources: Rachel K. Jones, et al., Abortion in the United States: Incidence and
Access to Services, 2005, 40 Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 6 (March 2008), available at
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4000608.pdf (seen 7 July 2010); Abortion in the United States: Statistics and Trends, available at
http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html (seen 7 July 2010); compare Sonya B. Gamble, et al, Abortion Surveillance --- United States, 2005,
(CDC, MMWR, Nov. 28, 2008 / 57(SS13):1-32, available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5713a1.htm (seen 7 July 2010) (reports
820,141 legal abortions in 49 reporting areas; abortion ratio of 233/1000 live births, and rate of 15 / 1000 women 15-44).
CDC, MMWR, Abortion Surveillance – US, 2009 (November 2012) From 2008-2009
5% drop in abortion number & rate, largest since CDC began keeping records in 1969.
Mary Ann Glendon,Abortion & Divorce in Western Law
II.
III. The History, Doctrines, Theology, and Policies
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Concerning Elective Abortion
A. Organization of the LDS Church, its Leadership, and
the Importance of Teaching
B. Official Position of the LDS Church re: abortion
C. Nineteenth Century LDS Condemnation and
Rejection of Elective Abortion
D. LDS Church Response to the Movement to Legalize
and Social Acceptance of Elective Abortion in Since
1960
E. Linking the Doctrine to Foundational Theological,
World-view Principles
F. LDS Church Positions on the Legalization of Elective
Abortion
G. Enforcement of the LDS Policy Rejecting Elective
Abortion
OFFICIAL LDS POSITION STATEMENT ON ABORTION:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity
of human life. Therefore, the Church opposes elective abortion for
personal or social convenience, and counsels its members not to
submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions.
The Church allows for possible exceptions for its members when:
Pregnancy results from rape or incest, or
A competent physician determines that the life or health of the
mother is in serious jeopardy, or
A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects
that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.
The Church teaches its members that even these rare exceptions do
not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter
and should be considered only after the persons involved have
consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal
prayer that their decision is correct.
The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public
demonstrations concerning abortion.”
Official Church Handbook of Instructions
administrative policy (also accessible online) clearly
states:
“The Lord commanded, ‘Thou shalt not … kill, nor
do anything like unto it’ (D&C 59:6). The Church
opposes elective abortion for personal or social
convenience. Members must not submit to,
perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to, or
encourage an abortion. . . . Church members who
submit to, perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to,
or encourage an abortion may be subject to Church
discipline.” A member who has, practices, or
finances abortion is ineligible to serve as a
missionary for the Church.
“Abortion” at http://newsroom.lds.org/officialstatement/abortion (seen 7 November 2011).
Abortion was prohibited and punished in the 19th Century LDS
Church
D&C 59:6 “Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it.”
(1831).
“Doctor” John C. Bennett (Assistant President, member of the
First Presidency, Mayor of Nauvoo) was excommunicated in 1841
for, inter alia, adultery and abortion.
In 1879 Apostle (and later third president of the Church) John Taylor declared:
The standing law of God is, be fruitful and multiply; but these
reformers are ‘swift to shed blood,’ even the blood of innocence;
and with their pre-natal murders and other crimes, are slaying
their thousands and tens of thousands with impunity, to say
nothing of that other loathsome, disgusting, filthy institution of
modern Christendom ‘the social evil,’ as well as other infamous
practices. We must protest against feticide, infanticide, and other
abominable practices of Christendom being forced upon us,
either in the shape of legislative enactment, judicial decision or
any other adjunct of so-called civilization. We are American
citizens and are not yet deprived of the inalienable rights of life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In 1882 Apostle Joseph F. Smith (later President of the Church) declared in a sermon in
Salt Lake City:
[W]e are called an immoral people. Well, is the world so very moral? Are our
accusers so very pure and holy and so extremely righteous that they should
accuse us of being immoral?... [T]here is not a more moral people upon the face
of the earth to-day than the Latter-day Saints . . . . I will venture to say that
there are half as many children murdered among [the most virtuous
Americans] annually, either before or after birth, by their own mothers or
fathers, as are born to the Latter-day Saints in the same period. The Latter-day
Saints are proverbial for not murdering their children. They have hosts of
them, and they do not try to destroy them neither before nor after birth, but
endeavor to rear them to manhood and womanhood, that they may teach them
the principles of the Gospel of Christ – the highest code of morals known, that
they may be able to bear off the kingdom of God upon the earth, and to
regenerate the world. This is the object for which the Latter-day Saints are
raising children, that God may have a pure and a righteous people. . . .
But, it is said, the immorality of the Latter-day Saints consists in their marrying
more wives than one. We are not charged with the crime of frequenting houses
of ill-fame, of fostering illicit intercourse, of infidelity to our wives – of child
murder, of drunkenness, profanity, dishonesty, cruelty or indolence, or if we are
the charge is utterly false, but our great offense is in marrying our wives and
protecting them and our children as all honorable men should. God forbid that I
should undertake to compare the honorable marriages of the Latter-day Saints
with the debauchery and sexual crimes of our accusers!
Apostle and Counselor in the First Presidency, Heber C. Kimball declared prophetically in a sermon in Salt
Lake City Bowery:
The [religious leaders] of the day in the whole world keep women, just the same as the gentlemen of the
Legislatures do. The great men of the earth keep from two to three, and perhaps half a dozen private
women. They are not acknowledged openly, but are kept merely to gratify their lusts: and if they get in the
family way, they call for the doctors, and also upon females who practice under the garb of midwives, to
kill the children, and thus they are depopulating their own species. [Voice: ‘And their names shall come to
an end.’] Yes, because they shed innocent blood.
I knew that before I received ‘Mormonism.’ I have known of lots of women calling for a doctor to destroy
their children; and there are many of the women in this enlightened age and in the most popular towns
and cities in the Union that take a course to get rid of their children. The whole nation is guilty of it. I am
telling the truth. I won’t call it infanticide. You know I am famous for calling things by their names.
I have been taught it, and my wife was taught it in our young days, when she got into the family way, to
send for a doctor and get rid of the child, so as to live with me to gratify lust. It is God’s truth, and I know
the person that did it. This is depopulating the human species; and the curse of God will come upon that
man, and upon that woman, and upon those cursed doctors. There is scarcely one of them that is free
from the sin. It is just as common as it is for wheat to grow.
Do we take that course here? No. I have buried several children; I have buried them in York
State, too, in Monroe county, where I lived all my young days, and where I became acquainted with brother
Brigham, which is rising of thirty years that we have been together, about twelve miles from where Joseph
Smith lived and found the Book of Mormon. I buried two children there, lawful children, born to me by my
first wife; and then I have buried some ten children here, born to me by my lawful wives; and I have
altogether about fifty children; and one hundred years won’t pass away before my posterity will outnumber the present inhabitants of the State of New York, because I do not destroy my offspring. I am doing
the works of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and if I live and be a good man, and my wives are as good as they
should be. I will raise up men yet, that will come through my loins, that will be as great men as ever
came to this earth, and so will you.
LDS Doctrinal Reaction to Roe
In the 50 consecutive semi-annual general conferences
between October 1970 and April 1995, LDS Church Leaders
delivered more than 75 general conference sermons
addressing the practice and legalization of abortion. In
those critical twenty-five years, during which the novel
legal rule of abortion-on-demand was being created,
imposed, established, and expanded, and during which the
practice of abortion was becoming widespread and cultural
acceptance was growing, the leaders of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints expressed unequivocal
opposition to permissive abortion in every general
conference; not a single semi-annual conference passed
without some direct criticism of or condemnation of
permissive abortion by the General Authorities.
[A]bortion is a growing evil that we speak against. Certainly the
terrible sin of premeditated abortion would be hard to justify. It is
almost inconceivable that an abortion would ever be committed to
save face or embarrassment, to save trouble or inconvenience, or
to escape responsibility. How could one submit to such an
operation or be party in any way by financing or encouraging? If
special rare cases could be justified, certainly they would be rare
indeed. We place it high on the list of sins against which we
strongly warn the people.
"Abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and
sinful practices in this day, when we are witnessing the frightful
evidence of permissiveness leading to sexual immorality."
(Priesthood Bulletin, February 1973, p. 1.)
As to abortions, we deplore the reported million unborn children
who will lose their lives in this country this year. Certainly the
women who yield to this ugly sin and the sin which often
generated it, and those who assist them, should remember that
retribution is sure. It is sure.
Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, November 1974, p. 9.
Abortion, which has increased enormously,
causes one to ask, "Have we strayed so far from
God's second great commandment--love thy
neighbor--that a baby in a womb no longer
qualifies to be loved--at least as a mother's
neighbor?" Even so, violence to an unborn child
does not justify other violence!
Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1993, p. 76.
The ultimate act of destruction is to take a life. That is why
abortion is such a serious sin. Our attitude toward abortion is
not based on revealed knowledge of when mortal life begins
for legal purposes. It is fixed by our knowledge that according
to an eternal plan all of the spirit children of God must come
to this earth for a glorious purpose, and that individual
identity began long before conception and will continue for all
the eternities to come. We rely on the prophets of God, who
have told us that while there may be "rare" exceptions, "the
practice of elective abortion is fundamentally contrary to the
Lord's injunction, `Thou shalt not . . . kill, nor do anything
like unto it' (Doctrine and Covenants 59:6)”
Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 1993, pg. 74.
Except where the wicked crime of incest or rape was involved, or
where competent medical authorities certify that the life of the
mother is in jeopardy, or that a severely defective fetus cannot
survive birth, abortion is clearly a "thou shalt not." Even in these
very exceptional cases, much sober prayer is required to make the
right choice.
Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1990, p. 85.
Whatever the laws of man may come to tolerate,
the misuse of the power of procreation, the
destroying of innocent life through abortion, and
the abuse of little children are transgressions of
enormous proportion. For cradled therein rests
the destiny of innocent, helpless children.
Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1986, p. 18.
Now, as a servant of the Lord, I dutifully warn those who
advocate and practice abortion that they incur the wrath
of Almighty God, who declared, "If men . . . hurt a
woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, . . .
he shall be surely punished." (Ex. 21:22.)
...
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has
consistently opposed the practice of abortion. One
hundred years ago the First Presidency wrote: "And we
again take this opportunity of warning the Latter-day
Saints against those . . . practices of foeticide and
infanticide."
Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, May 1985, p. 13.
The current official statement of the Church about abortion, available online,
states:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life.
Therefore, the Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience, and
counsels its members not to submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such
abortions.
The Church allows for possible exceptions for its members when:
Pregnancy results from rape or incest, or
A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious
jeopardy, or
A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow
the baby to survive beyond birth.
The Church teaches its members that even these rare exceptions do not justify abortion
automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the
persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal
prayer that their decision is correct.
The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations
concerning abortion.
Official Church administrative policy (also accessible online) clearly states:
“The Lord commanded, ‘Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it’ (D&C 59:6).
F. The Church opposes legalizing elective abortion
March 7, 1974, just a little over a year after Roe decision, a
designated representative of the Church testified before a U.S.
Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Constitutional
Amendments. David L. McKay, a son of the former President of
the Church, David. O. McKay, and then-President of the LDS
mission in New York and New England, presented "a statement
on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints,"
which included the recent LDS First Presidency statement
opposing abortion as "one of the most revolting and sinful
practices in this day," and he concluded: "The church is
therefore against the legalization of abortion.“
Statement of David L. McKay in Hearings Before the
Subcomm. on Constitutional Amendments of the Committee on
the Judiciary, United States Senate, 93rd Cong., 2d Sess., on S.J.
Res. 119 and S.J. Res. 130 at 286, 318 (March 7, 1974).
G. Enforcement of Church Policy Within the Church
Professor at BYU lost her teaching job – despite AAUP pressure
Church Handbook: church discipline
Seven Consistent Themes of LDS Official
Statements About Abortion
1. Grave sin
2. Members subject to discipline
3. “Like unto” murder
4. Narrow exceptions under Priesthood
counsel.
5. Social evil, degenerate
6. Church does not take position on specific
legislation
7. Church urges members to stand up for
sanctity of life, raise voice, vote, etc.
IV. Mormons’ Support for and Adherence to
Church Opposition to Elective Abortion
Polls
Abortion practice
Who is elected to public office in Utah
Abortion number, rate and ratio in the United States and Utah:
YEAR
U.S. Total Abortions
Utah Total
Abortions
US Rate Per 1,000
Females 15-44 years
old
Utah Rate Per 1,000
Females 15-44 years
old
US Ratio per
1,000 Live Births
Utah Ratio per
1,000 Live Births
1973
742,500
100
16.5
6.4
239
4
1975
1,034,200
2,000
22.1
7.8
331
60
1980
1,553,900
4,200
29.3
12.3
428
97
1985
1,588,600
4,400
28.0
11.1
425
116
1990
1,608,600
4,796
27.4
10.5
389
114.7
1995
1,359,400
3,705
22.5
6.9
350
83.2
2000
1,313,000
3,509
21.3
6.2
324
69.3
2005
1,206,200
3,556
19.4
5.7
Not Available
63.4
2008
1,212,400
3,779
19.6
5.7
Not Available
66.1
V. Contrasting Church Opposition to Elective
Abortion with Other Biomedical Ethical Issues
A. ART: Artificial Insemination, In Vitro
Fertilization, Sperm Donation and Surrogacy
B. Embryonic Stem-cell Research
- Nutshell = STRONG contrast -
VII. Conclusion: The Importance of
Messages and Communications
“I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” –
Joseph Smith
The courageous German Protestant martyr, Dietrich Bonhoffer,
expressed the core point in a different but relevant context when
he wrote: "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not
hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."
In his Nobel acceptance speech, Elie Wiezel, wrote:
“I swore never to be silent . . . . We must take sides. Neutrality
helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the
tormentor . . . .

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