horatio1_s640x427Abortion was common in America in the middle of the nineteenth century…. [It was] estimat[ed] that at least 20 percent of pregnancies were ending in induced abortion at the time….

A Boston physician, Horatio Robinson Storer [chairman of the American Medical Association, pictured]… carried out extensive research… [and] [f]rom 1860 to 1880 nearly every state and territory passed stringent anti-abortion legislation….

What are the chances that one or more of your direct ancestors were born because of the… laws against abortion that Dr. Storer and the AMA demanded and the widespread physician persuasion of women to continue pregnancies that these laws supported? You may be surprised….

Approximately 56 million children were born during the generation from 1870 to 1900. If 3 percent of these were born from unwanted pregnancies that went to term because of the physicians’ crusade, this would amount to 1,680,000 children whose lives were saved….

However, the abortion reductions produced by the “physicians’ crusade” were not limited to a single generation and three percent is a low estimate for the number of additional children born because of the crusade. If one assumes five percent for only two generations beginning in 1870, the 38.6 percent figure for our current generation becomes a whopping 71 percent! This too, however, is an underestimate, because anti-abortion laws and physician persuasion continued to cause unwanted pregnancies to be completed for every generation up to 1973. If you have primarily Protestant ancestors who lived in the U.S., you can be fairly certain that your own existence was one result of the successes of Storer’s “physicians’ crusade.”…

Although those who view the restrictive abortion laws overturned by Roe v. Wade as abominations would be reluctant to admit it, Horatio Robinson Storer [who also authored the very first anti-abortion tract for women] may have been the most important person in the United States in the nineteenth century.

~ Frederick N. Dyer, “19th Century state abortion laws probably allowed you to be born,” Washington Times Communities, February 17

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