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right to refuse the approaches of the male when unprepared to receive
them without doing violence to the laws of her being.
The Nature of the Crime.--"The married and well-to-do, who by means
of medicines and operations produce abortions at early periods of
pregnancy, have no excuse except the pretense that they do not consider
it murder until the child quickens.
"No, not murder, you say, for 'there has not been any life in the child.'
Do not attempt to evade, even to man, a crime which cannot be hidden
from the All-seeing. The poor mother has not herself felt the life of
the child perhaps, but that is a quibble only of the laws of man, founded
indeed upon the view, now universally recognized as incorrect, that
the child's life began when its movements were first strong enough to
be perceptible. There is, in fact, no moment after conception when it
can be said that the child has not life, and the crime of destroying
human life is as heinous and as sure before the period of 'quickening'
has been attained as afterward. But you still defend your horrible deed
by saying, 'Well, if there be, as you say, this mere animal life,
equivalent at the most to simple vitality, there is no mind, no soul
destroyed, and therefore, there is no crime committed.' Just so surely
as one would destroy and root out of existence all the fowl in the world
by destroying all the eggs in existence, so certain is it that you do
by your act destroy the animal man in the egg, and the soul which
animates it. When is the period that intelligence comes to the infant?
Are its feeble first strugglings any evidence of its presence? Has it
any appreciable quantity at birth? Has it any valuable, useful quantity
even when a year old? When, then, is it, that destruction is harmless
or comparatively sinless? While awaiting your metaphysical answer, I
will tell you when it is sinful. Murder is always sinful, and murder
is the willful destruction of a human being at any period of its
existence, from its earliest germinal embryo to its final, simple,
animal existence in aged decrepitude and complete mental
[Footnote 38: Gardner.]
"There are those who would fain make light of this crime by attempting
to convince themselves and others that a child, while in embryo, has
only a sort of vegetative life, not yet endowed with thought, and the
ability to maintain an independent existence. If such a monstrous
philosophy as this presents any justification for such an act, then
the killing of a newly-born infant, or of an idiot, may be likewise
justified. The destruction of the life of an unborn human being, for
the reason that it is small, feeble, and innocently helpless, rather
aggravates than palliates the crime. Every act of this kind, with its
justification, is obviously akin to that savage philosophy which
accounts it a matter of no moment, or rather a duty, to destroy feeble
infants, or old, helpless fathers and mothers."
[Footnote 39: Black.]
Instruments of Crime.--"The means through which abortions are effected
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