This article is completely fascinating:
Abortion was so extensive in the mid-1800s that The New York Times called it “The Evil of the Age . . . The enormous amount of medical malpractice [a euphemism for abortion] that exists and flourishes, almost unchecked, in the city of New York, is a theme for most serious consideration. Thousands of human beings are thus murdered before they have seen the light of this world.” But the abortion rate began to fall after the Civil War as a nationwide pro-life movement gathered strength.
That movement included the largest women’s organization of the era, the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union), as well as the YMCA and YWCA (Young Men’s or Women’s Christian Association), various Societies for the Suppression of Vice, and, by the end of the century, the Salvation Army. Many doctors were involved; unlike today, the American Medical Association was a staunch opponent of abortion, which it dubbed “unwarrantable destruction of human life.” (emphasis mine)
Women’s groups, doctors, and charitable organizations working together. A vision for the future, truly.
Tanya adds: Here is what I gather may have become the shortfall of the modern pro-life movement:
Laws against abortion assisted the pro-life movement but were not its primary focus of attention. ”
The writer concludes by saying abortion legislation is not a pointless venture “but time and money spent on providing and promoting compassionate alternatives saves more lives.”
Today, I’m not sure the general public views the pro-life movement as primarily compassionate. We can blame that on whoever we like (the media, the pro-abortion advocates or Morgentaler himself) but we are the only ones who can change our public image for the better.