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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
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By Jason Jones & John Zmirak
Published on November 18, 2020, at The Stream.
November 18 marks a powerful anniversary. In 1920, the newly-hatched dragon that was the Soviet Union legalized abortion. That made it the first government in the West to embrace the destruction of children since the conversion of Constantine. No one even dared to raise the idea of doing that until the 18th century, when the Marquis de Sade proposed it — in the midst of one of his many pornographic, literally Satanist books.
The egg he laid took centuries to mature, but it pecked its way out 100 years ago today. Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir both argued for abortion as the only way women could be fully “equal” to men. Equally free, that is, to abandon the innocent product of sexual gratification. In the U.S., Ruth Bader Ginsburg picked up de Sade’s argument (likely ignorant of its origins) and tried to enshrine it in U.S. law. In the Soviet Union, by the best estimates, the average woman had six abortions in her lifetime.
‘It’s not surprising that a totalitarian state pioneered legalized abortion. Just as communism violates human rights on a massive scale, abortion denies the most fundamental of rights — the right to life — to the unborn child.
That’s why it’s ironic that so many international organizations try to portray abortion as a fundamental human right, comparable to free speech or the right to a fair trial.’
Until the end of World War II, legalized abortion was limited to Russia and countries controlled by the U.S.S.R. Then Sweden and Japan followed suit. In the 1960s and 70s, many European democracies passed similar laws. In 1973, the Supreme Court imposed abortion on the United States.
Today, the World Health Organization estimates there are 50 million abortions a year worldwide. ‘The number of abortions performed in the past 100 years could be in the billions,’ Morse said.
She also warned: ‘Now some prominent NGOs and government aid-givers are trying to force abortion on African countries like Kenya, despite overwhelming local opposition. It’s important for us all to understand the origins of legalized abortion. It started with a regime dedicated to the abolition of human rights and the family, and the massive expansion of state power.’