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Argument: Abortion has been opposed by important figures throughout history

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Supporting quotations

Mahatma Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers: The Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi As Told In His Own Words, 165 (1958) - "[I]t seems to me as clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime."

Apocalypse of Peter, circa 135 - "I saw a gorge in which the discharge and excrement of the tortured ran down and became like a lake. There sat women, and the discharge came up to their throats; and opposite them sat many children, who were born prematurely, weeping. And from them went forth rays of fire and smote the women on the eyes. These were those who produced children outside of marriage, and who procured abortions.

Those who slew the unborn children will be tortured forever, for God wills it to so."[1]

Barnabas, circa 125 - "You shall not kill either the fetus by abortion or the new born."[2]

St. Basil the Great, Letter 188:2, circa 370 - "She who has deliberately destroyed a fetus has to pay the penalty of it is not only the child to be born that is vindicated, but also the woman herself who made an attempt against her own life, because usually the women die in such attempts. Furthermore, added to this is the destruction of the child, another murder... Moreover, those, too, who give drugs causing abortion are deliberate murderers themselves, as well as those receiving the poison which kills the fetus."[3]

St. Basil the Great, canon II, circa 370 - "Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years' penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not."[4]

Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World), Second Vatican Council, promulgated December 7, 1965. - "For God…has conferred on men the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life…Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes."[5]

St. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9:7, circa 215 - "Reputed believers began to resort to drugs for producing Sterility and to gird themselves round, so as to expel what was conceived on account of their not wanting to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time."[6]

Thomas Jefferson, to Maryland Republicans, 1809 - "The care of human life and not its destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government."

St. Jerome, Letter 22:13, circa 400 - "They drink potions to ensure sterility and are guilty of murdering a human being not yet conceived. Some, when they learn that they are with child through sin, practice abortion by the use of drugs. Frequently they die themselves and are brought before the rulers of the lower world guilty of three crimes: suicide, adultery against Christ, and murder of an unborn child."[7]

St. John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on Romans, circa 380 - "Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? Where there are many efforts at abortion? Where there is murder before the birth? For you do not even let the harlot remain a mere harlot, but make her a murderer also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather something even worse than murder. For I have no real name to give it, since it does not destroy the thing born but prevents its being born. Why then do you abuse the gift of God and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the place of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter?"[8]

Theodore Roosevelt, An Autobiography, 305 (1913).[30] - "[A] physician of wealth and high standing had seduced a girl and then induced her to commit abortion-I rather lost my temper, and wrote to the individuals who had asked for the pardon, saying that I extremely regretted that it was not in my power to increase the sentence."[9]

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