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How will future generations view abortion?

Excerpt from "History of the United States", Bert Newman and Julia Carver, New World Publishing, 2073

Like slavery and warfare, abortion has been practiced by humankind since before recorded history. Early Egyptian records mention abortion, as does the Hippocratic Oath. In the United States abortion was practiced during the colonial period. After forming the nation, there were few restrictions against it until the mid-nineteenth century. At that time the American Medical Association campaigned to end abortion, and it was outlawed in all states by the end of the century. This did not end the practice, which continued clandestinely and killed several hundred thousand preborns each year, as well as a few thousand mothers who tried to abort their children.

In the 1960's a movement pushing for laws to allow abortion, under the guise of women's rights, led to abortion being allowed in more circumstances, starting in Colorado in 1967. Efforts to prevent the legalization of the killing were successful in some states, but in 1973 the United States Supreme Court, in a startling decision, Roe v. Wade, declared it unconstitutional for any state to prohibit abortion.

For the next four decades preborns were killed indiscriminantly, requiring only the wish of the mother to kill her child. The number killed has been estimated to be in excess of 60 million. There was surprisingly little resistance to the practice during those years. Those who did engage in civil disobedience or other actions to bring to light the plight of the unborn were often dealt with harshly. Although there was a great deal of verbal debate about the killings, reports of killings were virtually non-existent in the press, and the educational system did nothing to educate people to the reality of what was happening. The lack of these two forces is frequently seen as the main reason why the killings were allowed to continue. Although abolitionists, often referred to as "pro-lifers" or "anti-abortionists", spoke out about what was happening, without these two educational forces, people either did not believe what was happening or did not give serious consideration to the matter. Historians have compared this phenomenon to the people of Nazi Germany who said little when Jewish people were disappearing around them, or people who claimed that slavery was beneficial for black people.

In 2020 two forces combined to bring about change. First, a movement of secular abolitionists, exemplified by the Secular Society Upholding Life, separated the abortion issue from "social" issues, such as homosexuality and religion, which had often been intertwined with it. Up until then, most abolitionists approached the matter from a religious standpoint, creating the impression among the public that abortion was a "religious" issue, rather than one of basic human rights. They also took stands on other issues that hurt their cause. For instance, it was common for groups that opposed killing preborns to also oppose homosexuality (in spite of the fact that homosexual relations never lead to abortions). The secular abolitionists opposed abortion based on simple human rights concerns. They didn't mix in religious concerns a human being was a human being regardless of what religion, if any, you chose. They also avoided other issues that would draw attention away from the preborn, or, if they did address such issues, addressed them in terms of supporting people's human rights. Hence, in the case of gay rights, they would support the rights of the people to follow their own sexual orientations. Thus, these groups appealed to people of all (or no) religions to support the human rights of the preborn, regardless of how they might feel about other issues.

The second force to bring change was the decline of the Republican and Democratic parties signaled by the ascendency to the presidency in 2020 by the independent Raphael Gordon. With the decline of the two parties, which often spoke in rhetorical terms and avoided serious consideration of the issues, it became necessary for people to restructure their thinking from accepting vague ideologies to dealing with specific issues by looking carefully and critically at the facts. When the facts of abortion were seen by people, they quickly became horrified by what was happening.

The result was a dramatic shift in public awareness and opinion, and the passage the following year, 2021, of the 29th amendment to the Constitution, the Human Life Amendment, recognizing the right to life of all human beings regardless of stage of life. The Human Life Amendment had been the goal of abolitionist forces since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, but was elusive until these changes took place. The following year, 2022, saw the construction of a Memorial to the Unborn in Washington, D.C. in memory of the 60 million killed by "legalized" abortion, followed later in the year by the passage of the Preborn Education Act, ensuring that knowledge of the developing human and of the history of the killing will be taught to all school children.

The next two decades saw the recognition of the right to life of all human beings by all countries, with the United Nations issuing the Declaration of the Rights of the Preborn in 2035. North Korea was the last country to enact laws protecting preborn humans in 2039.