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By Marie Costa

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Extra resources for Abortion: A Reference Handbook (Contemporary World Issues)

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Robert Hare of Cleveland is indicted in Massachusetts for violation of antiabortion statutes for referring a woman to a Massachusetts physician, Dr. Pierre Brunelle, as part of his work for a clergy counseling service. The indictment is dismissed, but the prosecutor appeals, and the case is still dragging through the courts in January 1973, when the Roe v. Wade decision strikes down all state antiabortion laws. Rev. Hare is the only American clergyman to be indicted on an abortion charge. Dr. Brunelle is convicted and sent to prison.

The maximum penalty for the person performing the abortion is one year in jail and/or a fine of $500. The bill sets an important legal precedent by explicitly permitting abortion to save the life of the mother. The bill will be signed into law in 1829 and take effect in 1830. In reality, however, it will have little impact on abortion practice, largely because of popular resistance to the regularization and regulation of medicine. 1830 Following the English lead, Connecticut revises its statute to outlaw instrumental abortion, as well as the use of poisons, after quickening.

Later estimates will put the number of abortions as high as one out of every three pregnancies. 1869 Pope Pius IX issues the papal enactment Apostolicace sedis, which abandons the previously existing limitation that excommunication was to be imposed only for abortions of "ensouled" fetuses. By implication, the enactment lays the groundwork for the church's subsequent position that all abortion is murder. Page 9 1871 A report by the AMA Committee on Criminal Abortion describes women seeking abortions as ''unmindful of the course marked out for [them] by Providence" and characterizes them as selfish and immoral, "[yielding] to the pleasuresbut [shrinking] from the pains and responsibilities of maternity .

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