Libation # 218
James Wilson
Signer of the Declaration and the Constitution, Justice of the Supreme Court, Law College Professor     
Abortion in Early America?    
"With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life - from its commencement to its close- is protected by the common law." "In the contemplations of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb.  By the law, that life is protected."
From James Wilson's writing: Of The Natural Rights of Individuals, references Blackstone....
Blackstone Commentaries (Book 1, chapter 1, in Sec I. Parg1.)
When life was declared as an unalienable right given by God in the Declaration of Independence, and when the 5th and 14th Amendments to our Constitution speak of protections for life,  life in the womb was certainly included and was expected to be protected by law.

The founders of our nation were not unfamiliar with abortion. In 1652 a conviction was handed down in Maryland for "intent to abort," and in 1656, a woman was arrested for murder after procuring an abortion.*  A 1710 Virginia law made it a capital crime to conceal a pregnancy and then be found with a dead baby.**  And in 1719, there was a law in Delaware that made giving counsel for abortion an accessory to murder.***

Make no mistake, the child in the womb is a person and God knows each one. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to the nations before he was born (Jeremiah 1:5).  John the baptist was filled with the Spirit of God while in the womb and he "leaped" in Elizabeth's womb in response to Mary's voice, who was pregnant with our Lord Jesus (Luke 1:41).

We need to employ every means available to save the lives of those yet in the womb. But our greatest victory will be reestablishing the personhood of the unborn and providing them protection under law.
*Proprietary v. Mitchell in Archives of Maryland, Vol. 10, ( Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1936), pp.182-185
Ibid., p.464
**William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large, Vol. 3 (Philadelphia: Desilver, 1823), pp. 516-517
***Delaware Laws, chapter 22, section 6, p. 67 (1797)

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