The Witch at Endor

By Riley J. Hood—Milwaukee County Constitution Party

Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit,

that I may go to her and enquire of her.  And his servants said to him,

Behold, there is a woman, that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.” I Samuel 28:7

            The account of Saul and the Witch at Endor has generated commentary about King Saul’s lax enforcement of the law: Mathew Henry states: “It was his duty as a king to punish her and he knew it, yet he swears not to do it.” From 33AD one hallmark of Christianity was the condemnation of abortion. In American history abortion wasn’t a priority of the Church and enforcement was lax when it came to punishing abortion.

Maryland handed down a conviction for the “intention to abort” in 1652. In 1710 Virginia made it a capital crime to conceal a pregnancy and then be found with a dead baby. Delaware followed in 1719 with a law that made anyone who counseled abortion or infanticide an accessory to murder. After independence, by 1800, abortion wasn’t punished as murder.

Pro-abort Leslie Reagan says, “At conception and the earliest stage of pregnancy, before quickening, no one believed that a human life existed; not even the Catholic Church took this view,” Reagan wrote. “Rather, the popular ethic regarding abortion and common law were grounded in the female experience of their own bodies.” LR is an obvious prevaricator. If women were so free, why did they campaign for women’s rights?  At earlier times the egg or the sperm was believed to be a human life. 

Anti-abortion legislation was passed in Connecticut in 1821. New York passed a number of anti-abortion laws in the early 1800’s. Abortion wasn’t punished as murder. Popular sentiment was that women having abortions weren’t guilty, only those performing them. Women were considered victims.  States gave women immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony, with no or low penalties.  New York detective John Warren observed that, “Social crimes like infanticide, that were once placed on the same level as murder, are now only looked upon with complacency.”

Physicians led a campaign against abortion.  Dr. Charles D. Meigs in 1842, declared “…persons so ignorant of their own moral duties, or so uninstructed as to the character and duties of medical men, with a bold-faced proposition to procure an abortion.” Dr. Meigs refused such requests, believing abortion to be murder. The AMA began a crusade in 1857 to punish abortion.  A leading advocate was Dr. Horatio Storer, a Harvard Medical School graduate. The AMA pushed for State laws restricting abortions, and the Comstock Law, passed by Congress in 1873. Dr. Joseph C. Stone entered Congress in 1877 to “pass good laws when possible, but to stress conversion and education.” Abortions were criminalized by 1880, except for life of the mother.  Even still, abortionists passed out business cards and opened up clinics. 

On p. 127 of the Kingdom of the Cults, Dr. Walter R. Martin wrote about Dr. C.J. Eastman, Dean of Bellevue Medical College, who was convicted of running and abortion mill without medical credentials and was sentenced to ten years in prison. 

Madame Restell ran abortion businesses in New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Her clientele was married women.  Her business was one of many at the time.  Horace Greeley criticized newspapers for accepting advertisements by Restell.  George Washington Dixon of the National Police Gazette refused her business. The press referred to her as a “monster in human shape” and charged her with acts against God.  After abortion was defined as an obscene subject it was no longer advertised as such in most newspapers.

In 1840, Maria Purdy accused Restell of causing her “consumption” via the abortion procedure. Restell’s conviction was overturned upon appeal. In 1841, Mary Rogers was found dead in the Hudson River. It was believed Mary was a “client” of Restell. In 1847 Restell was charged for performing an abortion. She was convicted on a lesser charge, and she spent a year in prison.  In 1854 Restell was charged in a breach-of-promise case.  The complainant in the case admitted to having five abortions over a period of seven years, three were performed by Restell.

Abortion in New York was a felony after 1845, punishable by not less than one and not more than three years in prison.  Anthony Comstock, posed as a customer looking for birth control pills and brought the police round the next day to have her arrested. On April 1st. 1878 Restell committed suicide in her Fifth Avenue home; upon her death, she was found to be worth between $500,000-$600,000 ($12.4 million-$14.9 million in present-day terms).

Churches were not clear about abortion. An 1868 Congregational church conference on abortion declared: “We shudder to view the horrors of intemperance, of slavery, and of war; but those who best know the facts and bearing of this crime, declare it to be a greater evil, more demoralizing and destructive, than either intemperance, slavery or war itself.” The Presbyterian Church in the United States issued an official proclamation that declared, “the destruction by parents of their own offspring before birth,” is “a crime against God and against nature.”

By 1900 clergy became silent on abortion, laws went unenforced, and public apathy prevailed.  Dr. M.S. Iseman wrote in 1912 that “except in the formal letter of the statute books, the sanctity which nearly twenty centuries of Christianity has conferred upon the unborn human being is repudiated.” Dr. Matthew Liotta wrote in 1931, “Never before in all past ages has there been such merciless killing of innocent, helpless and unborn human beings as is going on at the present time.”

The book Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story championed “the right to destroy.” Sanger promoted promiscuity and attacked any women’s shelter which counseled otherwise. She wanted government funding that required the removal of all religious indoctrination; social workers replaced what she called “evangelically-oriented matrons.”  She founded Planned Parenthood, which remains a principal abortion provider in the United States.

The women’s liberation movement gained steam in the 1960s and abortion took center stage.  Leslie Reagan stated, “White male patriotism,” she wrote, “demanded that maternity be enforced among white Protestant women.”  The myth of back-alley procedures and coat hangers was asserted to deflect attention away from medical murderers who were in it for the money.  Even the AMA was pro-abortion by this time. 

By the late 1960s, so-called pastors and rabbis set up the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion to help women find “safe” abortions.  Anti-abortion laws were the problem rather than irresponsibility. In 1967, Colorado and California became the first states to legalize abortion for rape, incest and handicapped children. Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Virginia followed suit.  New York legalized abortion during the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy in 1970.  In 1973, SCOTUS struck down the State of Texas anti-abortion law.  The floodgates of bloodshed were opened.  After 44 years of lawlessness, over 61,000,000 children have been surgically murdered. Today the Congregationalist and PC-USA denominations are pro-abortion.

Over the course of our Nation’s history, “the face of abortion” has changed decade by decade, sometimes being drug induced, but since WWII surgical procedures have been the main focus.  Drug-induced abortion is still widespread and easy to buy.  The common thread, legally is that when abortion was punished, it was never punished as murder, and the life of the pre-born was never the focus of prosecution.  After a century of lax enforcement, where like the Witch at Endor, abortionists were easy to find, State Laws began to be struck down, and the floodgates of innocent blood were opened.  The Milwaukee County Constitution Party works to see abortion abolished immediately, and we work to see abortion punished as murder.  “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11    

Milwaukee County Constitution Party
PO Box 070344
Milwaukee WI, 53207