By Randall Rainey, Gerard Magill

The continued debate over abortion serves as a transparent indication that the excellent courtroom selection of 1973 did little to settle the query of abortion's legitimacy. If something, in reality, the controversy has grown, with extra strident voices and, occasionally, extra violent dimensions than ever ahead of. On either side, the talk has been ruled by way of passionate yet no longer constantly rational arguments. it sort of feels as proposal there are not any tame evaluations approximately abortion during this nation, that public coverage is the manufactured from slogans, sound bites, and placards, rather than principled argument. by way of featuring the balanced, rational argument for the Catholic place in this hugely charged topic, Abortion and Public coverage makes an immense contribution to public coverage discourse in our pluralistic society. R. Randall Rainey, S.J., LL.M., is Senior Fellow on the Woodstock Theological heart at Georgetown collage. Gerard Magill Ph.D., is Chair of the dep. of wellbeing and fitness Care Ethics and Director of the interdisciplinary Ph.D. software in well-being Care Ethics at Saint Louis collage.

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43 Criminal sanctions were imposed primarily on the abortionist. 47 By 1840 eight States had enacted abortion legislation, the remainder following the common law tradition. With the discovery of the events of conception in the nineteenth century, the quickening distinction was gradually abolished by most States, which increased both the degree of the offense and the Page 9 penalties for this crime. By the end of the 1950's, the overwhelming majority of States prohibited all abortions with the exception of those therapeutic abortions judged necessary by physicians to save the life of the mother.

56 Consequently, because the act of taking innocent human life is rarely, if ever, justifiable, the act of abortion had been proscribed radically by the respective States. Religious leaders were not engaged in efforts to repeal state laws which permitted abortion under exceptional circumstances of life of the mother, rape, and incest. While the Church tolerated state law exceptions to abortion, it denounced efforts to liberalize state law restrictions. 58 Page 10 This socio-political legal framework was radically altered by the Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe v.

1 Keynote Address The Honorable Robert P. Casey 47 When Does Human Life Begin? Does Science Provide the Answer? William S. D. D. 72 Theological Parameters: Catholic Doctrine on Abortion in a Pluralist Society James J. D. D. 131 The Public Law of Abortion: A Constitutional and Statutory Review of the Present and Future Legal Landscape Basile J. M. D. 183 The Church and Abortion in the 1990s: The Role of Institutional Leadership J. D. 203 Contributors 229 Indices 233 Page vii Preface Any observer of the social scene in America will acknowledge that abortion is a hotly contested issue.

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