“Life begins at conception” is the cry of Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer and many other physicians in the mid-nineteenth century, who crusaded to educate their society in the midst of an abortion epidemic.  Frederick Dyer’s, The Physicians’ Crusade Against Abortion meticulously documents the passionate campaign waged for the unborn by Dr. Storer and other physicians. This crusade was directly responsible for influencing abortion laws in the United States, as well as educating women to the fact that abortion is murder, at any time of pregnancy.  Dyer’s employment of biology, medical terminology and practices, as well as the Hippocratic Oath “I will do no harm or injustice ” is fundamental to the argument for life.

Dr. Frederick Dyer gives a detailed account, utilizing letters, essays and speeches to major medical journals and societies that laid the ground work for new laws to protect the unborn, as well as the protection of women, who many times sought abortions, not recognizing the moral and physical ramifications. Storer also reprimands the clergy for not standing against criminal abortion in their churches, and calls on the newspapers to condemn the advertisers of abortion and quack abortion remedies.  Dyer states that we have Storer to thank for our very lives, as statistically speaking, many would not be alive today had not the efforts to stop this abortion epidemic been waged in earnest.

Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer passionately states,

“And now words fail. Of the mother, by consent or by her own hand, imbued with her infant’s blood; of the equally guilty father, who counsels or allows the crime; of the wretches who by their wholesale murders far out-Herod Burke and Hare (William Burke and William Hare were indicted in 1828 for 16 murders in one year in Scotland); of the public sentiment which palliates, pardons, and would even praise this so common violation of the all law, human and divine, or all instinct, or all reason, all pity, all mercy, all love, -we leave those to speak who can.”

The battle against abortion is not limited to the twentieth century and Roe v. Wade, but strikes at the heart of a Christian nation.  The Physicians’ Crusade Against Abortion is a necessary read for all who are in the fight for life and the unborn.  The comprehensive details of the book may make for a lengthy read, yet it is well worth the effort.  What struck at my heart was the realization that abortion is not only tied to Roe v. Wade, but was a very serious issue in the Church during the mid 1800s.  That most abortions were attained by married Protestant women, calls into question the moral health of society in the nineteenth century and perhaps sheds light on where we are today.

Dr. Dyer’s bio is impressive as found on the dustcover of the book:

“Frederick N. Dyer obtained his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Michigan State University in 1968. He has published numerous scientific articles and two major reviews during four years as a university professor and more than twenty years as a research psychologist at the Army Medical Research Laboratory and elsewhere.

“In 1993, Dr. Dyer actively pursued a long-held interest in the history of abortion in the United States and in the key figure in that history, Horatio Robinson Storer. Dyer’s biography of Dr. Storer, Champion of Women and the Unborn, was published in 1999. Storer’s influence on other physicians was profound and the total of these physicians’ efforts, the subject of the current book, produced a huge impact not only on abortion legislation, but on women’s behavior with thousands of women changing their minds about abortion.”

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