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*Image: The Slaughter of the Innocents by Nicolas Poussin, c. 1630 [Musée Condé, Chantilly, France]

By David Carlin, The Catholic Thing, April 21, 2021

David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

David CarlinAs best I can remember, I have always been anti-abortion, going all the way back to my boyhood.  When I was a boy – a long, long time ago – everybody was anti-abortion, especially Catholics.  It was forbidden not just by the rules of morality but by the criminal law.

Then came the great sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and suddenly lots of people, especially young people delighting in new-found sexual freedom, decided that abortion was not such a bad thing.  It was either a necessary evil or a positive good.  Many felt that the right to abortion was a fundamental human right.

In 1973, a majority of the Supreme Court agreed; they discovered, mirabile dictu, that the U.S. Constitution contained, apparently hidden up to that point, a right to abortion. …