Searchlights on Health/The Murder of Innocents

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1. MANY CAUSES.—Many causes have operated to produce a corruption of the public morals so deplorable; prominent among which may be mentioned the facility with which divorces may be obtained in some of the States, the constant promulgation of false ideas of marriage and its duties by means of books, lectures, etc., and the distribution through the mails of impure publications. But an influence not less powerful than any of these is the growing devotion of fashion and luxury of this age, and the idea which practically obtains to so great an extent that pleasure, instead of the health or morals, is the great object of life.

2. A MONSTROUS CRIME.—The abiding interest we feel in the preservation of the morals of our country, constrains us to raise our voice against the daily increasing practice of infanticide, especially before birth. The notoriety that monstrous crime has obtained of late, and the hecatombs of infants that are annually sacrificed to Moloch, to gratify an unlawful passion, are a sufficient justification for our alluding to a painful and delicate subject, which should "not even be named," only to correct and admonish the wrong-doers.

3. LOCALITIES IN WHICH IT IS MOST PREVALENT.—We may observe that the crying sin of infanticide is most prevalent In those localities where the system of moral education has been longest neglected. This inhuman crime might be compared to the murder of the innocents, except that the criminals, in this case, exceed in enormity the cruelty of Herod.

4. SHEDDING INNOCENT BLOOD.—If it is a sin to take away the life even of an enemy; if the crime of shedding innocent blood cries to heaven for vengeance; in what language can we characterize the double guilt of those whose souls are stained with the innocent blood of their own unborn, unregenerated offspring?

5. THE GREATNESS OF THE CRIME.—The murder of an infant before its birth, is, in the sight of God and the law, as great a crime as the killing of a child after birth.

6. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY.—Every State of the Union has made this offense one of the most serious crimes. The law has no mercy for the offenders that violate the sacred law of human life. It is murder of the most cowardly character and woe to him who brings this curse upon his head, to haunt him all the days of his or her life, and to curse him at the day of his death.

7. THE PRODUCT OF LUST.—Lust pure and simple. The only difference between a marriage of this character and prostitution is, that society, rotten to its heart, pulpits afraid to cry aloud against crime and vice, and the church conformed to the world, have made such a profanation of marriage respectable. To put it in other words, when two people determine to live together as husband and wife, and evade the consequences and responsibilities of marriage, they are simply engaged in prostitution without the infamy which attaches to that vice and crime.

8. OUTRAGEOUS VIOLATION OF ALL LAW.—The violation of all law, both natural and revealed, is the cool and villainous contract by which people entering into the marital relation engage in defiance of the laws of God and the laws of the commonwealth, that they shall be unencumbered with a family of children. "Disguise the matter as you will," says Dr. Pomeroy, "yet the fact remains that the first and specific object of marriage is the rearing of a family." "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth," is God's first word to Adam after his creation.

9. THE NATIONAL SIN.—The prevention of offspring is preeminently the sin of America. It is fast becoming the national sin of America, and if it is not checked, it will sooner or later be an irremediable calamity. The sin has its roots in a low and perverted idea of marriage, and is fostered by false standards of modesty.

10. THE SIN OF HEROD.—Do these same white-walled sepulchres of hell know that they are committing the damning sin of Herod in the slaughter of the innocents, and are accessories before the fact to the crime of murder? Do women in all circles of society, when practicing these terrible crimes realize the real danger? Do they understand that it is undermining their health, and their constitution, and that their destiny, if persisted in, is a premature grave just as sure as the sun rises in the heavens? Let all beware and let the first and only purpose be, to live a life guiltless before God and man.

11. THE CRIME OF ABORTION.—From the moment of conception a new life commences; a new individual exists; another child is added to the family. The mother who deliberately sets about to destroy this life, either by want of care, or by taking drugs, or using instruments, commits as great a crime, and is just as guilty as if she strangled her new-born infant or as if she snatched from her own breast her six months' darling and dashed out its brains against the wall. Its blood is upon her head, and as sure as there is a God and a judgment, that blood will be required of her. The crime she commits is murder, child murder—the slaughter of a speechless, helpless being, whom it is her duty, beyond all things else, to cherish and preserve.

12. DANGEROUS DISEASES.—We appeal to all such with earnest and with threatening words. If they have no feeling for the fruit of their womb, if maternal sentiment is so callous in their breasts, let them know that such produced abortions are the constant cause of violent and, dangerous womb diseases, and frequently of early death; that they bring on mental weakness, and often insanity; that they are the most certain means to destroy domestic happiness which can be adopted. Better, far better, to bear a child every year for twenty years than to resort to such a wicked and injurious step; better to die, if need be, of the pangs of child-birth, than to live with such a weight of sin on the conscience.