Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Greed Has Always Driven the Abortion Industry

by Anne Hendershott
Crisis Magazine 

For more than a century, abortion has created tremendous wealth for providers in the United States. That continues today as yet another shocking video has been released showing a top Planned Parenthood official discussing the sale of body parts of unborn children. And, although this news does not seem to disturb many on the pro-choice side, there was a time when most believed that ending the life of the unborn child was “so egregious an offense against nature” that it deserved the harshest penalties. It was an era when even the New York Times found the practice so abhorrent that their editorial staff responded to the 1878 death of Madame Restell, an infamous abortionist, with the statement that her passing was “a fitting end to an odious career.”

Madame Restell’s death occurred during a time when she held sway over New York City’s abortion industry—owning a network of abortion parlors throughout the city that stretched from her primary facility in a house on Chambers Street all the way across the River to Hoboken. She was joined in New York City’s burgeoning abortion business by dozens of other abortionists who were luridly described in New York’s National Police Gazette as “fiends who have made a business of professional murder and who have reaped the bloody harvest in quenching the immortal spark in thousands of the unborn.”

The practice of abortion has always been lucrative, and Restell was just the first to parlay the provision of abortion services into a personal fortune of more than a million dollars and a lavish Fifth Avenue brownstone described in the tabloids of the day as the “Mansion Built on Baby Skulls.” She shared the abortion profession with her husband, Charles Lohman, an ex-printer who took the name Mauriceau and advertised himself as a “doctor,” advocating early abortion with “potions and powders” as the “safest” alternative. Lohman specialized in creating abortifacients, which he sold for exorbitant prices. In the extensively researched Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America, author Marvin Olasky writes that “Mauriceau was a brazen Barnum with an audacious sales technique.”

Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.

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