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Defenders of the Unborn – The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade

Daniel K. Williams


This book traces the history of the campaign against abortion in the United States from the 1930s through the 1970s and argues that the pro-life movement (or anti-abortion movement) originated as a human rights campaign grounded in the principles of New Deal liberalism. The book explains how a campaign for the “right to life” for the unborn that began as a Catholic movement used the language of universal human rights to expand its appeal to Protestants and a few Orthodox Jews in the early 1970s and argues that the movement’s liberal ideology contributed to its political success. The book trace ... More

Keywords: pro-life, anti-abortion, abortion, Catholic, Roe v. Wade, liberal, conservative, right to life, reproductive rights, Republican

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199391646
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391646.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel K. Williams, author
Associate Professor of History, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA