By: Roger Oliver
Should the disaster of abortion be laid at the feet of the Supreme Court and the Roe v Wade decision? Will a decision reversing Roe v Wade solve the problem? Aparently not.
In 1946 the case of Inez Burns, charged with running an illegal abortion clinic, brought to light that there were 16,000 births in the city that year and 18,000 abortions. A woman named Gloria Shannon was writing a book about the goings on in the house/hospital where she lived for 4 months in 1945 with her husband Warren. The book was appropriately titled, “My Memoirs in the Midstream of Life After An Intimate View of San Francisco’s Slaughter House for Babies.” The Shannon’s had unsuccessfully tried to shake down Inez for $35,000. The clinic was bringing in $50,000 a month, we’ll over half a million in today’s dollars. Inez was married to a prominent San Francisco politician. She learned her trade from an abortion doctor who took a liking to her and may have performed several abortions on Inez before she when to work with him. The clinic on 327 Fillmore St in the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco.
Now think about this, Inez was born in 1889 to a poor family in Philadelphia. Her father abandoned the family. They moved to San Francisco after her mother remarried. Inez got a job in a hotel as a manicurist and attracted a lot of wealthy male clients. The clinic operated for two or three decades. Said the prosecution lawyer, “Any time you have something illegal running in a city for a long period of time — say 20 or 30 years — someone is being paid off.”
Inez ran a tight ship, quite a modern and clean clinic. Puts the lie to the charge that if abortion were not legalized women would be getting abortions in back alleys using hangers. Dr. West who trained her was an elderly man when he met Inez and was a full time abortion doctor. When would that have been? I’d guess sometime in the early 20th century, the late 1910’s to the 1920’s.
So what is going on here? I’d say that long before Roe v Wade the church had abandoned God’s law as the only immutable standard of morality and ethics. No surprise that San Francisco eventually became the sodomite capital of California and make the US. As my friend, Stephen C. Perks recently wrote, the plague of homosexuality is the judgement of God and he will continue to rub it into the face of the church until there is repentance among the people of God for their antinomianism (absolute rejection of the Law of Moses as the standard of morality and ethics for all time). In the November 1968 issue of Christianity Today, a seminary professor at a prominent dispensational seminary, Bruce Waltlke, wrote an article titled, “The Old Testament and Birth Control” in which he stated that he felt that “abortion was permissible in Old Testament law.” (Cited from R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law p. 263. Our pastor during the early 70’s, a graduate of the same school, made an elaborate argument that abortion was not murder because the fetus had not received the “breath of life” yet, (na shema). Shame on us for believing him. I am a graduate of the same seminary and am not singling out this school. Most seminaries are antinomian and historically the source of most heresies.
Abortion will end when the church repents and returns to God’s law, with or without a supporting decision by the Supreme Court reversing Roe v Wade. That these “legal” clinics are closing down all over the place for economic reasons as much as anything else shows how this will happen. I discovered the story of Inez Burns reading about the 6th commandment in Rushdoony’s Institutes. I googled her name and found this most interesting article.