Saturday, 4 February 2012
Abortion and Slavery - Part I
It is common to hear people today ask the question 'how could people ever think that this was acceptable?'. Yet for centuries it went largely unquestioned; the only major exception being the Catholic Church, whose voice nonetheless was often unheard.
During the Eighteenth Century opposition to this form of slavery began to grow, and a powerful movement grew from small beginnings. A series of court cases, beginning with the Somersett case in 1722 began to lay the ground for the abolition of slavery, though public opinion was slow to follow. It wasn't until May 1787 that the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was founded in London and was able to harness the growing momentum. It took more than twenty years for the trade in slaves to stop in British ships and forty years before slavery was completely abolished throughout the British Empire. It would be another generation before slavery would be abolished in the United States of America, home to so many of the planatations.Today there is almost total condemnation of this system. An abuse of human dignity that had for so long been legal and seen as perfectly acceptable has come at last to be seen in the clear light of truth, as one of the most terrible examples of human cruelty, apathy and self-deception.