thumbnail of Sexuality: a search for perspective; 7; Are Sex Laws Necessary? -- Ralph Slovenko, Attorney at Law, New Orleans.
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Well ought not to be concerned with activity performed in private and between consult consenting adults be it heterosexual or homosexual. Likewise indecent behavior of what I was taught with minors irrespective of the sex of a minor is indecent. The issue in all of these cases is not sex but rather the protection of the helpless from indecent behavior or attack. Michigan State University radio presents sexuality a search for perspective a series of recorded lectures from an interdisciplinary colloquy on human sexuality held on the campus of Michigan State University. The purpose of this series is to provide a comprehensive discussion of human sexuality in its broadest possible perspective. And yet deal with this important and timely topic in an organized informed and rational manner. The lecturer today is Dr. Ralph slow Vanco attorney at law from New Orleans.
Dr. slow Van Gogh has been a professor of law at Tulane University and a Fulbright scholar in France. He is the editor of American lectures in behavioral science and law and has served as United States commissioner on the Louisiana Supreme Court. His topic is our sex laws necessary. Now Dr Ralph slow Vanco I was surprised. Yesterday when I had arrived. The wife of one of the faculty members asked me what I was going to talk about today. I had said that talking about laws on sex and she was quite astonished and asked. You mean there are laws on sex. Yes there are and she wondered why sex is private. Why should there be laws on something that is private. But there are many laws on sex and to name a few that we will be discussing
today. They are rape. Crime against nature. Exhibitionism voyeurism. Indecent behavior with minors. Sexual psychopath legislation. Prostitution pornography. Then the civil laws of divorce and criminal laws on abortion. Are these laws necessary. Now we know is designed to control behavior. It is designed to protect. Our limit against one's own impulses and the impulses of other people. In the best personality development external controls change over into self control good conditions in early life tend to lead to a sense of security and a sense of security. Leads on to self control. When self
control is a fact then security that is imposed from the outside is almost an insult to. The needs of the public very. But in some measure we are all relieved to know that they are some external controls. But what should be the nature of control in the area of sexual behavior. My friend last evening thought that the existence of laws on sex is odd because sex is private. He implied that laws may be justified to govern sex which is not private public sex. We consider to be indecent and for this reason I would suggest that laws governing sexual behavior are justified only when the behavior is public or when it is aggressive
and furthermore we would suggest that even in those areas the aims of the law would be better served by non sex laws then by sex laws. But before looking at these laws we may first ask. Who is the typical sex offender. The typical image that we may have is of a very vicious person. But the fact of the matter is as the Kinsey group in Indiana pointed points out so very well in their book Sex offenders they're not quite that at all. Let me recount one young man's history. And I do not think that his story is unusual. No one we may recall Freude saying is completely satisfied with his sexual life. No one's sexual life can be said to be fully mature. We often think of
sex in terms of pleasure but it gives immense pleasure. But for many people too many people sex is equally the source of great pain and struggle. This particularly young man's earliest encounter certainly most vividly remembered encounter. With curls came somewhere in the earliest grades when he discovered that a girl made it a practice to intercept him on his way home from school. His customary adjustment was flight. He would cross the street when he saw the girl coming and then reroute himself from the danger was past and past. But the girl was too smart for that. She would double back catch him make him twist and turn in embarrassment. Still today in the telling and retelling of his early history immediacy is obvious. Impotency ineffectiveness to imitating. He suffered from a lack of
feeling confusion of sexual role and a lack of potency both in his work and as to be expected in his sexuality. The only illuminates the New this particular young man at the time was a virgin and worried a great deal about it. He masturbated a great deal to relieve his loneliness our anxiety not for sexual pleasure but to relieve his loneliness and his anxiety from what I was so lost. That loneliness and anxiety make. A fair measure of his fear of sex may be illustrated by his remark that he wished it were over with at the time that I talk with him. A trying situation presented itself a girl rather well known for her promiscuity showed interest in him and he decided that he would bring his virginity to an end. The preparation was mountainous manuals on sexual technique a new sweater the traditional
jug of wine and much more. The day before the day he expressed concern and finally doubt that the mechanics of the sexual act could be measured or mastered by a beginner. He was afraid he might not attain an erection. His repetitive words were embarrassment and humiliation. At the thought of buying a prophylactic he realized that his arrangement would not work out the enormity of the venture struck him. He cancelled the day. The sex even if he had engaged in it. Would have left him as lonely and unrelated afterwards as before. And this young man is in perpetual rage. The pacing rage of a caged animal it smolders far beneath and only seldom is the glow seen. But it is there. His stomach is in constant ferment and he takes pill after pill to rid himself of the pain was so much for
his story. It is a sad story and make no mistake about it. Sadder still because unlike the story his life must go on. But where will it go. An unanswerable question. But as to how it will go the answer is a certainty. Badly. At least as badly as it had gone in the past and probably worse for the umbrella of you will not remain forever. And the demands of life will become ever greater. In twenty years married and divorced an alcoholic a suicide a felon. At what point if at all. Should the law intervene. What sought of rescue is a law anyhow and the criminal law in particular. The criminal law is widely assailed. And the only good thing apparently said about it
is that no one can think of a better system. Surely. Any enterprise that operated on the efficiency of the criminal law system would soon go out of business and the system whatever its merit. Is not in the hands of people who know how to manage the problems they are charged with handling the vice squad of the police department. Specially set up for the enforcement of sex law that is maintained by individuals who often use the laws are corrupt the laws as an outlet for their own perversions. Who other than a pervert. Would accept a job as a policeman whose assignment is to hang around public toilets. Verily a system so poorly recommended must be restricted within the narrowest of bans.
The criminal law especially sex law in favors in faming are stigmatizing rarely helps the individual. Are the public prophecies tend to be self fulfilling a negative label is rarely in the service of rehabilitation. Prison is off for ever loses. People are encouraged far more by sugar. Then by Lemon. Don Quixote de la muncher inspired a peasant girl. When he cried out about her that the whole world standard for the whole world is not confess that there is not in the whole world a damsel more beautiful than the Empress of La Manche or negative social sanctions are reliable indicators of how much society a society is frightened of anything. The very topic of sex was to
BU in the 19th century even the legs of a piano had to be covered from. Open sex up to discussion. But the lone Sex remains as it was. But. We would suggest because of the type of institution that it is actually ought not to regard sexuality as a problem and ought to take sexuality or remove sexuality from its terminology. It might simply regard sex as a dependent variable fraud in 1931 and changed his emphasis from sex to aggression. We must see the so-called sex crimes as a way that aggression is displayed. We must see sex crimes as a degree of disorganization in a person and we must seek
ways to improve his organisation. It would do best to restrict the application of laws to manifestations of violence. Women in contrast to men rarely come to prison for sexual delinquencies. It is when their delinquent sexual patterns involve them in crimes of violence which bring them to prison. And men should be handled in the same way. As for the non traumatising are nonviolent type of behavior that can be dealt with solely from the point of view of indecency. My friend last evening was of the opinion that sex laws are justified. Perhaps only when the behavior is public so the emphasis is. I would suggest a law ought to be on deterring. Untoward aggressive activity gross public indecency
and seductiveness of juveniles and children. The law ought not to be concerned with activity performed in private and between consult consenting adults be it heterosexual or homosexual. Likewise indecent behavior of whatever sock with minors irrespective of the sex of a minor is indecent. The issue in all of these cases is not sex but rather the protection of the helpless from indecent behavior or attack. The laws needed to regulate intolerable sexual behavior can actually be accomplished more effectively both from the viewpoint of society and from the viewpoint of the rehabilitation of the offender by 9 sex laws. Let us turn to the various sex laws and examine them from this perspective.
The crime of rape. Women. Be they hysterical paranoid or not are primarily interested in the prevention of rape not in the apprehension of an offender. They fear the violence and transgression of their integrity as well they might of course but what. Never the concern of other people. The particular woman who has actually been raped usually wants to fade out of the picture as quickly and quietly as possible apprehension of the offender seems to her. Like closing the stable door after the horse is out. Especially she is not interested in assisting law enforcement officials in apprehending and prosecuting the offender when the proceedings would tend to you merely aid her. She wants nothing particularly
at this time of her distress to add to her distress. Moreover in rape cases the prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that she quote resisted to the utmost. Which is very difficult to prove and an acquittal which is more probable than not. Leaves the impression in the public eye that she voluntarily had sexual intercourse with a vagrant. Her reputation is stain. In this setting. The woman who does claim rape. Is regarded as simply vindictive vindictive. And the reality of her complaint is doubted. As a result the present day law on rape goes largely an enforced only a very small percentage of rapes are reported. And fewer less are prosecuted. Lynching of a rapists at one time was justified. At least in the
south. On the theory that a gentleman would not require a lady to testify in a public tribunal that she had been raped. The criminal law postulates that apprehension of an offender serves to deter others from crime. But the present day law is self-defeating. A rape victim would be more likely to assist law enforcement officials if the proceedings were less humiliating. The crime of the non sex crime of indecent assault or assault and battery with adjustment and penalty could take the place of a rape charge. The accused person if he wishes can obtain any amplification of the charge that he desires by way of a bill of particulars. And this crime to need make no reference to sex between heterosexuality and homosexuality. The sex is irrelevant. The
homosexual rape can be as devastating as a heterosexual rape. Lawrence of Arabia is a well-known illustration of a mental breakdown resulting from a homosexual attack. A crime against nature. The so-called crime against nature. The typical case of crimes against nature nowadays involves a person who shows a lack of discretion by committing homosexual acts in a public restroom. This type of conduct is as offensive and against public decency as would be the performance of a heterosexual act in a public restroom. Fond of human behavior rooted in biology are relegated to the private arena at least in the civilized world as we know it. Perhaps we want to hide those activities
we do in common with animals are at least we wish to do them in dignity as Gorky said it is the obligation or at least every person should try to live beautifully and to be pretty to do those things that animals do in public. To eat on a public sidewalk or to perform sexually or to display one's private parts on the public street. We consider that to be an affront to public decency. Homosexuals. Are heterosexual how heterosexual activity profile public are even talked about. We consider to be in the poorest of taste in violation of social amenities. Homosexuals are others. Sexual activity may be considered no different than
heterosexual activity. Law enforcement practices reveal in fact that homosexual behavior is generally punished only when it occurs in public. The important question is What should we consider we consider to be in public. Suppose it is done secretively but in a public place behind a partition wall in a theater restroom. Regard heterosexual activity. We know that those who make love in public even on Lover's Lane are discouraged or charged with disturbing the peace. The community has a need not to have its emotions aroused and it has a need to control and to express its feeling against gross violations of a stablish social amenities. But it can do this with out the need of sex laws. If the criminal law is to be applied individuals who display their privates in public places can be
charged with public disorder disturbing the peace or assault and battery laws on crime against nature or sodomy can be removed from the statute books. The crimes of public disorder are disturbing the peace or assault and battery while protecting the public are at the same time less stigmatizing than the crime against nature charges are sodomy the offender is usually already miserable enough about himself and when he is charged with a sex crime he is further embarrassed and he wishes to plead guilty he is in effect deprived of a public trial he pleads guilty because he wants to of wrong. The stigma and embarrassment of a public trial and also so often he is a professional person. He's the one type of criminal offender who has funds to pay and fees of 2000 to $5000
are not infrequent and paradoxically in these cases because the offender wants to get out of the matter as quickly as possible. The lawyer has very little to do. He's not he has no obligation to prepare for trial. He simply pleads the defendant guilty or he may chat briefly with a descriptor hurty for some sort of suspended sentence or. Some such thing is as that. So then they sex crime in effect deprives the offender of the protections criminal protections that are afforded by the Bill of Rights to and laws on criminal procedure to other types of offenders. We may. Pause a moment and ask. What is the reason for our sexual deviation. Why does a person resort to a homo sexual mode of
adaptation or resort to other deviant behavior. I would suggest that. These deviations are attempts at problem solving of ways of trying to reach and meet with other people on one swing of the pendulum. We can look at heterosexual activity and on the other swing of the pendulum. We can look upon a person who has withdrawn and retreated from the world he has isolated himself. He is almost He is the type of person who is so fearful of other people that he may simply exhibit himself or he simply peep so I may withdraw completely to his room. In between we may look upon the person who is a homosexual at least he has not given up on the
human race. He is trying to relate to someone else. We may say that he is little better organized a little better put together. Than the person in the swing of the pendulum who has withdrawn and the individuals who have difficulty relating with other people are going to be rageful and angry frustrated and on occasion. This anger rage makes below. Freud pointed out that homosexuality and paranoia are stages in development that they know that they're that they're often found together. But when the rage does explode that is when the criminal law is applied it can be applied through the non-sexual crime of assault and battery.
What we have so long assumed about the sex offender is not to be assumed anymore. He is not a person desiring sex the homo sexual offender is not seeking a sexual outlet or an our gas outlet. He is primarily looking to another person. Truly he is fearful of the opposite sex and he is looking for someone with whom he can depend for human companionship. Some people may turn to animal husbandry may be able to only relate with a hawse or a dog or a cat. Are the circumstances of life may relegate a person. To that situation the exhibitionist or the voyeur are is more frightened of other people are not able to maintain a relationship with them and a person may exhibit himself not to an adult
but to a minor being so frightened of the opposite. I do not think there is any such thing as being oversexed. I suppose that one may be so preoccupied with sex or sex problems that other areas of life may be neglected. But it's not because this person is a sex but rather because this is the way that this individual is trying to resolve the problem of relating to others. Now of course when there's a person who is peeping through a window or exhibiting themself the victim. A person who sees this exhibition a sort of boy is frightened does not know his intentions. But here again the non-sex laws are more than adequate. To handle and cope. With the offender.
We are. Duly concerned with assaults. On young girls but most often assaults our sexual play of an adult with a young person is done in all innocence and within the family life. This is of course described by the reverse at a poker complex and of course this is not the concern of the criminal law. Actual assaults by adults on young girls are relatively infrequent and of course due concern of parents and of the young people. But we may point out the reason why elderly people make approaches to the young. The elderly have the task of adjusting themselves to decline in physical strength and sexual power. One characteristic of aging
is a shift from gender Tallaght to pre-judge to Tallahassee. There may be increasing interest and engagement in scatological activities pornographic books and pictures are in great demand in old age as in adolescence and peeping tom tendencies may be equally strong in both the so-called perversions are found more often in old people than in persons in the prime of their life. One of the difficult problems facing the aged person is how to employ his remaining love and energy which is aborted. We might point out by current retirement policies it has been said that the tragedy of all people is that they feel young the elderly find themselves gradually deprived of their work and of the people for whom they once cared. The
passage of time parts friends and makes a man's children independent. One of the effects produced by this impoverishment in love is that an elderly person may embrace all living creatures in the love which he had reserved for a few people and so many of the problems that we see of indecent behavior with minors in fact represents an elderly. Persons to him to cling to some human companionship. And there may be no sexual connotations whatsoever to the approach. When we come to the various perversions and there are many of them we know that various people have various perversions and all of these when they find expression can be handled
through the. Non-sex laws. But what has happened is that they have not been handled through the non-sex laws but the laws. The but various states of attempted to cope with these problems. Over half of the states by so-called sexual psychopath legislation. Some of these statutes provide that a person shall be labeled a sexual psychopath. When any of the sex crimes have been committed that is when any sex organ has been involved. Some of the statutes such as the Wisconsin statute goes even further. And provides that. Even though they may not have been a sex crime if the motivation has been sexual then the sexual psychopath legislation applies that is if the motivation in a stabbing is considered to be sexual it is. If it said that this person derive sexual desire or pleasure from this crime then this would be dealt with as a sexual crime. And of course there are various
motivations and any act in a suppose any sexual motivation to be found in any act. Well to implement the sexual psychopath stat statutes special institutions such as the institution at a task Adair of California has been established to deal with these offenders when they have worked out to the poor. Some have called them an outright hoax. When are we justified in having special institutions. We know that for political purposes we may have a special institution as we do in Germany to hold one war criminal. Oh yes we know that we have special institutions for juvenile delinquents for geriatric patients. But we don't have special institutions from robbers or burglars and no murders are justified in having special institutions for sex
offenders. Because a person may commit a sex act or may be sexually motivated for sundry reasons and. The point is that these and we have such a conglomerate number of persons in these institutions but also and very important is that we stigmatize the people that we put there the inmates that we find at the institution Tasker Dero are stigmatized humiliated and probably will never. Reintegrate into society they had a hard enough time before but now they are label sex offenders. They walk around the institution with such signs as I am a sex offender I am an exhibitionist. I am a masturbator. When they're released they're not going to get into any country club they're not going to get any type of job and they're not going to attain the companionship of any girl that knows where he has been. So the Surrey experience of other
states that have an active sexual psychopath legislation this umbrella type legislation and the special type institutions to implement those statutes. Furnish ample evidence that those examples are not to be followed and rather we should proceed in the opposite direction rather and that is to offer structure and guidance through non-sex laws rather than emphasizing sexuality as a factor because sex is really not the motive in these offenses. Now we come to prostitution. We know that. As has been said it's the oldest institution and the only institution that has survived all revolutions and it is quite likely to remain with us. But fashions have changed. But as one New Orleans mayor said you can make prostitution illegal
but you can't make it unpopular. But what if we don't report in England. Dealt with prostitution as it did with homosexuality and recommending that prostitution itself should not be made illegal. But that legislation should be passed to drive it off the streets on the ground that public solicitation was a nuisance and so English law today now prohibits only open prostitution as well as procuring prostitutes and living on their earnings. Prostitution is not going to be eliminated by a law on prostitution it simply offers an opportunity for the vice squad to corrupt that law. It. Furthermore. Is to be eliminated only by the development of economic and cultural conditions which offer people an opportunity to work
and to be creative. There are of course individuals who are sociopathic in that they feel that they are sitting on a fortune and they may resort to prostitution. But in most cases ride as a person resort. To prostitution. Without justifying prostitution because sorry indeed is a situation where a man has to buy a woman's body remake point out some of the motives for resort to prostitution. Prostitution in a number of cases may deal with the disruptive tensions within a person. The evidence seems to indicate that the incidence of rape goes up as the law on prostitution is in force. A cesspool Thomas Aquinas once observed is necessary to a palace
if a whole palace is not to smell. Some people. Are only able to be ironically attracted to a love person or to love a person who is ironically attractive. They have a Madonna complex as Rod called it in their early years. These individuals were taught to believe that sex is dirty or degrading and they feel as a result that sex is something to be done only with unrespected people. They are potent only with the prostitute type and they tend to be relatively impotent are sexually disinterested with their wife are nice women whom they regard as a mother figure. Some people whose lives are indeed admirable in every way known to the spouse. Are true friends and associates may nevertheless have a hidden corner of their personality. The need for a bizarre or extreme
ritual which is the way in which their sexual drive can achieve some expression. There is a tremendous strain upon the individual who has one of these pockets of abnormality psychotherapy may not be possible or it may not be desired. The way out may be to employ a prostitute who will carry out what is in fact a dis tarted form of childhood memory. Sex pornography is a functional alternative to prostitution. They both provide for the discharge of impersonal sex. Prostitution provides it via intercourse with a real sex object and pornography provides it via masturbate Tori imagined intercourse with a fantasy
object. Sex evokes powerful emotions and powerful imagery and as a result the tendency is to link it link to it more social sources of anxiety and frustration. Concern over most sex pornography like that over prostitution is misplaced. To be sure sex pornography is usually neither intellectually edifying nor sexually liberating but investing our concern over it. Perhaps the tracks our attention from the truly obscene considering the quality of much of today's society with pictures of violence with the ruining of our natural landscape with the commercialization of our human emotions the fig leaf is like a patch that an adolescent puts over a pimple on his face
thinking that it is only problem or that it will cure all of his worries absurdity is surely more than the display of a beautiful body. It surely involves the display of violence. It surely involves work patterns which depersonalizes individuals as one person puts it who I am like some artists who prostitutes himself in a dead end job before he can work in his proper work before he can prove himself individually obscenities to be regarded not simply in sexual overtones but in the broader perspective as the term was originally meant to cover all the human ization of the human person. But what have we done today. We have. Commercialized sex. We have exploited emotions that are appropriate for our
intimate relations to sell products. We see the use of emotions that are appropriate for a private area exploited for the sale of commodities and we see the exploitation of sex by associating it with violence and cruelty and we see it associated by those who distorted my société it with drug or alcohol addiction as though sex were some sort of disease. To turn now to the civil law on divorce. How helpful is the law to persons who are going through a grevious time of their life. The verses are easily obtained today. The statistics of four hundred twenty eight thousand divorces annually were not Afula marriages attest to that. Yet none the less the parties are obliged to go through a legal procedure that is
degrading and which widens even more the gap between them. Apart from property matters the process of divorce. Ought to be taken out of the courts. Kurds are congested. The average lawsuit was recently noted that is being tried today in Chicago it was filed six years ago and a principal reason for the congestion is that courts handle or administer many matters that are more administrative than judicial. Divorce is one of those matters that may be better handled out of the courts. And how do the courts today handle divorce cases. The common evaluation of divorce and custody cases by judges and lawyers is that they are trash cases. This is the term frequently used in the corridos the courtroom lawyers say when referring to a divorce case it's trash that's going on there.
The cases are considered trash for two reasons. The fee is modest. And the procedure is demeaning. In New York where one time adultery was the only cause for divorce. One judge regularly began his docket declaring let the perjury begin. Allegation of cruelty along with adultery is another as a ground for divorce and the petition in cruelty cases usually read something like this. Your petitioner of theirs but the defendant has beat her severely on numerous occasions and during these periods of intemperance conduct he has in addition to causing physical injury to the petitioner made a highly nervous and apprehensive this for the safety not only of ourselves but of the children as well. Your petition enough with standing has at all times during the existence of said marriage to defendant been a dutiful and faithful spouse and mother
to their minor children. Providing the defendant the respect and devotion of a loving wife was not too infrequently when the wife sees this petition that the attorney has drawn up she protests. He hasn't really done that he hasn't really beat me I don't want to say that. The attorney says I have to. Cast it in these terms this is the ground the ritual and which I have to. If you want to get your divorce. Well these petitions either for adults based on the grounds of adultery or cruelty stigmatize the defendant as cruel and sadistic person. The law on divorce has long been based as the criminal law on a fence theory. Nowadays a matrimonial offense such as adultery or cruelty needs to be alleged. It is not sufficient simply to allege marriage breakdown which is now being considered or has been adopted
in divorce. At the request of one party after one or two years separation is a growing procedure in many states of the United States. But to establish separation in these cases the petitioner must bring in a neighbor or two neighbors to testify that no reconciliation of the parties has taken place during that year or two years. And what constitutes re conciliation. As the law defines it. OC act of intercourse constitutes a reconciliation and so the neighbor has to testify that she has not seen the house. Husband during this period of time coming to visit the wife now of course if their children are even if there are no children the husband may make an attempt at reconciliation are he may wish to. Even if that's not his desire he may wish to come to see the children.
And surely the neighbors. Know honestly are in fact not a whit as to what actually occurred but tween the estranged spouses and so as a result this type of proceeding calls up fraud from the neighbors as well as from the parties themselves. It is irrelevant in law that a wife may have submitted herself sexually to a strange husband in order to attempt to re conciliation or to avoid an argument with her husband which may have been embarrassing to the children in the house. All that is irrelevant. But. The spouses need at this time of life is not a legal proceeding that alienates them even further or stigmatizes them but what they need at this time not a courtroom procedure but what they need is counseling and guidance and also what the woman needs at this time and so often is
police protection. The large percentage of murders in this country. Are not between strangers but there are spouses who are a strange and the most difficult thing for a woman to tain is. That is police protection and this is what the criminal law might offer her at this time. The point is that now a days since divorce can be obtained as easily as can be at Christmas time. Why not handle it in a more proper setting. Courts are set up to decide issues and there is really no real issue in a divorce case for the court to decide. It is really an administrative matter of present day procedure which rigs up. An issue is demeaning and degrading to the parties to their families and to the
friends. Abortion. In the matter of abortion proximately five states to date have enlarge. Their law. To allow abortion when the birth would cause serious mental home to the mother. When the pregnancy is the result of forcible or statutory rape or incest. Or when it is likely that the child would be born with a grave physical or mental defect. This proposal is recommended by the American Law Institute and they and these laws not only have been adopted in some 5 6 states but they are being now being considered in about a dozen other states at the present time. The prevailing law in the other states. Allows abortion only when the life of the mother is
endangered. Of course no law on abortion is necessary here because the criminal are traditionally an action under self defense to abortive birth of a child is going to be hazardous to the life of the mother. The traditional principle of self-defense would just be the abortion. Well as for the new law even popular magazines such as Readers Digest McCall have come out for the new law. It may be a step forward but I think it is also a step backward. As previously the principal applicant for abortion under this new law will be the married woman. The reason that she seeks an abortion simply good is that she does not want another child.
She may feel that her family is large and that. The economic situation is such that she simply does not want another child but under the new law to get the abortion she must allege that either that she has been raped. Or that she will commit suicide or that she is crazy or will go crazy. She must bear a child so he or she has to go. In effect pleading to some physician or psychiatrist explaining to him that fabricating reasons which will embarrass her and family and friends. But the reason she wants the abortion is that she let you fall apart. You fabricate the reason that she's going to commit suicide. She simply cannot straight forward before and say. That she would if she had appendicitis. This is my body. I do not feel I cannot tolerate the thought of raising another child do not want to she has to come in a subversive way in
effect fall apart I'm crazy there and what Doc is going to refuse but she has to pay five hundred six hundred dollars to get this doctor's permission. And so. Good mother or not the procedure is you merely ating to her. In which she has to in one way or other. She is crazy. But our country seems our culture seems to justify things by saying it's their duty done for purposes. So these new laws are being inactive because. They're done under the guise of being therapeutic. But the Spaniards have a way of saying doctors and lawyers make God deliver us from the best. And so let us look to see if we must should change the abortion laws can we do it not in this subversive way
but we may know two historical considerations First of all. A bushing is a crime was not designed for the protection of the woman. It was designed for the protection of the unborn child. Abortion was precluded because the technical means were so poor that injury was done to the fetus and to protect against an unsuccessful abortion resulting in a deformed birth and a public charge no abortion was permitted. But nowadays properly perform abortion is not a technical hazard. Secondly. Historically speaking when there was any risk to the woman in bearing a child a Russian was allowed the healthy woman but not the disorganized or Doraine woman. On the theory that in the case of the you're allowed to
range woman there was nothing to lose. Judge McNaughton of the House of Lords in the classic case of the King versus Board had this to say. But in a bushing may be preferred may not be performed on a girl who is feeble minded or has a prostitute because in such a case the pregnancy would not have affected her much as a healthy woman by definition would not be threatened by childbirth. Apart from physical reasons the net result judge McNaughton put it is that only healthy girls could get the abortion. But our present day recommendation is just the opposite we're saying the girl was disorganized. The girl who's going to need it for our mental health reasons is entitle to the abortion therapeutic abortion is the basic concept of the proposals in some 12 states it is the law that's recently been adopted in half a dozen.
What is a therapeutic abortion. The mechanical procedure of abortion lies within the province of the obstetrician. But not the decision to terminate the pregnancy. The decision is not a medical decision and it is not a theological one. It is for the woman herself. To decide whether or not to bear a child. To confuse the operation with the decision to undergo it. Is to convert a non medical decision into a medical one and medical books do not provide the end so when would it be therapeutic to terminate an abortion to cystic reveal that few pregnant women commit suicide. Postpartum depression sometimes follows the birth of a child. Separation is psychologically
difficult for some women but the condition is one that can be remedied easily enough. The concept therapeutic abortion is a way to attain a next of more liberal law. In short a gimme. But in the process it denigrates the woman husband and the family. The fundamental question which we should face squarely is whether a woman owns her body. The issue too is whether the law can stand the fraud of therapeutic abortion. Reverend Robert Brennan dean of the Boston College School of Law says that having no abortion law at all is more compatible with Catholic teaching than is the present liberalize abortion law recommended by the American Law Institute. And being now considered by a dozen state legislature Kansas is one state. Which is
considering no abortion law at all thereby making it completely legal and leaving it as any other operation a matter between a woman and her physician. Likewise the development of contraceptive pills the night before and morning after. Will even diminish the problem of abortion and we might know that the sale of contraceptive pills likewise ought not to be made a prescriptive item and to again make the physician some sort of large old boy over whom people must come head and hand bowing for some sort of indulgence birth control devices make a woman the master of her own body. Hence they should run in moral character extramarital sexual intercourse.
Will not have any other to turn but the purely moral question of conscience. The risk of pregnancy is so poor a deterrent now that we may rightly doubt the complete legalization of abortion and availability of contraceptive pills would significantly increase promiscuity. To conclude Aristotle once observed that if Mayne kept his actions his voice and his words controlled he would command respect. This too ought to be the way for long especially in and delicate as those we have discussed all of the Wendell Holmes writing about criminal law runs what have we better than a blind guess to show that the criminal law in its present form does more good than harm. As far as
laws are concerned the answer is clear. Not only are sex laws in the home they do exceed any good that they possibly do. The legitimate president can be better accomplished by law. Thank you. You have been listening to Dr. Ralph slow Vanco attorney at law from New Orleans as he discussed the question Are sex laws necessary. This is Ben sexuality a search for perspective. The series of recorded lectures from an interdisciplinary colloquy on human sexuality held on the campus of Michigan State University editor of where the series is. Steve Jensen This is a Michigan State University radio production. This is the national educational radio network.
Sexuality: a search for perspective
Episode Number
Are Sex Laws Necessary? -- Ralph Slovenko, Attorney at Law, New Orleans.
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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A series of lectures from an interdisciplinary colloquy on human sexuality, held on the campus of Michigan State University.
Social Issues
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Editor: Jensen, Steve
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-SUPPL (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:59:05
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Chicago: “Sexuality: a search for perspective; 7; Are Sex Laws Necessary? -- Ralph Slovenko, Attorney at Law, New Orleans.,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “Sexuality: a search for perspective; 7; Are Sex Laws Necessary? -- Ralph Slovenko, Attorney at Law, New Orleans..” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Sexuality: a search for perspective; 7; Are Sex Laws Necessary? -- Ralph Slovenko, Attorney at Law, New Orleans.. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from