Thursday, January 22, 2009

Roe v Wade Anniversary

Let me begin with an introductory link or two. In First Day, First Attack On Pro-Life Cause, we have a segue from the immaculation inauguration to the Obama Administration.
Thursday is the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, when thousands of Pro-Lifers annually descend on Washington for the March for Life.

So, it is “above his pay grade” to decide what human life is, but he can use MY TAX DOLLARS to kill human life without bothering his conscience a wit. That is the logic of Goebbels, not Lincoln or anyone else.
Yes. Isn't that quaint. Well, It Was 36 Years Ago Today…
Today though, on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – the Supreme Court decision that struck down nearly all state bans and restrictions on abortion — it seems somehow appropriate to discuss the matter.

First up, is there anyone who is willing to argue that Roe v. Wade is a well-written decision? Regardless of one’s position on the issue, it’s a mess. It invented entire legal concepts to back up its decision, and shows every sign of backwards reasoning — coming up with the decision on the case, then working from there to find some rationale to justify it. Other Supreme Court rulings have been just plain wrong-headed — Plessy v. Ferguson comes to mind — but they were usually based on existing laws and a careful study of the Constitution. Not here, though — Justice Blackmun found an implied right to privacy within the 9th and 14th Amendment, and declared that abortion fell in there somewhere.
It does seem appropriate, and I agree that it is a legal mess. The legal side is something I hadn't really thought about until I happened upon Roe V Wade - The Unconstitutional Decision. I not only recommend reading it, I also recommend revisiting it on occasion. I have quoted several paragraphs from the article here:
First, it would seem apparent that the unborn was not specifically mentioned at the time because the framers of the Constitution did not have adequate medical knowledge to know what we do now about the biology of the unborn; or, they assumed that it would be clear that the unborn was covered, since they didn't deem it necessary to specify that each stage of a person's development was constitutionally protected. The Court seemed perfectly content to ignore these very real possibilities, and placed the liberty of the woman above the unborn's right to live.

Secondly, The Ninth Amendment, which the Court used to justify their position in Griswold, ironically, directly contradicts this decision. As discussed earlier, the Ninth Amendment states that "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The word retain, designates that the rights expressly guaranteed by the constitutional text should not be interpreted so as to deny rights not specified, but that preexisted in the Constitution. One would assume that the Court would have questioned whether the "right" to terminate a pregnancy would "deny or disparage" a right "retained" by the people. Had the Court questioned this, its distinction between "potential" and "full" human life would have been seen as an obvious violation of the right to life.

The right to life? Yes, the right to life - ever heard of that? It's one of those unalienable rights that's mentioned in the nation's charter, the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal" and are endowed by their Creator with the certain unalienable rights, one being the right to life. The Declaration is clear that this right belongs equally to all human beings. Thus, under this definition of the right to life, there can be no distinction based upon whether human life is "potential" or full. Yet, that is the core distinction of Roe v Wade, and it directly contradicts the right to life retained by the people according to the Ninth Amendment! So ironically, the Ninth Amendment was used to justify a newly found, unmentioned right to privacy that magically extends to the right to abort, when in fact, denying the unborn rights based on the fact that the unborn is inside, rather than outside the womb, contradicts the Ninth Amendment! In addition, the Court used the Ninth Amendment to justify this unmentioned right to privacy, yet then turned around and denied the unborn rights because the unborn child was not specifically mentioned! So how can we say that we have a constitutional right to privacy that extends to abortion even though it is not mentioned in the Constitution, and then turn around and deny rights to another human because the unborn wasn't specifically mentioned!? Roe actually extended this nonexistent right, saying the 14th amendment went even further than the Bill of Rights.
(Reminder to read the whole thing.)
Ridden with contradictions and highly debatable constitutional decisions, I hope that one day Roe v Wade is chalked up, just like Dred Scott v Sanford, as one of the grievous errors of the Supreme Court, and overturned. Until then, it seems as if the discrimination will continue against those who are unable speak for themselves - the type of discrimination the Constitution should fight against, not justify.
I find myself in very much agreement with the arguments presented above. In addition, I remember not long ago having happened upon “Right to life” vs. “License to kill”: A Libertarian Case for the Pro-Life Position. This article is well worth visiting in full as well. My thoughts on abortion are generally shared there in the mix of the last two linked articles.

Update: One more link for good measure: Why Roe v. Wade Needs to be Overturned.

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