With President Donald Trump’s appointees to the United States Supreme Court, the likelihood that the 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade, will be reversed is an encouragement to those who hold the Judeo-Christian principle of the sanctity of all human life.
However, pro-lifers would be best not to be sucked into a false hope created by a reversal which simply declares that there is no so-called “right to an abortion” mandated by the U.S. Constitution, thus allowing each of the 50 states to decide whether to legalize the killing of the unborn child. Such a decision would imply that the “right to an abortion” is a “right” that a state legislature, or a state court, has moral or legal authority to “grant.”
The only moral and logical decision in reversing Roe v. Wade is that the Court must recognize that the unborn child is a person entitled to the equal protection of the law under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The U.S. Supreme Court should hold that the government, whether through legislation or through judicial decision, is without authority to grant or deny personhood of a human being, since personhood is not something that is granted to a human being by government, but as stated in our Declaration of Independence, is an inalienable right granted by the Creator. The U.S. Constitution requires that all persons are entitled to equal protection of the law, and thus if there are laws against murdering anyone of us, then these laws must equally apply to the killing of an unborn child.
Our Founding Fathers understood the principle well, that there are certain rights, including the right to life, which are not bestowed upon us by the government and thus cannot be withdrawn by the government. What the government does not give, the government cannot take away. Personhood is not granted by state governments, and thus the right to life of the unborn child is not a matter for each state to decide.
…there are certain rights, including the right to life, which are not bestowed upon us by the government and thus cannot be withdrawn by the government.
…Personhood is not granted by state governments, and thus the right to life of the unborn child is not a matter for each state to decide.
Roe v. Wade
This U.S. Supreme Court decision discussed the viability of the unborn child and professed to be ignorant of when human life began, all the while desperately trying to find language in the Constitution to support a new, never before legally recognized “right to an abortion.” However, the basis of that decision is that the Court declared the unborn child not to be a human person. While not denying that the unborn child is a human being, the Court depersonalized the unborn child.
Roe v. Wade was simply based on a lie, denying the reality that all human beings are persons.
In the infamous pre-Civil War Dred Scott decision, the U.S. Supreme Court did not rule that slaves were not human, but that slaves were property rather than persons. Thus, a slave owner had the right to sell or buy this “property,” mistreat “it” or kill “it,” since “it” had no real rights of “its” own. Only after a very bloody Civil War did the United States come to grips with the reality that all human beings, regardless of race, were human persons, and that their personhood was not granted to them by any government, federal or state; but by their very existence, they have a God-given right to be treated as any other human person under our laws.
To reverse Roe v. Wade, claiming that each of the 50 states has the legal authority to criminalize or decriminalize the act of killing an unborn child, would be an immoral, unscientific, and illogical decision, not much better than Roe v. Wade.
“To ‘overrule’ Roe, in the correct meaning of that term, would be to hold that every human being, from fertilization, is a ‘person’ entitled to the constitutional right to life. That would prohibit the states and the federal government from withholding the protection of the homicide laws from the youngest persons, i.e., those in the womb,” espouses the late Notre Dame constitutional law professor Charles Rice, J.D. Charles Rice, J.D.
The proponents of abortion on demand cry that Roe v. Wade is settled law, and that members of the judiciary need to honor precedent. However, Roe v. Wade itself ignored not only legal precedents, but the American legal principle that our laws are based on our Constitution, not on the raw judicial power usurped by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Roe v. Wade, Justice Blackmun asserted that, “The unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.”
However, legal authorities predating Roe v. Wade address the contrary.
“Biologically speaking, the life of a human being begins at the moment of conception in the mother’s womb, and as a general rule of construction in the law, a legal personality is imputed to an unborn child for all purposes which would be beneficial to the infant after its birth.” 42 Am. Jur. 2d, “Infants,” Sec. 2.
“Medical authority has long recognized that an unborn child is in existence from the moment of conception… All writers who have discussed the problem have joined in condemning the total no-duty role and agree that the unborn child in the path of an automobile is as much a person in the street as the mother, and should be equally protected under the law.
…Most courts have allowed recovery, even though the injury occurred during the early weeks of pregnancy, when the child was neither viable nor quick.” Prosser and Keaton on Torts, Second Ed., Sec. 36 (1955).
“If the mother can die and the fetus live, or the fetus die and the mother live, how can it be said that there is only one life? …The phenomenon of birth is not the beginning of life; it is merely a change in the form of life. …The fact of life is not to be denied. Neither is the wisdom of the public policy which regards unborn persons as being entitled to the protection of law.” O’Neill v. Morse, 188 N.W.2d 785 (Mich. – 1971).
“Once human life has commenced, the constitutional protections found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments impose upon the state the duty of safeguarding it.” Steinberg v. Brown, 321 F.Supp. 741 (D.C. Ohio – 1970).
If the Constitution is a “living document,” as so many judicial activists claim, it can surely heal itself of the disease of unconstitutional precedents.
Who Grants Personhood?
If it is the government, either federal or state, either through legislation or a judicial decision, that grants personhood to anyone, then what it gives, it can take away. What makes any of us in reality a “person” is not the opinion or decision of anyone else, even if they are in the majority. A basic principle on which western civilization is established espouses the Judeo-Christian principle that each and every human being, regardless of wealth, status, physical or mental abilities, sex, age, or location, is made in the image of God. None of us, regardless of what we think of ourselves, are entitled to any more rights than anyone else. As recognized in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life is an inalienable right, bestowed upon each of us by our Creator.
And when did each of us become a human being? At the moment of fertilization.
“Biologically, at no stage can we subscribe to the view that the foetus is a mere appendage of the mother. Genetically, mother and baby are separate individuals from conception.” A.W. Liley, M.D., widely referred to as “the father of fetology.”
“It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception, when the egg and sperm join to form the zygote, and that this developing human always is a member of our species in all stages of its life. There is not one medical text in use in one medical school in this country that teaches to the contrary.” Micheline Matthews-Roth, M.D., principal research associate of the Harvard University Medical School. Dr. Matthews-Roth
“Our Court must not only reverse Roe, which has resulted thus far in a surgical slaughter body count in excess of 40 million, the prostitution of our medical and legal professions, and the predictable sequella of the foundational deterioration of the sanctity of all innocent human life, which has indeed occurred and is advancing, but it must in fact acknowledge the personhood of the unborn child, and indeed of every human being, entitling every member of the human family to the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of the law.” The late Robert C. Cetrulo, co-founder and president of Northern Kentucky Right to Life until his death.
— Dr. Mildred Faye Jefferson, M.D. (first black female graduate of Harvard Medical School)