Roe Still Must Go: The Elections of 2008
By Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman
In one week, America will observe the thirty-fifth "anniversary" of the U. S. Supreme Court's announcement of its decision legalizing the killing by abortion of what now adds up to 45 million unborn children. Many Constitutionalist scholars agree that Roe v. Wade is the worst court decision in American history. Their colleagues who disagree almost surely argue that Roe is a second for "dastardly decision"; the very worst, they contend is Planned Parenthood of S.E. Pennsylvania v. Casey, (1992) which upheld Roe, primarily because Roe had survived for 19 years (albeit with many modifications the Court did not address).
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In this pivotal election year, there are fatal flaws in the Roe opinion that need to be highlighted. These errors provide rich material for pro-lifers and Constitutionalists to use as talking points about the elections and as questions to ask candidates. Here are three of the most probing talking points, analyzed in the order in which the Court expressed them in its majority opinion.
- The Nature of the Constitution. The Court included in the introduction to its opinion this startling declaration, "'[The Constitution] is made for people of fundamentally differing views, . . .'" This is startling because it states the impossible. By definition, a Constitution must set forth the "fundamental structure of a thing (i.e., American law and government)." (Webster's Dictionary) It is an oxymoron to assert that there can be "opposing fundamentals" incorporated into the same Constitution. It is instructive to note that the Roe Court is quoting from a 1905 dissent by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Lochner v. New York. Holmes is known in scholarly circles as the "Father of Sociological Jurisprudence" and the "Father of Legal Realism." These two more esoteric bodies of legal philosophy are the acknowledged ancestor from which have come the pernicious liberal/activist/Reconstructionist ideas of today's evolutionist, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual rights, anti-orthodox religious judges.
As to the issue of WHICH "fundamental view" the Constitution reflects, the truth is cogently stated by President John Adams. Adams declared, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the governance of any other." A study of this text and other authoritative sources makes it clear that "moral and religious" refer only to the values of the Judeo-Christian worldview.
- The Source(s) of the "Right to an Abortion." In another startling paragraph, the Court reveals more than just its assessment of the Texas criminal abortion statutes. The Court discusses where "we feel" (not "where the Constitution states") a right to an abortion is rooted. This is obvious arrogant activism. We might ask, "Who cares what the judges feel?" The problem is that JUDGES care, and have usurped the power to morph their "feelings" into constitutional "truths."
The context of the "judges' feelings" statement reveals another fatal flaw. The Court, in discussing abortion as a "right" rooted in the non-textual "right to privacy," apparently doesn't know where the "right to privacy" is rooted. The Court argues for the existence of this right; but it doesn't know "whether [the "right to privacy"] is founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, OR as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people. . . ." But WHEREVER this mysterious right lurks in the "penumbra of Constitutional rights," it is "broad enough to encompass a woman's 'right to an abortion.'" The Court knows the right exists and that it is a "fundamental right" (not just an "ordinary right"-whatever that is), but the Supremes are not sure WHERE the right is to be found. This is small comfort for champions of true liberty.
- The Court's Definition of "Person" and "Human Life." The Court makes one statement about the first of these concepts which is nothing short of Hitlerian and proceeds on the next page of its opinion to pontificate about the second concept in a way which contradicts its treatment of the first.
Rather widely known is the Court's Machiavellian declaration that "the word 'person' as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn." This is one of the Court's early exercises in the "define and destroy" tactic it has used since at least the mid-Twentieth Century. The Court has wielded this weapon to define out of existence such basic concepts as "religion," "law," "marriage," and "normal behavior."
In Roe, after defining "person," (or at least who/what is NOT a "person"), the Court humbly declares on the next page of its opinion that "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins." But the Court does precisely that when it defines the "unborn" as "non-persons." The logic is simple:
- The "unborn" is not a "person"; (the Court)
- A "person" is a "human being, human life"; (the Dictionary)
- Therefore, the unborn is not a "human being," not a "human life"; (logic)
- AND therefore, a "person" (i.e., a "human being/human life") exists only after birth. (logic)
Clearly then, the Court has given its answer to "the difficult question of when life begins." Life begins at birth, according to the Roe majority.
Questions for Candidates
This morass of constitutional debris known as the Roe decision is an almost endless source of critical questions that we should be asking candidates for office, whether their office seems to "have anything to do with abortion or not." History has proven how officials seemingly at a far distance from Culture War issues may instead find themselves in the thick of the fight. Here are some of the most significant questions:
- Can our Constitution survive if it is forced to govern a "people of fundamentally differing views"? Why or why not?
- What were the most important "fundamental views" upon which the Constitution was founded?
- What are the most important "fundamental views" undergirding the Constitution today?
- Where exactly in the Constitution is the "right to an abortion" guaranteed? Defend this answer
- When do you believe that "life" begins? Why?
- Define "person" as used in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Defend your definitions.
As the 2008 election campaigns grow hotter and wilder, we must make heard our call for every candidate and official to protect the sanctity of life. May we always remember that a pregnancy is for nine months; abortion is forever.