Ok, I fooled you, but it would have, if it had any jurisdiction. While no court can overturn SCOTUS precedent, the Alabama Supreme Court released a major ruling last week. The Court published a unanimous ruling that mothers within the state can pursue wrongful death claims when their pre-viability baby is killed by a medical professional. But the money quote(s) are what will make this case, with little legal significance, a rallying cry for the pro-life movement at large (and Planned Parenthood’s next fundraiser).
The Court stated that viability is “arbitrary” and changes with medical technology. This is important because Planned Parenthood v. Casey essentially bans states from putting any meaningful restrictions on abortion before “viability”, which is essentially 21-24 weeks.
The Court said that Roe was out of step with other areas of law. Here are the money quotes:
“Roe’s viability rule was based on inaccurate history and was mostly unsupported by legal precedent. Medical advances since Roe have conclusively demonstrated that an unborn child is a unique human being at every stage of development.”
Science has changed since Roe
“Since Roe was decided in 1973, advances in medical and scientific technology have greatly expanded our knowledge of prenatal life . . . [t]he development of ultrasound technology has enhanced medical and public understanding, allowing us to watch the growth and development of the unborn child in a way previous generations could never have imagined.”
Undoubtedly human life
“Similarly, advances in genetics and related fields make clear that a new and unique human being is formed at the moment of conception, when two cells, incapable of independent life, merge to form a single, individual human entity, [o]f course, that new life is not yet mature – growth and development are necessary before that life can survive independently – but it is nonetheless human life. And here has been a broad legal consensus in America, even before Roe, that the life of a human being begins at conception.”
Unborn children deserve legal protection
“An unborn child is a unique and individual human being from conception, and, therefore, he or she is entitled to the full protection of law at every stage of development.”
“For these reasons, Roe’s viability rule is neither controlling nor persuasive here and should be rejected by other states until the day it is overruled by the United States Supreme Court.”
*Some of the final language is from the concurrence rather than the majority.
Why this matters . . .
There is a reason why this matters beside the fact that pro-lifers will be encouraged and Planned Parenthood and President Obama will use this to raise money on. When political issues fail or are defeated, they are pushed to the back burner for a few years. Think about our reluctance to bomb Iran for WMD’s after our Iraq experience. Consider that following the failure of Hillarycare, Democrats didn’t try healthcare reform again for almost twenty years. No one ever tries to fix Social security because too many presidents have failed.
But the right to life issue for all Americans, will not go away. Want to pass a healthcare law? Abortion shows its face. Want to pass a budget or raise the debt ceiling? Gotta deal with abortion first. Military benefits, overseas funding, state’s rights, presidential campaigns, SCOTUS nominees, social issues, domestic policy, foreign policy, fiscal policy – they all have to deal with this one issue. It is the one issue that seems to strike across them all.
Well there are two reasons. First, pro-aborts are on the wrong side of history and like slavery it will not go away. Second, SCOTUS made this decision in defiance of the will of the American people. When a court circumvents the democratic process, especially on the wrong side, it strips society to be able to find a solution under their common social contract. Thus, rather than finding common ground we are relegated to our hard lined positions. This issue isn’t going away. One way or another Roe is going to be overturned or killed by a thousand cuts -- in our lifetime. That doesn’t solve much, it leaves us with 51 new battles to fight, but it is a start.
I applaud the Alabama Supreme Court. I am sure such strong language toward the Supreme Court will be roundly mocked. But many times, those that stand alone today, turn out to be the leaders of the movement tomorrow.