Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
First and foremost, let me state upfront that I am decidedly pro-life. I arrived at this point in life quite some time ago after arguing in a paper, rather vehemently, in a Medical Ethics course at my alma mater, Rutgers University. Although I suspected the teacher was a raving lunatic liberal, he nevertheless gave me an “A” on the paper and the course. Yay for me…
Today in states throughout this land, we see two trends in the abortion debate. At the national level, we have the Hyde Amendment and a partial birth abortion ban. At the state level, there is a hodgepodge of abortion laws. Some states like New York now basically allow and condone abortion up until almost the moment of birth. Other states- Maryland, Virginia and New Mexico- are moving in a similar direction. Conversely, on the the other side of the coin, we have states like Texas, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia going the opposite route.
The problem, as this writer sees it, is the Roe vs. Wade decision. In previous articles, I have described this decision as a very good thesis on the history of abortion, but devoid of sound constitutional argument, let alone law. The decision itself rests on the so-called right to privacy. Here, I believe, some within the conservative movement are somewhat disingenuous- especially those who deny a right to privacy exists at all. If there is no such right, then there are no privacy rights when it comes to one’s medical records, gun ownership, or a host of other things. The line of cases that led up to Roe assumed a right to privacy and the Constitution was specific in some instances as codified in the Bill of Rights.
However, one has to question how far that right extends in the context of the abortion discussion. While it may very well be embryonically true that a fetus soon after conception is basically a “blob” of undifferentiated cells, that conglomeration of cells, if left alone, WILL develop into a human being. If not, the human body has ways of eliminating “bad eggs,” i.e., through spontaneous abortion, or miscarriages. Spontaneous abortion is nature taking its course. Artificial abortion interferes in that process. In effect, it is anti-biological and not natural.
Further, in the context of privacy rights one has to question how far those rights extend once another human being is involved. Harry Blackmun, in the Roe decision, delineated those “rights” into the trimester framework. That is the second nail in the coffin of the decision. The Supreme Court noted that the state had an interest in the unborn after the age of viability. At the time, that was the third trimester of pregnancy. But, with advances in medical technology and prenatal care, the age of viability has been pushed further and further earlier in pregnancy so that the trimester framework is, excuse the term, no longer viable.
Instead, the Court has essentially adopted Sandra Day O’Connor’s formulation where any act that places an undue burden on a pregnant woman is suspect. The question then becomes what constitutes an “undue burden?” According to the Left, requiring physicians to be licensed, to have adequate facilities, to have admitting privileges to local hospitals, etc. is now an undue burden. It is laughable that the Left argues for “safe and legal abortions,” but when laws are proposed to ensure safe and legal abortions, they cry foul. The Left cares less about “safe” abortions; their aim is to keep abortion legal without restrictions as evidenced by New York and legislation elsewhere.
They (the Left) are also apt to say that conservatives want to make abortion illegal by overturning Roe vs. Wade. However, that is NOT what would happen. Instead, the issue would simply become one for individual states to tackle through the legislative process, just as it was pre-Roe. In the years leading up to that decision, many states were liberalizing their abortion laws through the legislative process. One can almost guarantee that if that scenario was left alone, there would be less acrimony today as concerns abortion.
Furthermore, in all the legislation proposed on the conservative side, not a single woman is ever targeted for prosecution. It is the doctors who perform these procedures who are the target of the legislation. No woman would go to jail or pay a fine. Strictly from a legal perspective, the arguments on the Left ring hollow and amount to nothing more than scare mongering.
But, what about the scientific and medical arguments? Here, the pro-life side holds the cards. We know that a fetus has a discernible heart beat at four weeks of gestation, that electrical activity in the brain starts at 5-6 weeks of gestation, that a developing fetus can experience pain at 8 weeks and that a “fetus” has distinguishable and unique fingerprints by 6 months. Ask anyone who has ever held a government job or purchased a firearm the importance of fingerprints. Ask any prospective mother who has seen a sonogram or heard a fetal heart beat that is an undifferentiated blob of cells the equivalent of a rotten tooth worthy of extraction.
In short, one is left with the impression that the arguments on the Left are devoid of not only logic, but also Constitutional validity, medical and scientific support, and are merely almost a knee-jerk acceptance into Leftism. The “we should control our own bodies” seems to work only when it comes to abortion, but never the events leading up to unwanted pregnancy. This writer has no problem with contraception per se. If Planned Parenthood or any other abortion mill diverted money to this task in lieu of providing abortion services, perhaps funding that entity would be more palatable. But, that is what the Left does not intend nor want.
Instead, they would rather abortion be yet another form of contraception, albeit later in the game. In the end, it all boils down to a question of inconvenience. When we as a society are at a point where we consider and condone human life an inconvenience, then we have truly hit a new low. We are on a slow and slippery path to considering any non-productive life, despite their previous contributions, an inconvenience. To accept the pro-choice arguments, when they even try to argue logically, naturally leads to an acceptance of euthanasia of the old, the infirm, the non-productive, the disabled and others.
And is not that what Hitler did in Germany? Did he not kill not only 6 million Jews, but others he deemed unproductive or a drain on the state- gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally disabled, the physically disabled, etc.? Hitler’s motivation was the genetic creation of a master race. Today’s pro-choice advocate does not even have that dubious goal to fall back upon. All they have is some falsely believed “right to an abortion,” or some amorphous privacy right extended to a non-private reality.
During the Holocaust, Hitler murdered an estimated 250,000 disabled and 16,000 homosexuals, as well as 6 million Jews, and others he deemed inferior to his master race . Since 1973, there have been an estimated 54 million abortions performed in the United States. That is many times the number of humans killed by Hitler. Today, we abhor the legacy of Hitler and rightfully so. Sadly, today we give about $500 million annually to an organization that has killed more humans than Hitler ever did. Something is wrong with that picture and it is not the pro-life movement or state legislation that affirms human life.