Gault's Gulch

January 6, 2010

Pro-choice, but opposed to Roe v. Wade…

Filed under: Politics — John Gault @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

People have told me in the past that I have an extremely complicated view on abortion.  First, it’s not really that complicated.  Second, however, I would ask why our viewpoints shouldn’t be complicated sometimes–especially when the issue at question is as complicated and important to our political landscape as the abortion debate has become. 

Let me start by explaining my own, personal, viewpoints on abortion.  Keep in mind that these viewpoints have absolutely nothing to do with the legal standing of abortion or the constitutionality of those laws which protect or prohibit it.  I am only talking about the way I feel about abortion in my heart.

I am pro-choice.  I believe that a person (specifically women, but with consideration for the fathers involved as well) should have complete autonomy over their own body and should be free to do with it as they choose.  Pregnancy is a long, physically taxing process which should never be required by law.  If a woman chooses to end that process through abortion, she should have the right to do so.  With that being said, I believe that the “Pro-Choice” movement has committed an intellectual dishonesty by trying to convince the world that the fetus being aborted isn’t a life.  Of course it is.  The harsh fact is that when a woman undergoes an abortion, she is ending a human life.  This is important because it should factor in to the decision to either have or not have that abortion.  It is a serious decision and to gloss over the fact that a life is being sacrificed is to trivialize the gravity of that decision. 

So, if we agree that an abortion ends a human life, then how can we rationalize that abortion as anything other than murder?  Simple.  We, as a human race, have long-held that killing other human beings is justifiable in certain situations.  Killing doesn’t necessarily equal murder.  We kill other human beings in the heat of war.  We kill in self-defense.  We kill as punishment.  Some even argue for killing as a form of mercy (euthanasia).  The hard and cold reality of the situation is that sometimes dead is better.  I know that sounds cruel, but it is true.  So, if a woman is seriously wrestling with the idea of aborting her pregnancy, and she reaches the decision to do so with the full knowledge that she is ending a human life, then I would propose that she would probably be a pretty lousy mother and her child’s birth would do nobody any favors–the child or society.

Now, on to the law.  I may be, as far as I know, the only pro-choice advocate that believes in overturning Roe v. Wade.  Roe is, simply put, bad law.  That Supreme Court decision is indicative of the culture in which we live–where the Constitution is defiled, circumvented, and ignored with impunity.  I care far more about the integrity of the Constitution than I do about the abortion issue itself–but the two are inextricably linked.

Surprisingly, many people don’t really know what Roe v. Wade says or what its implications are or even why that particular decision was made.  So, here’s an extremely brief recap.  Roe v. Wade says that no state shall make a law banning abortion because it goes against a woman’s “right to privacy”–privacy, in this case, being her right to make private medical decisions without the interference of the government.  The basis for this decision was an earlier Supreme Court decision–Griswold v. Connecticut.  That case established the right to privacy as a derivative of the due process clause of our Constitution.  The problem is that WE HAVE NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PRIVACY–not in the due process clause or anywhere else in the Constitution.   Should we?  Definitely.  Could we.  Certainly.  Do we?  Not even close.  The Supreme Court basically ruled that the founding fathers “meant” for us to have such a right, but basically forgot to write it down.  So, they created a concept known as “penumbras and emanations” which means that the Supreme Court can interpret anything they want into the Constitution–regardless of what it actually says.  This has served as the basis for countless transgressions of the Constitution over the years. 

Here’s what makes me the most angry.  We SHOULD have a Constitutional right to privacy and the founding fathers probably would agree with that.  Fortunately, those wise men gave us a mechanism to change the Constitution when the need arose–the amendment process.  We could simply pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing every American the right to privacy–personal, professional, and medical.  This would encompass the need to protect women against abortion bans and would do it on constitutionally firm ground.  Instead, this very important concept has been based on a legally shaky, politically lazy circumvention of the Constitution that WILL eventually be overturned.  That is inexcusable and dangerous because it creates the precedent under which any legislative evil can be perpetrated without fear of Constitutional reprisal. 

Pro-Choice warriors need to stop defending this particular windmill and realize that if they are to bring an end to this political war, they will need to retreat before they advance.  Roe. v. Wade should be overturned (as well as Griswold v. Connecticut) and an immediate effort should be launched to ratify a constitutional amendment guaranteeing every American their well-deserved right to privacy.

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