More than 150 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court declared in the Dred Scott decision that blacks should be “considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings.” Fortunately, the 14th Amendment overturned that decision.
Forty years ago, the Supreme Court declared in Roe v. Wade that a baby growing inside its mother should not be considered “human” but instead disposable.
The Constitution, in guaranteeing all citizens “right to life,” assures we have the right to “be,” whether in the womb or outside. The Supreme Court does not always decide wisely. It’s time to overturn a bad decision.
Carolyn Glodek, Colonia
I left the following comments:
RE: Bad Decisions
The Constitution, in guaranteeing all citizens “right to life,” assures we have the right to “be,” whether in the womb or outside. -- Carolyn Glodek, Colonia
The constitution guarantees no such thing. If the "right to life" meant simply the right to "be," then the rights of any political prisoner rotting in any dictator's dungeon are not being violated so long as he receives minimal food, water, and shelter. The same goes for any slave held for forced labor.
Rights can not be understood except in their total context. The Declaration of Independence, the philosophical blueprint for the constitution, recognizes the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Without the liberty to act on one's own judgment, one cannot pursue his own happiness, thus stifling his life. Life and liberty are inextricably interlinked. Clearly, this context applies to actual, living, born individuals, not potential or developing humans beings inside of a woman's womb. The 14th Amendment clearly supports this view: It refers specifically to "All persons born or naturalized in the United States..."
The right to life applies to the woman and the woman only. There is no right to be, only the right to pursue one's own being; i.e., no right to life at the price of another person's life and liberty. If a fetus has a "right to life" at the expense of the woman's rights to life and liberty, then her rights are not unalienable, and the whole concept that Americanism rests upon evaporates. Here again, the 14th Amendment: "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." If the "rights" of the unborn supersede the actual rights of the born person, then that person--the woman--is being denied "equal protection" of her rights if she is forbidden from deciding for herself on reproductive issues. We either have rights "in the womb" or "outside" the womb, but not both.
The very idea that rights apply only inside the womb, then disappear at birth, is absurd on its face. If the woman doesn't have a right to her life, then on what basis do the unborn have rights?
The reference to slavery in Glodek's letter is indeed analogous: Compelling a woman to continue a pregnancy against her will is akin to slavery.
One final note: Glodek states that "Roe v. Wade [declared] that a baby growing inside its mother should not be considered 'human' but instead disposable." That's not what Rowe said. Of course, a fetus is human. The issue is rights.
Abortion: It's When Rights, not Life, Begin
My 3-part Abortion Statement, listed in reverse order.