Friday, February 8, 2008

Roe ought to be overturned today

Here's why.

In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court said this:

"Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." (ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113, Section IX, B, paragraph 2; emphasis mine)

In other words, the Court made a conscious decision to side-step the entire question of whether or not abortion kills a baby. (It clearly does.)

The Court said it had no idea as to an answer, and then adjudicated the fetus could be killed...because it wasn't sure if it was a person or not.

This is bad law.

Either the fetus is a person or not. For the sake of argument, let's assume the fetus is a person. In this case, the 1973 decision of the Supreme Court just sanctioned manslaughter, for then abortion is killing an innocent person not knowing and intending the full, deliberate extent of murder.

It is like driving over a man-shaped overcoat in the street, which may be a drunk or may only be an old coat. It is like shooting at a sudden movement in a bush which may be your hunting companion or may be only a pheasant. It is like fumigating an apartment building with a highly toxic chemical not knowing whether everyone is safely evacuated. If the victim is a person, you have committed manslaughter.

Now let us assume the fetus is not in fact a person. Well then, the Supreme Court's decision sanctions criminal negligence as in the above three cases if there happened to be no one in the coat, the bush, or the building, but the driver, the hunter, or the fumigator did not know that, and nevertheless drove, shot or fumigated. Such negligence is instinctively and universally condemned by all reasonable individuals and societies as personally immoral and socially criminal.

We do not argue politely over whether such behavior is right or wrong. We wholeheartedly condemn it, even when we do not know whether there is a person there, because the killer did not know that a person was not there.

It only follows then for Roe to be wholeheartedly and unanimously condemned because the decision explicitly acknowledges that the judiciary does not know whether a person is there -- at the end of the abortionist's instruments -- or not. With this acknowledgment the Court sanctions either manslaughter or criminal negligence; there can be no third option.

Therefore, Roe ought to be overturned today.

[H/T: Peter Kreeft]

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