Abortion, a Constitutional Right? (38 Years of Roe v Wade)

by Daniel Downs

Today, January 22, 2011, America remembers the Supreme Court decision that inaugurated abortion as legally protected privacy right. Pro-abortion supporters celebrate this day while devotees of pro-life oppose its existence.

A majority of Americans believe abortion is a constitutional right. In a Quinnipiac poll, 60% of Americans agreed Roe v Wade established a women’s right to abortion. I noticed most polls present abortion right as an established Constitutional right and proceed asking whether respondents want an amendment to ban it. Interestingly, 70% of Americans believe Supreme Court justices base their decisions on politics and not law according to the above poll. (Quinnipiac National Poll, April 21, 2010)

In a brief speech today, President Obama commemorated the Roe v Wade decision as establishing a women’s constitutional right to abortion. He said, “I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.” (USA Today)

Yes, most Americans believe in abortion as a constitutional right, but where is found in the U.S. Constitution? It is missing in the Supreme Law of the Land.

How then did the majority of Supreme Court justices discover it? They found a woman’s right to abortion in several places. First, natural law states that individuals have an absolute right over their own bodies. Second, they saw this natural law right positively in the 4the Amendment clauses forbidding government intrusion into private matters. Third, and last, they founded a technicality in the disagreement among academics and so-called professionals about when life begins. This technicality was their justification to permit abortions until “society” establishes such a consensus agreement, which they knew was likely to be never. They knew for such a consensus definition to occur secularists and traditionalist or moralists and liberal and conservatives, humanists and religionists would all have to come to an agreement that life begins at conception.

The problems with the Roe v Wade decision are many. Several worth stating are as follows: (1) Roe v Wade violates the law that prohibits individuals from harming their own bodies or others. Our laws allow officials arrest and detain people who seek to destroy their own body parts. (2) Human life is the result of the behavior of two people, not one. The court only recognizes the right of the women. In practice, the man has no right to his body part contributed to the newly conceived person. (3) At every stage, a baby develops as a separate entity apart from the women whose body is made to nourish and nurture the new person. A baby at the blastocyte, fetus, or any other stage is still a developing human being. (4) Lastly, the Constitution is supposed to protect the right to life. That two-letter word has more meaning than most people realize. If the right was a “right of life,” however human life may be defined, all Americans have a right to right possess it. However, the right is to life, which indicates a process of obtaining what human life is. And, human life is a process of becoming as well as a state of entropy. Human life is an inheritance of the past and a development toward a future, and a present state of being.

Because human life is an inherited interrelational, historical, and futuristic process, Roe v Wade should be regarded as a political act of violence against all human life. No way can it be constitutional.

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