In a case decided last term, Steinberg vs. Carhart, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot prohibit partial-birth abortion (or what the media call "what its opponents call partial-birth abortion").
Meanwhile, vast majorities of Americans oppose the killing of a half-born fetus, including politicians who are otherwise copacetic with baby-killing, such as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Sen. Tom Daschle. In a recent Los Angeles Times poll, two-thirds of respondents and more than 70 percent of women thought all abortions after the first trimester should be completely banned.
Admittedly, if the Constitution actually said something to the effect that sucking a baby's brains out is a constitutional right, it wouldn't matter what the polls say. Not to be a stickler, but the Constitution does not say that. The right to abortion is based on nonexistent penumbras from a nonexistent right to privacy.
The apocryphal "right to privacy" was first invented by five justices on the Supreme Court in the 1965 case Griswold vs. Connecticut. That case held that married couples have a "privacy" right to purchase contraceptives. Though a narrow majority immediately agreed on the desired result, initially they could not agree on how to wrest such a "privacy" right from the Constitution. Eventually they cited genuine constitutional rights like those against unreasonable searches and seizures and against the taking of private property without compensation, among others, as the source of the nonexistent right to "privacy."
If a general right to "privacy" doesn't leap out at you from those other rights, you're not the only one. As Justice Hugo Black wrote in dissent: "The average man would very likely not have his feelings soothed any more by having his property seized openly than by having it seized privately and by stealth. He simply wants his property left alone."
But the court droned on about the right of married couples to contraception being a "right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights -- older than our political parties, older than our school system." Of course, the Constitution still didn't say anything about contraception. But all the blather about "sacred" bonds of marriage sounded portentous enough to be plausible.
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