Abortion and the U.S. Constitution

Phil Harris
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Posted: Nov 22, 2007 11:18 AM
Abortion and the U.S. Constitution

I am thankful for my constitutional scholar hat, which I am wearing at this very moment. It is a magic hat, of course, because I am not a constitutional scholar. To make it work, I sprinkle a bit of common sense powder and a dash of logical thinking on the inside of it. Then when I put it on, …BAM!!!

For all of you front-end baby boomers, the answer is no. Common sense powder is not a hallucinogen, and no, I do not buy my logical thinking in a bottle imported from Mexico. I realize that many of today's social realities were conceived in that manner, and that our liberal politicians lost far too many brain cells during their period of enlightenment, otherwise known as attending college in the '60s.

Unfortunately, those were the brain cells that contained wisdom, passed down from parents, grandparents, and educators; not yet infected by the viral scourge of hedonism. Even in the poorest of communities, a fierce pride was maintained in the fight to provide for the family. Values and character were instilled in children by parents with as much urgency as the struggle to provide food for their bellies.

My last column was addressed to Fed Thompson, a candidate for the Republican nomination to run for President in 2008. I suggested that his desire to place the question of abortion in the hands of individual states was unwise, and that the result would be the perpetuation of abortion in a handful of liberal states.

Perhaps deluged is a bit strong, but I did receive a lot of mail from folks who wanted to inform me that the Constitution never mentions abortion, and thus, must be a state handled issue. A few discussed slavery, which was finally handled by amending the Constitution, and in turn made it a Federal issue.

Many advised me that Fred Thompson was correct to put the issue in the hands of the states. This would be a step in the right direction, they argued, and if the desire to make it a Federal issue was popular enough, we could campaign for a constitutional convention, to change the Constitution. That is how slavery was dealt with, and that is how abortion must be dealt with.

I quickly rummaged through my closet and dug out my magic constitutional scholar hat, and I put it on straight away. Instantly, the fog began to melt away, and I said out-loud for anyone to hear within earshot, "Now Wait a Minute!"

There are no problems that must be overcome before children can be saved from the abortionist's cold instruments of death. What has to be done is that we must rewind to the point in time before the issue was veiled in absurdity.

The reason slavery had to be corrected by constitutional amendment, was because slavery was codified into the Constitution, albeit barely. The sad fact of the matter is that slaves never were really anything but people, with God given inalienable rights. The fact that these people were caught up in such an evil establishment as the slave trade did not really change their humanity. It simply made them victims of an ignorant, self-aggrandizing aristocracy that thrived for hundreds of years. If we read the words of Jefferson and Washington, bemoaning the practice of owning slaves, even while personally owning hundreds, we can see evidence that a social conscience cannot stand the light of God given common sense, when that conscience is so utterly unsynchronized with goodness.

The issue of abortion provides an almost identical feeling of imbalance. Our innate awareness of good versus evil cannot be denied, and attempting to do so only serves to highlight the absurdity of what we collectively allow or accept.

Abortion must be ended with all due haste, and the idea that a handful of states should allow the evil to continue is absurd. This is no less urgent than was the abolition of slavery, and in fact it is even more urgent.

When a man is enslaved, his inalienable right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness has been violated. Yet, the slave can be set free, his rights restored, and he will be once again made whole.

This does not hold true for the human child that has been aborted. Once the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has been interrupted, there can be no righting of the wrong. The child is dead and no one has the power to change anything.

You see, there never was any justification to declare that a child in gestation was devoid of personhood. The question of when a human child becomes a person should never have been a serious question, because there is never a moment in time, from conception through to the end of a human life that the entity is anything but a human being.

Even from a scientific vantage, the genetic code of the fertilized human egg remains unchanged for the entire lifespan of that individual. A human being is forever in a state of change, and the period of gestation is but a range of change that cannot be seen with our eyes.

Unlike slavery, which unfortunately was enshrined in the Constitution, requiring its amendment, a child in gestation has no such legal separation from humanity. There is no need to amend the Constitution to protect a child in gestation, because that child should be afforded all the protections naturally given to each one of us.

States are now capable of protecting the child in gestation, just as they deal with crimes against the rest of us. The Federal government need only become involved if criminal civil rights violations occur against individuals, or groups of individuals, as would be the case if states fail to protect these children in gestation from harm.

In order to correct this social travesty, we need to perform an emergency "Bench-ectomy", by removing any and all judicially legislated affronts to the civil rights of the gestating child. Further attempts by judges to persecute this vulnerable group of human beings should be considered criminal civil rights violations, and those judges should be criminally prosecuted.

There is no need to return the question of abortion to state governments, as a simple acknowledgement of the always-existent humanity of the gestating child will afford the same protections for them as are provided for the rest of us, according to our own state laws.

Fred Thompson, perhaps in my prior column I should have been more precise as to the alternatives available for you to consider. The key points to remember are that there never has been any valid reason to separate children in gestation from the rest of humanity, and there is no such language in the Constitution that requires amendment.

Perhaps I should deal with one more point that is sure to come up, which is the question about rare cases when the life of a mother is "truly" in mortal danger, due to a continued pregnancy. The answer is; this does not deviate at all from cases that involve the rest of us, especially where lethal force is necessary.

When a police officer is confronted by an armed criminal, the police officer is justified to use deadly force in order to protect his own life. The death of any human at the hand of another is tragic, but we are familiar in our system of justice with death that is justified. Again, the point to note is that the child in gestation can be afforded the same justice as the rest of us; no more, but certainly no less.

Hey… I can't get this crazy hat off.