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I'll close my comments by returning to the most obvious flaw in your most recent comments. Neither you nor the scholars of which you speak can claim--with any credibility--that the Supreme Court "ignored all common law from the time of the Founding Fathers," etc. As review of the decision will reveal, the Court discussed that very subject at some length (as I've already noted in earlier comments) and concluded that, contrary to what you suppose, the state statutes enacted in the early 19th century restricting abortion were of recent vintage and NOT of common law origin. The fact is that, based on an extensive, scholarly review of law, the majority of seven concluded that the "persons" protected in the Constitution, as understood and intended by the drafters, are those who have been born, and not the unborn as you assert, and no justice disagreed with that conclusion or endorsed your assertion. Not one.
See my response above.
Rich, about the dissents of White and Rehnquist, did you notice that neither endorsed your assertion that the unborn are persons and neither disagreed with the majority on that point? Rehnquist, in fact, noted that the majority opinion brings “both extensive historical fact and a wealth of legal scholarship” that “commands [his] respect.” He and White, though, disagreed with the majority ON OTHER GROUNDS, i.e., they did not think that the Constitution affords women protection from states that decide to restrict abortions. Their disagreement with the majority on that ground does not in the least support your assertion of constitutional rights for unborn nonpersons. The majority of seven justices thus decided that “persons” afforded protection by the Constitution does not include the unborn, and the two dissenters said nothing to the contrary. The common law, which you have repeatedly invoked as if it supports your view but have never explained or shown why you suppose so, actually supports the majority’s view (and undercuts yours), as explained at some length in the Court’s decision. As for the Hippocratic Oath, it is more of a mixed bag than you suppose, which the majority addressed as well. Finally, I note that notwithstanding my urging you to aim higher, you continue to indulge in juvenile name calling. Bad habit.
See my responses above for pertinent replies.
Contrary to your assertion, legal precedent and intent of the founders support the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. As for "the Word of God," I'll leave you and God to sort that out, and content myself to discuss constitutional law. I'll leave you as well to sophomoric declarations of victory and ad hominem attacks.
In Roe v. Wade, the Court explained the issue, arguments, and its reasoning: “The appellee . . . argue[s] that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the [14th] Amendment. In support of this, they outline . . . the well known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. . . . [T]he appellee conceded . . . that no case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the [14th] Amendment. The Constitution does not define "person" in so many words. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to "person." The first, in defining "citizens," speaks of "persons born or naturalized in the United States." The word also appears both in the Due Process Clause and in the Equal Protection Clause. "Person" is used in other places in the Constitution: in the listing of qualifications for Representatives and Senators . . . ; in the Apportionment Clause . . . ; in the Migration and Importation provision . . . ; in the Emolument Clause . . . ; in the Electors provisions . . . ; in the provision outlining qualifications for the office of President . . . ; in the Extradition provisions . . . and the superseded Fugitive Slave Clause 3; and in the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-second Amendments, as well as in §§ 2 and 3 of the [14th] Amendment. But in nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only post-natally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application. All this, together with our observation . . . that, throughout the major portion of the 19th century, prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word "person," as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. This is in accord with the results reached in those few cases where the issue has been squarely presented. [Citations.] Indeed, our decision in United States v. Vuitch . . . inferentially is to the same effect, for we there would not have indulged in statutory interpretation favorable to abortion in specified circumstances if the necessary consequence was the termination of life entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection.” (Footnotes omitted.) If you object to the Court’s decision, start with its explanation, and try to refute its reasoning.
Now at least you are talking about the law and not just wishes. Your reading of the Constitution, while creative, does not hold water. The founders noted in the preamble that one purpose of establishing the Constitution was to secure the blessings of liberty to “ourselves and our posterity.” You correctly observe that our posterity refers to future generations and includes our descendants and offspring. You then posit a non sequitur, i.e., that “our unborn offspring” (whatever that may mean) are provided “the protection of the rights of those persons as individuals.” You cannot derive the right you seek for unborn nonpersons in the Constitution’s preamble. You appeal to prohibitions against “punishing a child,” again simply begging the question, which is whether those unborn are “persons” within the meaning of the Constitution. You point to the 5th and 14th Amendments, as well you should, since they are the most pertinent provisions of the Constitution. They expressly protect various rights of “persons.” Turning finally to the issue of “personhood,” you allude to some cases regarding inheritance and execution of a pregnant woman, assert (without explanation) that they recognize “rights of the unborn” (a likely stretch of what the Court said in those cases), and suppose (without explaining or even saying so) that that suffices to establish what the drafters of the 5th and 14th Amendments intended by “person” in those amendments. You seem to labor under the impression that if the law regards a fetus as a person or otherwise takes cognizance of a fetus in one context that it must do so in any and all contexts. Hardly. The law simply does not work that way; definitions and distinctions commonly vary from law to law. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court discussed at some length the history of law regarding the unborn and abortion. That history is different than you seem to suppose. The Court reviewed ancient attitudes, the common law, English statutory law, and American law and found: “It perhaps is not generally appreciated that the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage. Those laws, generally proscribing abortion or its attempt at any time during pregnancy except when necessary to preserve the pregnant woman's life, are not of ancient or even of common law origin. Instead, they derive from statutory changes effected, for the most part, in the latter half of the 19th century.”
Supposing that the Constitution "codified" all that people have a right to do is just silliness--and stands the matter on its head. Generally, each of us has the liberty to do whatever is not prohibited. Looking in the Constitution for a right to do this or that, including the right to kill babies as you would put it, is a fool's errand. The real inquiry is the scope of the Constitution's protection of the rights of "persons." The women whose bodies you would like to control plainly are "persons," and the Constitution affords them liberties and rights to do what they will with their bodies notwithstanding your desires to meddle. The unborn to which you would afford rights is another matter. The drafters did not consider them "persons" within the meaning to the Constitution's provisions of rights.
As you "fully understand" the Constitution, you should have a ready response--which so far you have omitted--to the point that the Constitution and 14th Amendment guarantee rights of "persons," and "persons" as understood and intended by the drafters refers to those who have been born. That verbatim right to life you mention pertains to those "persons."
Don't put words in my mouth. It is you who refers to "killing babies" by equating or conflating fetus-baby-person. Precision in use of language would aid discussion. I suggest focusing on the legal term "person" since that is the term that drives the analysis of legal rights under the Constitution. As for your notion of judicial activism, you have it backwards. The Court based its decision on the original intent of the drafters of the Constitution and 14th Amendment. You are the one now advocating--two centuries later--that medical and scientific advances should instead guide our interpretation of the Constitution.
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