Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Roe v. Wade


Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a 7-2 decision by the United States Supreme Court that would plunge America into its darkest and most evil sin.

Abortion had long been practiced before 1973, but on January 22 the Court gave it sanctuary and enshrined it into the fabric of American jurisprudence as a constitutional right.

Writing for the majority, Justice Harry A. Blackmun opined that the 14th Amendment contains a right to privacy "broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."

Justice Potter Stewart, with a concurring opinion, blasted the Texas statute protecting the developing baby. “…it is difficult to imagine a more complete abridgment of a constitutional freedom than that worked by the inflexible criminal statute now in force in Texas.”

Chief Justice Warren Burger, a rather conservative jurist at the time, surprisingly joined the majority. In his concurring opinion, he wrote what was perhaps the most inaccurate prognostication in the court’s entire history. “I do not read the Court's holdings today as having the sweeping consequences attributed to them by the dissenting Justices; the dissenting views discount the reality that the vast majority of physicians observe the standards of their profession, and act only on the basis of carefully deliberated medical judgments relating to life and health. Plainly, the Court today rejects any claim that the Constitution requires abortions on demand.”

Yet, Roe did have “sweeping consequences” by immediately changing the laws of 46 states. Millions of babies have been brutally killed; thousands of women have been physically and emotionally damaged; most physicians will not perform the heinous abortion procedures; Planned Parenthood and like minded abortionists break the law as well as “the standards of their profession”; and “abortion on demand” is now understood to be a Constitutional right. Burger could not have been more wrong.

Roe did have two dissenting voices. Justice William Rehnquist, who would later become Chief Justice, writing the dissenting opinion was prophetic. “Unless I misapprehend the consequences of this transplanting of the ‘compelling state interest test,’ the Court's opinion will accomplish the seemingly impossible feat of leaving this area of the law more confused than it found it.”

The other dissenter Justice Byron White, was even more scathing. “I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the court's judgment. The court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes."

White accused his colleagues of an “exercise of raw judicial power” and wrote concerning the majority that “its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”

White also clearly saw past the ideology of activist judges, realizing the case lacked merit. “It is my view, therefore, that the Texas statute is not constitutionally infirm because it denies abortions to those who seek to serve only their convenience, rather than to protect their life or health.”

And so today, because of America’s new culture that seeks “to serve only their convenience” we mourn the brutal, tortuous deaths of 50 million Americans because of Roe v. Wade.

PS: The other Supreme Court Justices who voted in the majority are William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, William J. Brennan, Lewis F. Powell

PS2: In case you don't think abortion brutally kills developing babies, go here for pictorial evidence of its heinous barbarity (WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC & DISTURBING PHOTOS)

AND: Byron White’s dissenting opinion is worth reading in its entirety, so I’ve listed it below.

MR. JUSTICE WHITE, with whom MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST joins, dissenting.*
At the heart of the controversy in these cases are those recurring pregnancies that pose no danger whatsoever to the life or health of the mother but are, nevertheless, unwanted for any one or more of a variety of reasons -- convenience, family planning, economics, dislike of children, the embarrassment of illegitimacy, etc. The common claim before us is that, for any one of such reasons, or for no reason at all, and without asserting or claiming any threat to life or health, any woman is entitled to an abortion at her request if she is able to find a medical advisor willing to undertake the procedure.

The Court, for the most part, sustains this position: during the period prior to the time the fetus becomes viable, the Constitution of the United States values the convenience, whim, or caprice of the putative mother more than the life or potential life of the fetus; the Constitution, therefore, guarantees the right to an abortion as against any state law or policy seeking to protect the fetus from an abortion not prompted by more compelling reasons of the mother.

With all due respect, I dissent. I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court's judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers [410 U.S. 222] and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion
statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.

The Court apparently values the convenience of the pregnant mother more than the continued existence and development of the life or potential life that she carries. Whether or not I might agree with that marshaling of values, I can in no event join the Court's judgment because I find no constitutional warrant for imposing such an order of priorities on the people and legislatures of the States. In a sensitive area such as this, involving as it does issues over which reasonable men may easily and heatedly differ, I cannot accept the Court's exercise of its clear power of choice by interposing a constitutional barrier to state efforts to protect human life and by investing mothers and doctors with the constitutionally protected right to exterminate it. This issue, for the most part, should be left with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs.

It is my view, therefore, that the Texas statute is not constitutionally infirm because it denies abortions to those who seek to serve only their convenience, rather than to protect their life or health. Nor is this plaintiff, who claims no threat to her mental or physical health, entitled to assert the possible rights of those women [410 U.S. 223] whose pregnancy assertedly implicates their health. This, together with United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971), dictates reversal of the judgment of the District Court.

Likewise, because Georgia may constitutionally forbid abortions to putative mothers who, like the plaintiff in this case, do not fall within the reach of § 26-1202(a) of its criminal code, I have no occasion, and the District Court had none, to consider the constitutionality of the procedural requirements of the Georgia statute as applied to those pregnancies posing substantial hazards to either life or health. I would reverse the judgment of the District Court in the Georgia case.

1 comment:

Scott Weldon said...

Rod,
Thanks for this detailed reminder of the facts of this dreadful decision. May God be kind to us and allow for a reversal of this license to kill.

Good to have you back online, brother.