Russell and Duenes

Roe and “potential life”

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The Court’s opinion in Roe v. Wade is egregious on several counts. One, they claim to take a survey of the history of thought on abortion to help guide their thinking, and yet this survey is hopelessly biased and barely throws in a mention of Christian theological reflection on the issue. They have a heading called “Ancient Attitudes” where they ostensibly consider, well, ancient attitudes, and yet it’s only a paragraph long. They discuss Greek thought in some measure, and later throw a sop to “Protestant” attitudes; but are we to ignore nearly 2,000 years of Christian theology, much of which has formed opinion about abortion? This is surely an error by the Court. I think the justices are not qualified to state authoritatively, as they do, that “the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage.” Further, even if the laws were recent, anti-abortion attitudes surely are not. For the Court to argue in favor of abortion because at the writing of the Constitution, “abortion was viewed with less disfavor than under most American statutes currently in effect,” is ridiculous. The same could be said of slavery. Should we go back to legalizing slavery because our Founders viewed it “with less disfavor?” It seems to me the Court was looking for a way to ignore legal precedent, giving them cover to stab out on their own, which they ultimately did. So much for “settled law.”

The Court further errs by using wrongful terms, often speaking of “potential life.” What is “potential life?” Is this a medical term? Is it found in the Constitution? The Court gives some discussion of different attitudes about “when life begins,” but again, comes to no real conclusions. In fact, they come to the conclusion I stated in my previous post, namely, we don’t have to decide.

The Court was overbroad in arguing that “the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.” The word “health” here, as we surely know, has become an umbrella term meaning that the woman can have an abortion for any reason whatsoever. This was sloppy by the Court and has rightly remained a point of contention.

It is also relevant to note that the Court itself stated that the issue of when life begins is “most sensitive and difficult.” If it is, once again, the Court should have exercised restraint until further notice and at the least kicked the issue back to the states.

There is no good legal defense of Roe, and there certainly is no longer any scientific defense of it. Current embryology puts the lie to the Court’s argumentation of “potential” life, and most scientists today, if they’re being honest, acknowledge that human life begins at conception. Even the abortion-choice advocates have tailored their arguments to account for this fact. Any normal person looking at in utero photos knows this reality.

The Court was being morally and legally presumptuous, and I strongly stand by my statement that Satan was moving the Court’s justices. They didn’t KNOW this was happening, but it was. Jesus is Lord of all, and He is lord of our Constitution and our laws. No justice has the prerogative to legalize the destruction of God’s image-bearers. A mother’s rights extend only as far as her own person, but the baby is not her own person, and she has moral obligations toward her child. The Constitution does not extend the “right to privacy” to the taking of the child’s life. This is why the question, “What is the unborn?” is the only relevant one, and the one that the Court dodged.



Written by Michael Duenes

January 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Posted in Duenes, Ethics

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