Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
Or so it seems to be considered by too many folks in America.
In September, 2009 I wrote a blog about Roe v Wade, and asked the folks to stay tuned. So I am overdue.
Let me begin with this startling statement from a conservative. Every woman has a natural right to abort her unborn child. I do not suggest that women have no moral obligation to protect the unborn. They do. But there is a difference between natural rights and moral obligations.
We all have the natural right to commit sin. The Creator has empowered us to do what we ought not do, what we know we should not do. It is called free will. A woman or man has the right to cut off his or her finger or toe. For any reason or for no reason at all.
To my knowledge, there never was a criminal law in the United States making it a crime for a woman to abort her unborn child. All of the criminal abortion statutes were directed toward another person causing or performing an abortion.
Thus this language:
"If any person shall designedly administer to a pregnant woman or knowingly procure to be administered with her consent any drug or medicine, or shall use towards her any violence or means whatever externally or internally applied, and thereby procure an abortion, he shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two nor more than five years; if it be done without her consent, the punishment shall be doubled. By `abortion' is meant that the life of the fetus or embryo shall be destroyed in the woman's womb or that a premature birth thereof be caused.
Roe v Wade makes a special point that the decision to abort a fetus is to be made by a woman and her doctor. The Court was not saying that a woman has a right to an abortion; it was saying that a doctor has the right to perform an abortion. Setting aside for the moment the question of whether the fetus is a human life, considering it merely as healthy tissue in the woman’s body, the question must be answered whether a licensed surgeon has the right to remove it based entirely on the choice and consent of the patient?
He couldn’t cut off a healthy toe or finger without some medical necessity. He couldn’t remove a liver or a gall bladder just because the patient wanted it done.
I ask this question of NARAL: does a woman have a constitutional right to have an abortion performed by her teen age boy friend? Or by a mid wife? Or, indeed, by anyone save a duly licensed medical doctor?
If a coat hanger wielding boy friend punctures an artery and kills a pregnant woman does the criminal abortion law still apply?
Or does NARAL concede that the constitutional right of choice only extends to choosing a licensed medical professional?
In the old movies a spiteful spouse would cause herself to have an abortion by strenuous horseback riding. She endangered herself in the process. The law of nature decrees that the life of a fetus is inextricably entwined with that of the mother.
The truth is that a pregnant woman isn’t sick. Pregnancy is not an illness to be cured. The fetus consists of healthy human tissue and its surgical removal is subject to the same standards of medical excision as any other part of a person’s body.
Separation of a fetus from its mother was always an appropriate medical procedure to save the life of the mother. Roe v Wade was a judicial amendment of the statutes regulating the medical profession to permit abortion as an elective surgery that required no therapeutic justification.
It may well be that at some time and in some places the popular culture will approve of amending the medical licensure statutes to permit elective abortions. In a republic that can happen. But there is no call for nine unelected jurists in a distant national capital to dictate morals or mores to a free people.