Legal Background 

           The right to life is the most basic of all human rights. In the second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence a July 4, 1776, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  The fundamental right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness do not come to us from government, judges, or the legal system. Our founding fathers considered these rights to be self-evident and that they came from the Creator God.  Since the time of Cain and Abel in Genesis, the willful taking of an innocent human life, is considered to be the one of the most heinous of sins and the most immoral of human behaviors.  Given this historical background, how is it that in 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States of America made a decision in the case of Roe versus Wade that taking the life of the pre-born could not be prohibited by the states? In this decision the Supreme Court ruled that the pre-born are not persons and therefore are not entitled to these inalienable rights. This ruling was made despite the overwhelming evidence, which we have already reviewed, that both theologically and biologically life clearly begins at conception. No court can take away basic human rights endowed by the Creator God on all mankind.

What is a "Person"?   

        The first problem with this decision relates to the definition of a person. In making this decision the Supreme Court had to narrow and redefine what a person is. In considering this decision one must consider the various personality definition problems. Some would define personhood based on their participation in a social community. For example, Susan Sherwin in her book, "Ethical Issues: Perspectives for Canadians" presents the following definition, "Persons… are members of a social community that shapes and values them, and personhood must be defined in terms of interactions and relationships with others." By this definition, almost anyone can be defined as a non-person, if they are not in the proper social community! In rebutting this definition one must ask: Does a human non-person exists?  Who makes the definition of a proper social community? And should society exclude certain humans from personhood as they have before (African slaves, Chinese)? In fact the Supreme Court made a similar ruling that African slaves were not persons, and were therefore not entitled to basic human rights and constitutional protections. This was a political justification for slavery. Very few people in America today would consider that a good or valid ruling, yet this is the same logic for their ruling on abortion!

             Others would say that the lack of certain personality traits would eliminate personhood. What then do we say about those who are in a coma, the elderly with degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, and those who are mentally deficient to teaching at its, urological disease, or mental illness. Is it reasonable or correct to consider these human beings non-persons? Should they also be deprived of basic human and constitutional rights?

             Some would also define personhood based on functionality. A person may be defined as one who is capable of performing certain functional personal acts. However, this definition would eliminate those who are sleeping and those who are in a coma. An alternative definition of personhood is one who has a history of performing functional personal acts, but again this eliminates those who were in a coma from birth but then wake up. Others would define personhood as one with a future capacity for performing functional personal acts, but this makes those who are dying non-persons. All of these definitions of personhood based on functionality are clearly flawed. Newborn babies certainly lack the ability to perform personal functions. In fact, newborn human infants are less capable physically and mentally than virtually all other mammals. Therefore, on the basis of a functionally defined personhood, newborns would fail the test and could be killed on the basis of "non-personhood". Yet this functionality definition of personhood was the basis for the Supreme Court decision. The reasoning behind this decision is clearly flawed.

            What is the correct definition of a person? The dictionary definition is apolitical and very straightforward. A person is a human being. This definition is simple and accurate. We have already seen that biologically and theologically human life being starts at conception. Or to  put it another way, we are a human being and therefore a person from the moment of conception.  This essential fact should not be confused by outlandish and illogical definitions of personhood to justify a political agenda.

Legal Inconsistency

             The second problem with this decision by the United States Supreme Court is that the law is not consistent. It is acceptable under this decision for a woman to terminate her pregnancy and end life of her pre-born child. However, if someone else were to do this, without her permission, or even force her to do it, it is a criminal act or murder. For example, most people are familiar with the Scott Peterson case, where he has been convicted of murdering his wife Lacy and her unborn son. Because Mr. Peterson was convicted of a double homicide he is now on death row at San Quentin prison in California. However, if Lacy had decided to terminate her pregnancy and end the life of her pre-born son, she could have done so without legal consequences. This is a glaring legal contradiction. In the first instance the pre-born child has full constitutional rights and the termination of his life is murder. In the second instance the pre-born child has no rights. The termination of his life at the convenience of his mother, carries no penalty and is not a crime. This is an irreconcilable dichotomy

A case recently occurred in Ohio and was reported by the Associated Press on October 23, 2010. The article read as follows:

A case is unfolding in Ohio that sounds like a hypothetical dreamed up by a law school professor. The facts of the case: a man is accused of trying to force his pregnant girlfriend at gunpoint to get an abortion. The question: can he be charged with attempted murder of her unborn child? In what may be a precedent-setting case, prosecutors have leveled such a charge against Dominic Holt-Reid under a 1996 Ohio fetal homicide law that says a person can be found guilty of murder for causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.  Police say Holt-Reid pulled a gun October 6 on his three-months-pregnant girlfriend and forced her to drive to drive to an abortion clinic. She did not go through with the procedure; she managed to slip a note to a clinic employee who called the police.

            In this case a man, the boyfriend of this woman is being charged with attempted murder for forcing her to go to one abortion clinic under gunpoint. Yet if she had done this of her own free will she could have legally terminated her pregnancy. The problem is, if her pre-born child is a human being with constitutional rights, why would this act not be murder no matter who ended the child's life?  This makes no sense at all.

          Another recent case in Philadelphia was reported on by the Associated Press on January 20, 2011 with the headline, "DA: Abortion doctor killed babies with scissors". It read as follows:

A doctor who provided abortions for minorities, immigrants and poor women in a "house of horrors" clinic has been charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said Wednesday.  Dr Kermit Gosnell, 69, made millions of dollars over 30 years, performing as many illegal, late-term abortions as he could, prosecutors said.  state regulators ignored complaints about him and failed to inspect his clinic since 1993, but no charges were warranted against them given time limits and existing law, district Attorney Seth Williams said.  Nine of Gosnell's employees also were charged.

Gosnell "induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord," Williams said.  Patients were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell's Women's Medical Society, where Gosnell performed dozens of abortions a day, prosecutors said.  He mostly worked overnight hours after his untrained staff administered drugs to induce labor during the day, they said.  early last year, authorities went to investigate drug-related complaints at the clinic and stumbled on what Williams called a "house of horrors."  Bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses "were scattered throughout the building," Williams said.  "There were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose."  The clinic was shut down and Gosnell's medical license was suspended after the raid. 

Gosnell and four workers were charged with murder, while five others were charged with controlled drug violations and other crimes.  None of the employees had any medical training, and one, a high school student, performed intravenous anesthesia with potentially lethal narcotics, Williams said.  The grand jury said the woman who died was a patient who came to Gosnell's clinic for an abortion and died of cardiac arrest because she was given too much Demerol.  Gosnell wasn't at the clinic at the time, but directed his staff to administer the drug to keep the woman, a healthy 41-year-old woman, sedated until he arrived, prosecutors said.

Gosnell has been named in at least 46 malpractice suits, including one over the death of a 22-year-old mother who died of sepsis and a perforated uterus in 2000.  Many others also involve perforated uteruses.  Gosnell sometimes sewed up the injury without telling women their uteruses had been perforated, prosecutors said.  Gosnell charged $325 for first-trimester abortions and $1,600 to $3,000 for abortions up to 30 weeks.  Abortions are legal up to 24 weeks gestation in Pennsylvania, although most doctors won't perform them after 20 weeks, prosecutors said.  some women came from across the mid-Atlantic for the illegal late-term abortions, authorities said.  White women from the suburbs were ushered into a separate, slightly cleaner area because Gosnell believed they were more likely to file complaints, Williams said.  Few if any of the sedated women knew their babies were born alive and then killed, prosecutors said.

            This story is horrific for a number of reasons.  This doctor is an embarrassment to the medical profession and clearly was motivated by greed.  But our point here is that he is being charged with murder because he killed babies after they were born instead of before they were born.  So really, what is the difference?  Both are murder and in fact it this doctor may be the worst serial killer in American history.  Babies are viable outside the womb after about 20 weeks gestation, so definitive actions, like the ones this doctor took, are frequently required to terminate the child's life.  But again, difference does it make if the child is born or unborn? They are both undeniably a human being with a living soul and the law should give equal protection to the pre-born to be consistent.

 

Conclusion  

           I am convinced that anyone who looks at this law allowing abortion on demand with objectivity will come to the same conclusion that I have. The Supreme Court's decision is hopelessly flawed. They were wrong.  The intentional and pre-meditated termination of the life of a pre-born child is murder, regardless of who does it.  You do not have to be a legal scholar, or be an attorney to come to this conclusion. All you need is common sense, clear thinking, and sound reasoning. Since this decision was made by the Supreme Court in 1973, more than 50 million innocent human lives have been terminated legally. This is a national tragedy.  Remember, if you were born after 1973, it could have been you. It is God who is the final authority and law giver, not the courts.  Ultimately He will judge us for our actions.

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