Today is the annual March for Life. Here’s seven Quick Takes for why we’re marching:
This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.
The Court has done something similar here: the unborn have no rights, except what the government might choose to grant them. But it actually goes even further, declaring it illegal (even unconstitutional!) to protect the lives of unborn children.
EVER SINCE the Supreme Court issued its controversial abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, 16 years ago today, many legal scholars and millions of other critics have cried foul. They have argued that the court was legislating social policy and exceeding its authority as the interpreter, not the maker, of law.
New evidence has now surfaced that some of the justices who wrote and supported the opinion were doing precisely that, in at least part of the decision. The opinion’s author, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, said in one internal court memo that he was drawing “arbitrary” lines about the times during pregnancy when a woman could legally receive an abortion. In another memo, Justice Potter Stewart, who joined the Blackmun opinion, said the determination in the opinion about these lines was “legislative.”
Having deprived abortion opponents of the political right to persuade the electorate that abortion should be restricted by law, the Court today continues and expands its assault upon their individual right to persuade women contemplating abortion that what they are doing is wrong. Because, like the rest of our abortion jurisprudence, today’s decision is in stark contradiction of the constitutional principles we apply in all other contexts, I dissent.
The Democrats used to argue that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare, but as pro-abortion groups flaunt, “abortion is now one of the most commonly performed clinical procedures.” There have been over 56 million abortions since Roe v. Wade. That’s an enormous segment of our population that has been quietly, legally murdered.
I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
I wrote about this last year, but one of the main reasons to March for Life is simply to remind Americans that we once stood for something noble and beautiful, an example for the world. As Mother Teresa said:
America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. […]
I have no new teaching for America. I seek only to recall you to faithfulness to what you once taught the world. Your nation was founded on the proposition—very old as a moral precept, but startling and innovative as a political insight—that human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and that it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
There’s something of a media black-out on the March for Life: either it will be ignored entirely, or covered in such a way that it seems to be a small event, or that it seems like there’s an equal number of pro-life Marchers and “pro-choice” counter-protesters. Last year, it is estimated that 650,000 people marched to protest the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, there were only a handful of counter-protesters (I may have seen two).
Not everyone can make the March for Life today. If you can’t, I urge you to join in by fasting and praying for the March’s success. Your prayers really do make a difference!