Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why Abortion is a Federal Issue, and Should Not be Left to the States

Some people, mainly in the Libertarian camp, say that they are against abortion, but believe we should leave the legality of abortion to the states. While I understand their desire not to have the federal government overreaching into the lives of the citizens, I ardently disagree about abortion being a state matter. Abortion is one of the few things which does properly fall under federal jurisdiction.

Here’s why.

The most fundamental purpose of government is to protect the inalienable rights of the people. The most basic of these rights is the right to life. Thus, all government – federal, state, and local – MUST protect the right to life of all people (including the unborn) in order to be a legitimate government. (Read this for further discussion of just government and inalienable rights.)

No state should have the option to allow abortion any more than a state has the right to allow murder of those already born or to allow theft or rape or any other violent crime. While the states may have different punishments for murder, theft, and rape, and while these crimes may be prosecuted and punished at the state level, none of the states allow these behaviors. Furthermore, all states must make these behaviors illegal because these behaviors are violations of inalienable human rights. Human rights are protected by federal law, including the Bill of Rights, and no state may allow them to be violated without consequence. Because abortion is a violation of the inalienable rights of the child, it must be treated the same way.

The right to life has already been established as being protected at the federal level, as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. The protection of the law is simply not being applied to the unborn as it should be. We don't need individual states to decide on the issue of abortion. We need to simply apply the protections already in place on a federal level to all persons – including the unborn.

How would this work? Well, let’s take a lesson from history where the same sort of thing happened before.

At one time in U.S. history, the protections of the Constitution were applied only to white people. Thankfully, our country realized its error and recognized that blacks and other minorities were also human beings and thus entitled to the same protection under the law. When that happened, we didn't write a new Bill of Rights. We didn't leave it up to the states to decide if blacks were people. We made it official law, on the federal level, human beings of all races were persons, and the protection of our existing laws was then applied to them. The same needs to be done for the unborn, and this must be done at the federal level. Abortion, because it is a violation of inalienable rights, falls within the jurisdiction of the federal government and should be illegal in all states.


  1. If the Pro-Life argument is foundationally about viewing Abortion as Murder. Every other Act of Murder is handled on the State Level.

    On the other Han,d it was largely an act of Federal intrusion, a Judaical one, that created the current situation.

    Are you familiar with Ron Paul's Sanctity of Life Act? Which the Republicans refused to support even when they controlled Congress.

    1. Murder is prosecuted and punished on the state level, but no state has the right to allow murder to go unpunished. The U.S. Constitution states that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law. When someone is deprived of life without due process of law, it is called murder and all states have a duty to investigate and bring the criminal to justice if possible. The problem now is that our government is not recognizing the unborn as persons and is thus failing in its duty to protect them.

      Because abortion is a violation of human rights, it is a federal issue and should be illegal in all states. Whether one prosecutes or punishes abortionists on a federal or state level is a discussion we should have (I tend to think the latter), but abortion must be illegal in all states because it is a matter of human rights being violated. No government on any level (federal, state, or local) has the right to allow violations of human rights.


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