Friday, November 28, 2014

Abortion Should be Completely Abolished Immediately

Let's make this statement very clear right up front. Abortion should be completely abolished immediately. Make no mistake, we when it comes to human abortion, we are definitely and undeniably in the abolitionist camp.

Clearly, the abolition of abortion includes making it completely illegal, and that should be done as rapidly and efficiently as possible. Until that complete abolition can be accomplished, abortion should be restricted as much as possible, as often as possible, in any way possible.

However, this does NOT mean that we should tell our elected representatives to propose restrictions rather than a total abortion ban. In other words, do not focus on the statement that abortion should be "restricted" as the primary focus or the main desire. The primary, first, and most important goal is to abolish abortion as rapidly and efficiently as possible – immediately, if at all possible. The restriction alternative is a distant second choice which is still far better than nothing at all.

The point is that while we should not try to have restrictions *proposed* by our representatives, we should support those that are proposed. We should take the ground that is available while continuing the fight for total abolition.

Second, this does NOT mean that we should preferentially select representatives who do not support the total abolition of abortion. Instead, we should vote for the strongest pro-life candidate available.*  That does not mean that we should throw our vote away on someone that no one’s ever heard of, but of the candidates who actually have any chance of getting elected, we should choose the strongest right to life candidate available – ideally, another abolitionist.

So the point is that as abolitionists, we should make the abolition of abortion our primary goal, and one that we request of our elected representatives. However, if we have the opportunity to restrict abortion in the meantime, we should take that opportunity do so. We should certainly not oppose such restrictions. Instead, we should actively support those restrictions while making it clear that we are not trading restrictions for abolition.

This IS the rational approach to abolition.


* "Pro-Life" not a bad term, abortion abolitionists are pro-life by definition.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Growing Support for "Post-Birth Abortion"

This article discusses the new reality that many people (college students, in particular) are beginning to support the idea of "post-birth" abortions. In other words, infanticide. One number that seems to be widely accepted is 4 years old.

That's right, folks! There are growing numbers of people who think it's perfectly fine for a parent to decide to kill their own child up until age 4. The rationale seems to be that young children are not self-aware, and thus are not people.

Well, at least they are being consistent. Consistently stupid, but consistent.

Here's what I mean by that:

They recognize the truth that there is nothing magical about birth, and if (in their distorted world) abortion is OK just before birth, it must be OK just afterwards, as well.

If they were a bit more rational, they would take this the other way. They have it exactly backwards. They should note that since infanticide after birth is wrong, and since birth is not magical, it must also be wrong to kill children before birth.

Finally, I would like one of these idiots to provide a single objective proof that self-awareness is what matters when it comes to protecting one's right to life. Second, I would like for one of them to present an objective proof of just how much awareness a human being must possess before he has the right to live. And third, I would like one of them to present an objective test of self-awareness such that we can objectively tell precisely when one has acquired that level of awareness.

In other words, their criteria are quite subjective, and based on nothing more than their opinion of how they wish things to be. That is hardly sufficient justification for violating the right to life of an entire segment of human beings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Supreme Court and Constitutionality

Earlier, I made the case that abortion is unconstitutional. It is neither Constitutionally-protected, nor a right that anyone possesses. Of course, that raised the ire of many pro-aborts who think I have encroached upon their own sacred territory. Many of them (while ignoring the actual content of the article) have expressed their opinion that the Supreme Court determines the Constitutionality of a matter, and whatever they say goes.

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) does NOT "determine" what is or is not Constitutional. The Court has simply been given the authority to declare what it considers to be Constitutional. As history has shown, the Court IS fallible (being made up of humans with their own political agendas and religious convictions) and sometimes gets it wrong.

Here is what Thomas Jefferson had to say on the matter:

You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps....

Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

Jefferson, Thomas. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Jarvis (September 28, 1820).

The Supreme Court has the authority to make rulings based on its perception of Constitutionality. However, this does NOT mean that they always get it right. In fact, every single time they overturn an older ruling, they tacitly admit that the earlier ruling was wrong. Of course, this is rare because no one likes to admit that they were wrong, and court justices are no different.

The Constitution does not permit the SCOTUS to reinterpret the Constitution in any way that it so desires (as many critics seem to think). The Court is required to stick to the original intent of the Constitution and its amendments. That was the point I made in the article.

Roe v. Wade is a Court ruling. It is NOT to be conflated with the Constitution itself. And like any other ruling, it is subject to error. As I have shown in this article, it is a bad ruling because it ignores the original intent of these amendments.

The main point here is that the actual text and original intent of the Constitution always trumps any court ruling. Thus, the Constitutionality of abortion is decided by the actual text of the Constitution - not by a Supreme Court ruling. Appealing to the Court is an appeal to authority.

Abortion IS unconstitutional based on the actual text of the Constitution. Of course, we are required to abide by Court rulings. However, this does NOT mean that the ruling is, by definition, Constitutional. In order to determine that one must check the Constitution itself.

For what it's worth, ALL jurists on the Supreme Court should be strict constructionists. Any who are not are violating their oath of office, and are acting contrary to one of the most important principles of civil government - namely, that we each must approve (through representation for new laws or by tacit consent for laws that predate us) of any law to which we are bound.

This means that the original meaning and intent MUST be the only accepted meaning, and that all court justices are bound to interpret the law in that particular way. If they do not, then they have no business serving on the court, and should be impeached.

The Founding Fathers were very clear on this matter. Having laws forced upon us which we do not consent to is tyranny. The same is true if laws are reinterpreted by a court (i.e. a unelected body of people in which we are not represented).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Constitutional Support for Right to Life Arguments

Last time, we pointed out that abortion is thoroughly unconstitutional, and that the pertinent texts of the 5th and 14th Amendments are the following, respectively:
"No person shall ... be deprived of life ... without due process of law; ..."
"nor shall any State deprive any person of life, ..., without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Earlier, we presented logical arguments deriving the following conclusions:
C1: One does not have the right to kill a child who has not yet been born.
C2: A child who has not yet been born possesses the exact same right to live as any other
       human being.
Now, we would like to show how these arguments are supported by the United States Constitution. As you may recall, these conclusions were each based on a set of premises. The first argument employed the following premise:
P1.1: One does not have the right to kill an innocent human being.
Clearly, this premise is supported by the 5th Amendment ("No person shall ... be deprived of life ... without due process of law; ..."), and by the 14th Amendment ("nor shall any State deprive any person of life, ..., without due process of law;").

The second argument was supported by the following premise:
P2.1: All innocent human beings possess the exact same right to live as any other human
Clearly, this premise is supported by the last clause of Section 1 of the Amendment 14 ("nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws").

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Abortion is Unconstitutional

We too often hear that abortion is a right or that it is Constitutionally protected. These statements are simply not true. As we have shown earlier, one simply does not have the right to commit abortion because it takes the life of an innocent human being. Now, I would like to show that it is not protected by the United States Constitution either.

In fact, there are two different amendments to the Constitution which actually make abortion unconstitutional. Of course, I am referring to the 5th and the 14th amendments.

Here is the text of the 5th amendment:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."  
-- 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (emphasis added)

Note that this amendment is a bit lengthy and includes text which is not relevant to the issue of abortion. So let me clarify the pertinent parts:

"No person shall ... be deprived of life ... without due process of law; ..."

As you can see, this is perfectly consistent with the full text above. So I am not taking anything out of context when I point out that this amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that "No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law."

Now, let's take a look at the 14th amendment:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. 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." 
-- 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Section 1 (emphasis added)

This is the full text of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, and it also addresses topics which are not pertinent to the right to life issue. So here are the pertinent parts:

"nor shall any State deprive any person of life, ..., without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Note that although this amendment begins with a reference to "All persons born or naturalized," the parts which are pertinent to the right to life issue are NOT so prefaced and do NOT rest on that premise. In fact, the text is separated by a semicolon which isolates the pertinent text from earlier topics (such as citizenship) which were addressed and which are so prefaced.

Now, IF the latter portion of this amendment stated that "no state shall deprive any 'citizen' of life,...," then that statement would rest on the stated requirements of citizenship. However, this amendment clearly and intentionally does not do so. Rather, the text clearly states that  "no state shall deprive any 'person' of life, ...." This fact is a clear and profound rejection of the idea that citizenship or birth is required for the protection of life.

Furthermore, this amendment also states that no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." So not only is the right to life specifically protected, this amendment also makes the more general equal protection under the law a Constitutionally protected right.

This much alone should be sufficient to show that abortion is thoroughly unconstitutional. Unfortunately, some people try to defend abortion by expressing their opinion  that only born human beings are "persons." As we have shown earlier, this is an irrational proposition.

Furthermore, neither of these amendments define personhood in any way that is consistent with that opinion, and I find it telling that these people wish to redefine "person" in such a way as to include themselves while excluding those other human beings that they wish to be allowed to kill.

If "person" and "human being" are distinguishable, then proponents of that view should present objective evidence of that distinction, and provide an objective, scientific test by which we can objectively determine just when a human being has developed into a person. Without such an objective test, this distinction is meaningless and cannot be objectively implemented (i.e. in law). Of course, no such objective personhood test exists, and those who try to make the unsubstantiated distinction between humanity and personhood do so arbitrarily and without any objective support.

Finally, let me direct the reader to Webster's Dictionary of 1828. The English language has evolved somewhat since these amendments to U.S. Constitution were adopted. The 5th Amendment was adopted along with the rest of the Bill of Rights in 1791, and the 14th Amendment was adopted just after the Civil War in 1868. Thus, it is important to determine how "person" was used in those times. Webster's Dictionary of 1828 provides an excellent and timely resource for answering such questions.
Definition 1: "An individual human being consisting of body and soul. We apply the word to living beings only, possessed of a rational nature; the body when dead is not called a person It is applied alike to a man, woman or child."
Definition 2: "A man, woman or child, considered as opposed to things, or distinct from them."
Definition 3: "A human being, considered with respect to the living body or corporeal existence only."
Definition 4: "A human being, indefinitely; one; a man."
These are the first four definitions for "person" provided, and it is clear from them that birth is not considered in any of these definitions. Nor do any other character traits enter into these definitions. Although many modern critics try to invent criteria for personhood which exclude those who haven't been born, this dictionary does not employ any of them in defining personhood. For instance, none of these qualities are employed:
  • sentience
  • self-awareness
  • autonomy
  • consciousness
  • heartbeat
  • brainwaves
  • personality
  • independence
  • self-sufficiency
Thus, when these amendments were adopted, none of these kinds of things were considered in defining personhood. Quite the contrary. In fact, three of these definitions specifically refer simply to "a human being." It is clear that these amendments actually refer to human individuals, and do not distinguish some humans as persons who will be protected while leaving others unprotected. The notion that personhood can be distinguished from humanity is simply a misrepresentation of the term "person" that some critics have invented in order to justify such violations as slavery and abortion.

 Of course, science clearly shows that the unborn are human individuals. They are human beings in the same sense that any born person is. Therefore, since "person" is defined to be any human being, this must include the unborn. So the definition of "person" used at the time of writing of these amendments applies to all human beings from fertilization to death. The opinion that "person" is not synonymous with "human individual" is simply not supported by either science or history.

Thus, it should be clear to any rational, thinking person that the United States Constitution clearly supports the right to life position and the truth that all human beings possess the right to life. One must remember that the Supreme Court is staffed by people who have their own political and religious views, and so is not infallible in its interpretation and application of the Constitution. Roe v. Wade should be reconsidered and overturned because it can be clearly shown that abortion is thoroughly unconstitutional.