As pro-life Christians, we take it as a matter of fact, both supported by faith and evidence, that life begins at conception and that all life is valuable.
Sadly, in the landmark case Roe v. Wade, our nations Supreme Court said otherwise.
But now with a more conservative court, the legal case is being made in support of the right to life once again.
And the case is stronger than you might think.
“By the time of the Fourteenth Amendment’s adoption, ‘nearly every state had criminal legislation proscribing abortion,’ and most of these statutes were classified among ‘offenses against the person.”
You might not expect to see these kinds of words written in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.
But to Josh Craddock, Harvard law student and author of the paper published in the journal, these two key points lay a firm foundation for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade once and for all.
Craddock explains why the writers of the Fourteenth amendment had pre-born children in mind when the amendment of equal civil and legal rights was passed back in 1868.
Crucial to his point is the specific legal meaning of the word “person” in the Fourteenth amendment.
Because the writers and ratifiers of the amendment would have included the unborn in their definition of “person,” a strict reading of original intent must conclude that abortion violates the rights of the unborn.
Craddock says that, although many justices, including the late Justice Antonin Scalia, clearly thought that the Constitution was neutral on the subject of abortion, Craddock himself believes that the people who wrote the Constitution believed in the pre-born themselves as being people.
One point that he makes is the fact that at the time that the Fourteenth Amendment, in particular, was written, lawyers and legal minds would have probably turned to William Blackstone’s “Commentaries on the Laws of England” for reference in their intent on what exactly would be considered a “person” due the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You will find that Blackstone had quite a bit to say about the definition of “person.”
In fact, it states “where life can be shown to exist, legal personhood exists.”
A few excerpts from his works are as follows:
“The right of personal security consists in a person’s legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation.”
“Life is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent by nature in every individual; and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb. For if a woman is quick with child, and, by a potion or otherwise, killeth it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dieth in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, was by the ancient law homicide or manslaughter. But the modern law doth not look upon this offence in quite so atrocious a light but merely as a heinous misdemeanor.”
“An infant in ventre sa mere, or in the mother’s womb, is supposed in law to be born for many purposes. It is capable of having a legacy, or a surrender of a copyhold estate made to it. It may have a guardian assigned to it; and it is enabled to have an estate limited to its use, and to take afterwards by such limitation, as if it were then actually born. And in this point the civil law agrees with ours.”
It is clear in Blackstone’s writings that “persons” who should be endowed with rights included pre-born children at the time of the writing of the Constitution.
As you can clearly read, it was known that from “ancient law” abortion of a child or killing of a child in the womb was considered to be homicide or manslaughter.
Craddock cites this in his article:
“The adoption of strict anti‐abortion measures in the mid‐nineteenth century was the natural development of a long common‐law history proscribing abortion. Beginning in the mid‐thirteenth century, the common law codified abortion as homicide as soon as the child came to life (animation) and appeared recognizably human (formation), which occurred approximately 40 days after fertilization. Lord Coke later cited the ‘formed and animated standard,’ rearticulating it as ‘quick with childe’.”
He goes on to show that, “When the Amendment was adopted in 1868, the states widely recognized children in utero as persons. Twenty‐three states and six territories referred to the fetus as a ‘child’ in their statutes proscribing abortion. At least twenty‐eight jurisdictions labeled abortion as an ‘offense against the person’ or an equivalent criminal classification. Nine of the ratifying states explicitly valued the lives of the preborn and their pregnant mothers equally by providing the same range of punishment for killing either during the commission of an abortion. The ‘only plausible explanation’ for this phenomenon is that ‘the legislatures considered the mother and child to be equal in their personhood.’ Furthermore, ten states (nine of which had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment) considered abortion to be either manslaughter, assault with intent to murder, or murder.”
It is obvious to Craddock, as well as to many of us who believe that the Constitution should be revered and followed as the law of the land, that the decisions in cases such as Roe v. Wade were unconstitutional and that they should be reversed.
“If prenatal life is to be protected under the Fourteenth Amendment, Congress or the courts must intervene in states that do not guarantee equal protection and due process to preborn human beings. After all, ‘the [Fourteenth] amendment was designed to limit state power and authorize Congress to enforce such limitations.’ Should a state refuse to protect prenatal life, it would be a violation of equal protection[.]”
Let us pray that the fight is won and that sane minds such as this prevail in the war to save the lives of millions of babies.
Our country and people in it are literally slaughtering their own people when they allow the abortion of children in the womb.
We have let it come too far and we must fight this monstrosity. For if we do not fight against abortion, who will? How can we expect others to stand up and fight for what we know is right if we do not stand up and fight ourselves?
To play a part in ending abortion and to sign a petition to reverse Roe v. Wade and to make abortion illegal, please visit The Moral Outcry at https://themoraloutcry.com.