Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The founding fathers, in writing the Declaration of Independence, stated that man was endowed with certain inalienable rights... amongst these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This is part one of a three part series discussing these three rights specifically mentioned by the founding fathers.

It is most interesting to me that Life is listed as the first of the three mentioned rights... interesting, in that it must be revered with the highest importance. Life, a right Endowed by the Creator of Nature, or simply stated - a Right Inherited from the Creator Himself. To this end, the founding fathers understood that life was a Divine Inheritance not to be wasted.

This understanding of the appreciation of life is evident, and weighs heavy on the minds of any judge or jury responsible for sending a convicted felon to their death. It weighs heavy on the mind of a soldier sent to the battlefield to kill the enemy. It weighs heavy on the minds of those who have been unjustly victimized by a murder of a relative or loved one. The question, then, is who is the beneficiary of this endowment of Life?

The question of life is one that is a heated topic in the political arena, that is, the definition of life. When does life begin? What right does one have to end a life in the womb? Is the endowment only to the strong, or is it our responsibility to protect this blessing, even of the premature or sickly infants and fetuses?

In every discussion involving this topic, one looks at the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v Wade. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) is a controversial United States Supreme Court case that resulted in a landmark decision regarding abortion. According to the Roe decision, most laws against abortion in the United States violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The amendment reads:

Section 1. 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

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roe due to the technicality of the first three words of this amendment - "all persons born". Their decision justified the lack of legal protection under the law for the unborn because these fetuses were not considered in the writing of the amendment, and therefore are not entitled to any equal protection from the acts of the mother.

Now, this is legal-ese at it's worst.

The equal protection clause states that States shall not deprive any person of life... So the definition of a person is the requirement of being born. I challenge any individual to reasonably deny that a child of any fetal development age is "not alive". My wife and I had a miscarriage during our first pregnancy at 9 weeks... the hardest punch I ever felt came when the ultrasound showed no heartbeat, and that our child had died within the last 24 hours. Anyone who understands the intent of the Endowment of Life understands that even at 9 weeks, life is life.

So the question I pose is this: If Life is an Inalienable Right Endowed by the Creator of Nature (Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, etc...even for atheists you have to admit that there is a natural order to life and the universe that is larger than humanity), what role do individuals have in determining at the fetal level which life is worth living and which not, without due process of law? Should we allow abortions, but only after a legal hearing where the fetus has legal representation? Should the United States reconsider the wording of the 14th amendment to retract the word born and replace with alternative wording to include the unborn life? What legal jurisdiction does a father have over the life of his unborn child? He is the owner of half of the chromosomes, does that give him legal standing to prevent an abortion?

If life in our free society is so precious that we fight to save the lives of murders and other criminals on death row, what justification is there for abortion other than "convenience of life for the mother" (put in quotes because I know that there is nothing morally convenient... the decision weighs on the mother).

To my liberal readers: what is the justification for abortion?


  1. Sorry, I too think abortion is immoral.

    I no longer identify myself as "pro-life" because the pro-life movement's push for laws restricting the rights of a pregnant woman in other ways drives me crazy. It's part of "parental rights" -- let me take care of myself+baby as I see fit, through pregnancy and birth. Naturally "parental rights" doesn't include killing the child.

    I can argue the other side for the sake of argument. The 14th amendment says the State shan't deprive people of life without due process, but the State is not the one choosing abortion. That's an individual.

    This is a very interesting topic. When the founders declared that Life is an inalienable right, did they mean everyone or only Americans? surely everyone. It makes it a crime against their legacy when we start unnecessary wars. And how do we justify the death penalty?

  2. Jessi -

    "Naturally "parental rights" doesn't include killing the child" - Absolutely agree.

    I believe, though, that it states that the state may make no law depriving life, etc... So the argument comes down to defining a "person" I think... no need to argue for argument's sake, though...

    The founders clearly meant everyone, but their scope of influence was only in America... and we should lead by example.

    Regarding unnecessary wars - one should attempt to explain the Indian wars... and the legacy left behind by breaking treaty after treaty (which the Constitution states is the Supreme law of the Land), murdering women and children, and setting up homesteads in once spoken for land... legacy of America!

    The Death penalty is justified by fulfilling due process of a just system of laws. The death penalty is necessary when egregious crimes against a person's natural right to Life, Liberty, or Pursuit of Happiness are committed. It does not benefit society to keep those dark souls alive. But due process must be followed.

  3. Ain't no justification for abortion. Question is, is our hope-att th' GOP will end that godless practice misplaced?

    I say yes. It is misplaced.

    Snaggle-Tooth Jones, The Colorado Confederatarian

    (Welcome t' th' Rocky Mountain Alliance nuntheless.)


    (You 'n me need t' tawk.)

    Snaggle-Tooth Jones

  5. Hip Hop,

    I've never been able to make up my mind on this one. I think abortion is abhorrent, immoral, and the worst possible decision a woman (or couple) can make, but that's based upon my religious convictions and not upon my interpretation of the Constitution. I'm not sure it's government's role to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her own body.

    As I think we've discussed before, my problem with the abortion debate in this country is that it's dominated by the voices on either extreme, and the reasonable souls in the middle are ignored.

    For those on the extreme left, it's not enough to ensure that women have access to abortion. Rather, abortion is something that needs to be CELEBRATED, and treated as if it's on the same moral level as other options a woman has available to her when pregnant.

    For those on the extreme right, there is no empathy for the pregnant woman, regardless of how she became pregnant or what consequences may befall her as a result of the pregnancy/delivery.
    - "You were raped? You were the victim of incest? Too bad! You have to keep the baby!!!"
    - The doctor says that your life may be put at risk during delivery? Sucks for you! Guess it's in God's hands."

    On a side note, no amount of arguing will convince me that the vast majority of hardline pro-lifers are pro-life because of how they interpret the 14th amendment or any other part of the Constitution, but rather because of their religious beliefs. They are attempting to enforce their religious beliefs upon those who may or may not share them.

    As a Christian, I am really bothered by this for two reasons.

    First, any Christian that thinks they can "force" people towards Christ by restricting or dictating their behavior clearly is neither a student of the Bible nor history (see the Inquisition).

    And second, this is a dangerous precedent that Christians may regret setting, because 10/20/50 years from now Christianity may no longer be the preeminent religion in America. Let's say Mormonism takes over. How much are Christians going to like having their actions dictated to them by government policy/laws that are not due to any interpretation of the Constitution, but rather influenced by passages from the Book of Mormon?