Isn’t Abortion Protected by the Constitution?

The Constitution

Abortion is not a constitutional right according to the strict text of the Constitution, but it has been justified as a constitutional right under the Fourth Amendment’s protection of privacy. In short, the constitutional right to abortion is found not in the Constitution itself, but in a loose reading of it.

This constitutional argument is often used by pro-abortionists. As former U.S. President Barack Obama once asserted, “I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right.”Obama, once a law professor, should have known that this right doesn’t actually exist ― the Supreme Court literally conjured it out of thin air.

 

Creating a Constitutional Right to Abortion

In the 1960s, revolution ― especially of the sexual variety ― permeated the air, wafting even into the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States.  The justices set about finding a means by which they could enact a far-reaching liberal agenda, and concluded that extending the right to privacy beyond its natural and legitimate dimensions would be the ideal means for accomplishing this objective.

Of course, we do indeed possess an authentic right to privacy, founded in the Fourth Amendment, which protects us from, among other things, unreasonable searches and seizures.  Others enjoy this genuine right to privacy, including married couples, doctors and patients, attorneys and clients, people engaging in business transactions, and priests and penitents.

But deadlier activities require a manufactured legal cover.  As the Gospel of John says, “The light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” [3:19-20].

 

The Courts Extended the Right to Privacy

Presently, the courts found the perfect segue into creating a constitutional right to abortion in Griswold v. Connecticut, the decision overturning a Connecticut law prohibiting the sale or distribution of birth control devices.

The court system of the State of Connecticut correctly believed that the use of contraceptives would eventually lead to the breakdown of the family and the degradation of marriage.  In fact, the State’s Supreme Court had already turned back several constitutional challenges to the law.  But it could not withstand an activist U.S. Supreme Court, which handed down its Griswold v. Connecticut decision on June 7, 1965.  The majority found that the Connecticut law violated the “right to marital privacy,” which was found in the “penumbras” and “emanations” of other constitutional protections.  Justice Arthur Goldberg thought that this protection might lie in the Ninth Amendment, and Justice John Marshall Harlan speculated that it might lie in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

In Griswold, Justice Harry Blackmun, who authored Roe v. Wade, wrote that “The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right to privacy.  In a line of decisions, however, the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy . . . does exist under the Constitution.  In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have indeed found at least the roots of the right in the First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, and in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights.”

In his dissent, Justice Potter Stewart wrote, “With all due deference, I can find no such general right of privacy in the Bill of Rights, in any other part of the Constitution, or in any case ever before decided by this Court.”

Next: “Constitutional Right to Abortion”

constitutional right to abortion?The stone was rolling: the Supreme Court quickly expanded the right to purchase and use contraceptives from married to unmarried people in its 1972 decision Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972).  The third word in the “right to marital privacy” quickly disappeared. Soon after, of course, came the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, which have led to the extermination of nearly one-sixth of the American population under a supposed constitutional right to abortion.

This “right” had escaped undetected by two centuries of legal scholarship, so to justify it the justices once more turned to the nebulous privacy “right.”  The Legal Times exposed the negligence of the reasoning process of the justices:  “Looking back on that argument, [Sarah Weddington] laughs as she recalls that Justice Potter Stewart asked her where in the Constitution she found the “right” to abortion she had so fervently argued.  “Any place we find it will be okay with you, right?” Stewart asked Weddington.”2

The Illicit “Right” to Privacy Leads to Other Grave Injustices

The paramount damage done by the illicit privacy “right” is to the cardinal virtue of justice, “The moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor” [Catechism, ¶1807].

The best way to determine whether or not an activity should be legal is to determine whether or not it honors justice.

When people claim a ‘right’ to privacy in order to cover illicit and sinful actions, as in a constitutional right to abortion, justice always suffers grave damage, because the rights of God and of other persons are simply disregarded.  Some examples:

 

  • Partial‑Birth Abortions and Starvation Deaths.  Nurses working at Calgary’s Foothills Hospital were forced to assist in partial‑birth abortions over their strenuous objections in 1999.  The hospital starved to death all babies surviving their abortions, some of whom were aborted at full term.  The Calgary Regional Health Authority, which oversees the Foothills Hospital, filed suit against the newspaper that exposed the killings in order to “protect the privacy of its patients and staff.”3

 

  • Child Pornography.  United States District Judge Stanley Sporkin overturned a Congressional child pornography statute, holding, “Many of the artists and adult models engaged in sexually explicit visual imagery have an interest in maintaining their anonymity to avoid stigmatization, harassment and ridicule from others.”  The American Library Association (ALA) cheered this decision and, within days, porn shop operators specializing in child pornography threatened legal action against local citizens who photographed their patrons.4

 

  • AIDS.  The powerful homosexual lobby has taken the quest for absolute privacy to a life‑endangering extreme.  In most states, a physician cannot even inform another doctor that a referred patient has AIDS under pain of losing his license to practice.  A doctor cannot even tell an infected man’s wife that he has AIDS, thereby potentially sentencing her to certain agonizing and lingering death in the name of privacy.5

 

  • Frozen Heads and Other Body Parts.  It has even been suggested that the right to privacy be extended to cover those who want to be frozen in liquid nitrogen before they die in the hope of being revived in future centuries.  California’s Alcor Company was investigated in 1991 for severing Dora Kent’s head before she was dead.  The primary argument in defense of this bizarre incident was the allegation that people should be able to do anything they want to with their own bodies ― in private, of course.6

Every American cherishes his privacy.  Everyone believes that “a man’s home is his castle,” and almost everyone wants the government to interfere with his private life as infrequently as possible while still maintaining society’s fabric.

Since Americans value the concepts of ‘privacy,’ ‘freedom’ and ‘choice,’ anti‑lifers illegitimately extend them to cover their own behavior.  Thus, they label any opposition to abortion, homosexual acts, euthanasia, and other abuses ‘intrusive,’ ‘anti‑freedom,’ and ‘anti‑choice.’

Takeaways

right to abortionPro‑lifers and other pro‑family activists must not feel guilty in the least when opposing abortion, euthanasia, homosexual acts, child pornography and other hideous sins/crimes by the extreme Left.  After all, anti‑lifers simply use the ‘right’ to privacy as a license to abuse ― and kill ― other human beings. This is not a constitutional right to abortion but rather a twisting of the language Constitution for ideological purposes.

The great weakness of the illicit privacy right is becoming more and more obvious.  The more illicit individual freedoms we demand, the less genuine individual freedoms we actually have.  We cannot walk down the street in safety, we cannot drive without being endangered by road rage and drunks, and our children cannot even attend public schools without putting their lives and their souls in danger.

If the anti‑lifers have their way, they will continue to extend the ‘right’ to privacy until it destroys any chance we have of living together without seeing each other as mere objects to be exploited for personal pleasure and gain. The supposed constitutional right to abortion is just a beginning.

 

After his ignoble disgrace, Satan was being expelled from Heaven.  As he passed through the Gates, he paused a moment in thought, and turned to God and said, “A new creature called Man, I hear, is soon to be created.”  “This is true,” He replied.  “He will need laws,” said the Demon slyly.

“What!  You, his appointed Enemy for all Time!  You ask for the right to make his laws?”

“Oh, no!” Satan replied.  “I ask only that he be allowed to make his own.”

It was so granted.

― Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary.

 


Endnotes

  1. President Barack Obama, on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 2012.
  2. Legal Times, March 4, 1985, page A35.
  3. “Personal Qualms Don’t Count: Foothills Hospital Now Forces Nurses To Participate In Genetic Terminations.”  Alberta Report, April 12, 1999; LifeSite Daily News, April 29, May 6, and May 7, 1999.
  4. “Part of Child Pornography Law is Overturned.” The New York Times, May 28, 1992; Samuel Francis.  “Librarians Work to Overturn Child Porn Law.”  Conservative Chronicle, June 17, 1992, page 30.
  5. Senator H.L. Richardson of the California State “AIDS ― Deadly Disease with Civil Rights.”  National Federation for Decency Journal, August 1987, page 13.
  6. Jacob Sullum. “Cold Comfort.”  Reason Magazine, April 1991, pages 22 to 29.

17 thoughts on “Isn’t Abortion Protected by the Constitution?

  1. Does anyone believe that a woman has a choice when it comes to her body. Really!! I don’t like wearing seat belts. A wreck hurts no one’s body but mine. Government says I must wear them. Abortion kills another person other than the mother. Woman wants to kill herself. The law steps in and stops her.

      1. The Supreme Court also ruled in the Dred Scott that slaves had no entitlement to freedom in the 1800s. Yes, it was the RULE but it was contrary to natural law. The Supreme Court, however it rules, may not from a moral point-of-view ever precede natural law, which would naturally forbid both slavery and abortion.

        As an accompaniment to the argument above, there are additional problems with the Roe vs. Wade case. One is that every human being is entitled to dignity under the law. This is affirmed in the Declaration of Independence and elsewhere and viability plays no role. Second, Roe vs. Wade ruled that the “right to privacy” included abortion, which is not inferable from our Constitution. And third, Roe vs. Wade overturned existing law in all 50 states, meaning it legislated rather than reflected the laws of the nation. For more information, we recommend: https://www.mccl.org/post/2017/01/20/the-three-fundamental-problems-with-roe-v-wade.

  2. If suicide is illegal than why is abortion not illegal? The reason abortion should be illegal is because it violates the person’s right to life. If a person (born or unborn, conscious or unconscious) has their right to life violated then that person is basically being treated like they have no rights at all.
    People get upset if a person abuses or neglects an animal. But if someone kills an unborn child they say that it is no one’s business because women’s rights. Maybe you don’t know this but many people who are aborted are girls or “little women”. What about their rights? Their most basic and fundamental right (the right to life) was violated. And it happens every day all over the world.

    1. The difference between abusing an animal and aborting an unborn fetus is the animal is alive its already born duh, its breathing our air, the fetus dont breathe until its BORN then its a baby. Huge difference. Id never get an abortion but its not ok to tell others what they can do to there body. Until the fetus can survive without mom its not a living breathing person with rights sorry!!

      1. Actually, Christina, an unborn baby is alive. From the moment the child is conceived, implanted in the uterine wall, cells start to divide. Heartbeat is detectable in as little as three weeks. At nine weeks the baby can move, suck its thumb, has touch sensation – if a girl baby, it even has reproductive cells already. Many babies in the United States are aborted in the second trimester, after they feel pain. They are often killed during so-called “dismemberment abortions,” because the heart is injected with a drug to stop it beating, the brain is sucked out, and the baby is literally taken out in pieces. So we need to stop this inhumane procedure.

      2. By that same logic, a newborn can’t live without an adult/mother to care for it. It can’t fend for itself in or out of the womb. And where did this notion that until a baby takes a breath it isn’t alive come from? When I was pregnant, not once did I think that this growth in my belly was anything but a living baby. No way. My baby was moving, kicking and had hiccups. It’s not like they were going to become some kind of tumor or cyst. People like to call it a fetus or a “cluster of cells”. If you just have a cluster of cells in your uterus, then you aren’t pregnant. Pregnancy means you’ve got a baby growing inside you.

    2. so out of curiosity, if you were in a burning building and there were 1,000 fertilized embryos, and one screaming child. what would you pick? because according to your logic, you would save the fertilized embryos because it would be saving more “children” than the one standing in front of you. think about that

  3. What you said about doctors not having to report someone with AIDS is not true. Someone has to report it to the CDC, and in most states if a person is diagnosed and doesn’t tell their significant other then they can go to jail. They don’t have to personally tell them, but they have to at least arrange for a notification that basically says “someone you have been intimidate with has been exposed to HIV, please get tested”.

    Also these are all extreme situations—what about people born to people with HIV? Why would you assume they committed a sin to get infected?

    Also, if we ban abortions then we have the moral responsibility to help ensure the children are able to be taken care of. So why oppose funding for healthcare access which could have prevented pregnancies to begin with? Also the Medicaid laws are being destroyed in states, a lot of provisions for kids with special needs are gone or severely deficient. Plus the extra expenses associated with these children. How can we force someone to have a child with SEVERE disabilities without making sure they they are provided with the means to take care of the child they were forced to keep. And if even if they gave them up for adoption, how is that not also cruel knowing that the child will likely never be adopted by anyone? Plus whoever does adopt has to pick up the tab.
    How can we force someone to have a child period if they can’t afford it. So even if it’s not their fault they are pregnant? Or let’s say they’re in sin, but who is to say that they know any better?
    It just seems very contradictory. We don’t want people to have birth control, but we don’t want people to have abortions, and then we don’t help them take care of their children.
    In general I don’t think we need to focus on banning things. I think we need to focus on preventing the situations that lead to a woman feeling that they need to make this decision. I think by putting blanket laws on things, we don’t account for some very extreme, unfortunate situations. There is a separation of church and state. So we can’t force someone who isn’t Christian to act like a Christian. Instead connect with people and help impact their lives and gives the best chance for them to learn how to make better decisions to begin with.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. We are having our researcher review the information for an update to this article. The citation goes back to the 1980s, so that was obviously a different era. We appreciate you bringing this important aspect to your attention. To answer your second question, obviously babies infected with HIV are incapable of sin in any case. If born with HIV it is due to transmission, in any case, certainly through no fault of his/her own.

      As for your comments on providing for a child (healthcare access) or a disabled child (more cost), etc. our position starts at the beginning. We would love to clarify our position as an apostolate of the Catholic Church. Man is made in God’s image. Once that child has been conceived, he/she has a right to be born. No one but God has a right to end a pregnancy. These days the old excuse “save a women’s health” is actually only the case in less than 1% of cases, the rest qualify mainly in the category, sadly, of convenience, i.e. abortion on demand used as birth control. So the Church states – and we fully support the Catholic Church – that if you do not want the child, let it live. We have people all over the world diocese by diocese who will take in the child. You say adoption is not humane but killing is worse. Think of even a second trimester abortion where the child is dismembered, after its heart is stopped and the brains sucked out – thou shalt not kill. Every person has the right to Life, this is so-called natural law that is above every man-made law. It has nothing to do with Christianity, actually. Every person innately knows that it is wrong to kill, and we are merely protecting the right of the unborn child, who is weak and defenseless and cannot fight back.

  4. The biggest problem here is the way things are phrased. A “woman’s right to choose” is a term coined by feminists, and if you disagree with any form of abortion, you’ve fallen into their trap, the trap being that women shouldn’t have the right to make choices. Of course women have the right to make choices, just as men do; the problem with abortion is that women aren’t making choices involving *their* bodies, they’re making choices involving the body of the baby growing inside them, which isn’t their life, it’s the life of their child. Women don’t have the right to do whatever they want either, just as men don’t. If a woman chose to go to the doctor and had her arms and legs amputated, the doctor would refuse. If a woman was sick of living and went to the doctor and asked to be aborted, the doctor would refuse. If a woman said “it’s my body, I don’t want to wear a seat belt, the cop would still write her a ticket, and it would hold up in court.

  5. “Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this court is duty bound to address its scope.” Judge Clarence Thomas, 05/28/19. He does goes on to state that, “The Constitution itself is silent on abortion.” However, he has already correctly acknowledged that women DO have a Constitutional right to abortion under the Due Process Clause. A central purpose of the Supreme Court is to interpret the Constitution, which is what they did with Roe vs. Wade. So, YES, abortion IS a protected right under the Constitution.

    1. Actually, correction. He is not stating that women have that “right.” He is referencing that under the law, since 1973, the Supreme Court created a right that did not exist in the Constitution. In doing so, the Court overturned state laws all across America and created law instead of interpreting law, as it is duty bound to do. A similar parallel would be the Dred Scott decision, when the Supreme Court dictated that slaves had no right to freedom nor citizenship in the United States (1857). That decision obviously no longer stands. We hope the same for Roe vs. Wade.

  6. This is wonderful!! Once abortion is finally illegal can you please post your address so that we know where to send the adoption paperwork? These babies are so blessed that you would take it upon yourself to offer them the love and care they deserve.

  7. It is a sad sign of the Godlessness our society has embraced when people champion their belief that women have the “constitutional right” to murder their own baby while still in the womb.
    No matter how you spin it, parse it or twist the wording around… murder, is murder, is murder.
    The underlying problem has nothing to do with sinister minded people devilishly seeking ways to destroy human life. No, as with most things on this Earth the real problem is a desire to do what one wants and accept no responsibility for the consequences. By that I mean, have sex with whoever, whenever and however “we” want and not have to trouble “ourselves” with such inconveniances as pregnancy or children. Yes, the common belief that murder is “a constitutional right” is ultimately based on SELFISHNESS! Just like every other evil thing done on this Earth, selfishness is the root cause.
    The TRUTH is:
    -You don’t have the right to have sex with anyone/ anything you want.
    -Sex is a priveledge given by God to MARRIED COUPLES ONLY. Also, sex in the marriage must remain between the husband and wife only- no one else.
    -Any other sex will condemn your soul to an eternity in hell.

    Our society doesn’t want to hear this because it is inconveniant and an impediment to self satisfaction.
    To quote a friend of mine, “it does matter anyway because our country is swirling the toilet bowl as we speak. I just hope I’m not around when we finally flush.”

  8. Hey @Coles C. Not sure if you will ever read this post but wanted to say that is a diplomatic way of educating people you have my respect.

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