Abortion: Where Conscience Meets the Womb

        by Diane Rufino

A baby is never a mistake, even if the mother’s conduct was.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about our country’s stand on abortion and what the issues are on both sides. As we all know, abortion is the voluntary, or calculated, intentional termination of an embryo or fetus.  I understand that reasonable people can debate when life actually begins and I understand that religion teaches that life begins at conception.  Yet I somehow feel there could be some room for common ground in the very early stages of a pregnancy.  But once there is a heartbeat, it would be impossible for me to imagine any reason why that living being should be terminated, absent an urgent dire threat to the mother’s life.  Yet as it stands now, abortions performed prior to the third trimester are legal in this country, thanks to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.  [The decision essentially states that since a fetus is not a human being and therefore has no rights, including any that are protected under our Constitution, the woman’s right to control her fertility and reproduction ability naturally outweigh any possible rights of the developing fetus for the first two trimesters.  With respect to the third trimester, the state may have an interest in protecting the life of the unborn and so it can regulate, but NOT when the woman’s health – either physical or mental (including stress) – becomes an issue. So Roe also shows great tolerance for the abortion of a baby that is ready to be born].

Pro-life groups believe in the sanctity of all life.  They believe, as Ronald Reagan wrote so eloquently in 1983, that to diminish the value of one category of human life — the unborn – diminishes the value of all human life. They believe that God is the giver of life.  They believe that the embryo or fetus is “alive” and thus abortion is tantamount to murder.  To them the question is not when human life begins, but rather ‘What is the value of human life?’  “The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law — the same right we have.”  (Ronald Reagan)

Since the decision in Roe v. Wade, which stands for the legal fiction that a fetus is not a human being, more than 20 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is well over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation’s wars. In 1982 the nation watched as a court in Indiana allowed the starvation death of “Baby Doe” because the child had Down’s Syndrome.  The death of the tiny infant Baby Doe tore at the hearts of Americans because the child was undeniably a human being – alive.  He was born mentally retarded and with an incomplete esophagus.  He laid helpless before the eyes of the doctors and the eyes of the nation. The parents wanted to deny it a simple medical procedure to fix his esophagus so he could eat and they sued for the right to let him die. This time the issue before the court was not whether Baby Doe was a human being, but rather whether parents had the right to choose to terminate the life of their baby when it was handicapped or whether the state could step in and try to save its life. They sided with the parents.  If Baby Doe received such little compassion from the courts, how do those who haven’t had the opportunity to enter the world stand a chance?

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who in 1969 was a co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), later renamed the National Abortion Rights Action League, helped make abortion legal. He provided statistics to the Supreme Court in Roe to help support that decision.  He was also the former director of New York’s City’s Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, the largest abortion clinic in the world at the time.  In the late 1970′s he turned against abortion to become a prominent pro-life advocate, wrote Abortion America, and produced the powerfully revealing video, “The Silent Scream.”  He later admitted that the statistics he presented to the high court were intentionally misrepresented. As he wrote: “We fed the public a line of deceit, dishonesty, a fabrication of statistics and figures.  We succeeded because the time was right and the news media cooperated.  We sensationalized the effects of illegal abortions, and fabricated polls which indicated that 85 percent of the public favored unrestricted abortion, when we knew it was only 5 percent.  We unashamedly lied, and yet our statements were quoted by the media as though they had been written in law.”

Dr. Nathanson also wrote: “I believe  with all my heart that there is a divinity of existence  which commands us to declare a final and irreversible halt to this infinitely sad and shameful crime against humanity.”

Roe v. Wade and the continued devaluation of the unborn continues to prod the moral conscience of Americans.

Pro-lifers understand that they can’t fully appreciate all abortion decisions nor the wrenchingly difficult dilemmas presented by their particular situations – such as those made by an ill-informed 16-year-old who made an impulsive decision or was coerced, or a college student who has an education ahead of her, or an unwed mother who can’t afford to feed or take care of another child, or a woman who has had non-consensual sex, but they don’t believe the solution lies in a deliberate act of destruction of human life. They don’t believe an otherwise viable and living fetus should be killed because of inconvenience – or for any other reason, for that matter. There are options and resources.  There is education and common sense.  There is a lifestyle built on decent moral values, discipline, and priorities.

Pro-choice groups, on the other hand, believe that a woman should have access to whatever health care she needs and that she should have control over her own body.  Of course, as Ronald Reagan once commented: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born.”  Finally, there is the issue of state intervention and to what degree the state should have a say in a pregnancy.

There are some women (pro-choice) who believe that they have a fundamental civil right to have complete control over her fertility and therefore she should have the freedom to decide whether she wants to continue or terminate her pregnancy.  Others simply want the right to an abortion to undue something they aren’t capable or ready to deal with.  Some have a change of heart and want to postpone having a baby until a future time.  As Frederica Mathewes-Green explained: “No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.”  Yet we all know that abortion is often performed with less consideration than that.  It is often a woman’s choice of birth control…. birth control after the fact.  Sometimes many months after the fact.

Pro-choice for women means no-choice for men.

Career women overwhelmingly side with the pro-choice view.  Women who consider themselves pro-life have typically been stereotyped as church-going women and those who are stay-at-home wives and mothers. They are often portrayed as not really needing the option of an abortion. In 2008, my husband and I attended a rally at East Carolina University for John McCain.  Sarah Palin was the speaker.  Although most of us thought the event would be mobbed by Obama supporters in protest of Ms. Palin’s visit, there were no such mobs.  In fact, the only protesters we saw were those who stood across the street carrying plenty of signs calling for the right of women to have an abortion if she chooses. As we were walking on the campus to the event, we saw a woman walking out of one of the University buildings, wearing a nice tailored suit, and asked if we were walking in the right direction.  She made a snide comment about Sarah Palin and as we continued on our way, she shouted this to me: “You can’t be a successful woman if you don’t support abortion rights.”  Am I to believe that in order to be successful and respected in today’s world, the innocent unborn might need to be sacrificed?   Am I to believe that in order to be successful and respected, a woman must knowingly set aside the laws that God asks us to respect?  Is that what it means to be successful?  I don’t think so.

In fact, I have these few words to say to those career women who so lightly sacrifice the fruits of their womb for a chance to be a player in the business world:  Please don’t think there is a comparison between a good job and giving life. Jobs are fleeting and merely ‘positions’ that are temporarily held by one person or another. They either consume you for a business purpose or they consume you for some selfish egotistical gain. A child is a legacy; a permanent bond; a life-long friend….  A reason to live life to the fullest every single day of your life.  When I finished graduate school, when I was in my 20s and into my early 30s, I planned for a life of great accomplishment. I was going to be a great scientist. I was going to help understand the molecular basis of cancer and maybe find a cure. There was nothing inside me urging me to get married and start a family.  In fact, at that point in my life, I didn’t want children. And I was hoping I would find a man who would want the same.  But God knew better.  He knew more about my heart than I did.  And he blessed me with a child right after I got married.  I admit I was scared. I had no maternal instincts whatsoever (but was great with animals) and wasn’t sure I would know what to do.  But the minute I saw my daughter’s beautiful face and helpless body, I was hooked.  I knew that I was meant to be a mother. I instantly knew there was no greater meaning to life than having a child.  I knew I would love this child every minute of my life.  When I saw her fragile tiny, red, wrinkled body and the way she was so uncoordinated and didn’t know how to do the simplest of things, I knew I wanted to care for her and keep her safe and comforted for as long as I was able to do so. By the time I left the hospital, I had already circled the dates I would try to conceive my next child.  And only in having children of my own was I able to appreciate the depths of the unconditional and eternal love my own parents have for me.  And that is the true meaning of life.  It is the true circle of life.  And like a circle, the love between parents and children are never-ending, just as God’s love is for all of us.

To any woman unsure of her lot in life, I would offer  this heartfelt advice:  Don’t make the mistake of thinking a career or anything else of such material worth is more valuable than the life-long love you experience and the life lesson you learn from being a parent.  My biggest regret in life was not being able to start having children earlier, while I was younger, so that I could have had more of them before it was too late. While all of my friends were dating and getting married, I was still trying to figure out what degrees I wanted and so I got married much later.

The way I see it, the killing of an innocent viable fetus is utterly and fundamentally opposed to everything we stand for as a nation guided by Natural Law and memorialized under Christian values.  The right to life is the foundation of every other human right that we hold so dear in this country. We hold vigils, we protest, and we march for the rights of violent criminals.  We claim to be a compassionate society.  We claim it is too inhumane to put to death, albeit painlessly, those who violently took the life of other human beings. Yet we support the violent murder of the live unborn.  Our compassion stops at the womb.  Winifred Egan noted:  “What an irony that a society confronted with plastic bags filled with the remains of aborted babies should be more concerned about the problem of recycling the plastic.” American journalists David Kupelian and Mark Masters wrote: “Fetal tissue implants are not that much different from Nazi lamp shades made of Jewish skin.  Both are intend to put by-products of murder to good use.”

Pastor Richard Exley, also an author, has compared abortion laws to the Fugitive Slave laws, which were enacted to make sure that runaway slaves be returned to their masters. He wrote: “Current laws, making abortion on demand legal, bear a frightening affinity with the Fugitive Slave Act.  They too make ‘lawful’ what is unlawful – the taking of a human life – and forbid as ‘unlawful’ that which is right – the rescue of the unborn child.”

Glenn Beck had a sobering segment on his show once, when he talked about the federal protections for the Bald Eagle.  You can do jail time for killing an eagle’s egg, but you are protected for killing a human child in the mother’s womb.  In our country the Bald Eagle is federally protected.  And not just the living bald eagle but also the egg sitting in the nest. Anyone who tries to remove the egg or destroy it can be prosecuted by federal law.  The only plausible explanation for criminal prosecution is that the taking of the egg or destruction of it prevents a bald eagle from being born.  I have a question: How much more important is a child than an eagle?

We have an admirable history in this country of standing up for the inherent rights of human beings. We saw the injustice of enslaving Africans and treating them as property, and one of the reasons we fought a devastating Civil War was to correct that injustice. When we realized that women were treated as property and were degraded, we fought for their dignity and equality. Yet the most vulnerable of all in our society – our unborn children – are still being treated as property to be disposed of as we see fit.  I am baffled by the ambiguity…  we can’t commit to defining the unborn as a “human being” yet we call a woman “mother” or “Mom-to-be” upon the moment of conception and throughout her entire pregnancy we consider her to be “with child.”

I have a friend who ponders the reasons we mistreat others and the reasons for it.  He is right that it is easier to marginalize a person or group of people when we diminish their worth and demean their inherent value.  We already see how people dehumanize those persons that offend them or that stand in their way ideologically and politically. It is in this way they can mistreat them, strip them of their dignity, their worth, their property, and their lives.  We saw the Nazis do this to the Jews and the Japanese do this to the Chinese during World War II and the years leading up to it.  The U.S. did it to the Indians when the settled with West, the KKK did it to the blacks, and we do it today with the unborn under the guise of “woman’s choice.”

I remember an interview that Sean Hannity did with a young woman named Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor.  I remember listening to what this miraculous woman had to say, which she did so very gracefully and eloquently, and having my eyes swollen with tears.  Her message is the one people need to here.

On Sept. 15, 2008, Gianna addressed a crowd at Queen’s Hall, Parliament House, in Victoria, Australia.  She spoke on the eve of the debate that was to take place as to whether to de-criminalize abortion in Victoria and this is what she said:

“I’m adopted.  My biological mother was 17.  So was my father.  My biological mother was 7½ months pregnant when she decided to go to Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion provider in the world. They counseled her to have a late-term saline abortion which is a procedure where a saline (salt) solution is injected into the mother’s womb, where the baby ingests it. The baby is burned inside and out and the mother is then able to deliver a dead baby within 24 hours.  But to everyone’s great shock and surprise, I didn’t arrive dead, but alive. I was born on April 6, 1977 in a Los Angeles County abortion clinic.  What’s fantastic about this, about the perfect timing of my arrival, is that the abortionist was not on duty yet.  So he wasn’t even given the opportunity to continue on with his plan for my life – which was death.  And I know that I am in a government building, and a beautiful one it is at that, and I love your country as well as my own, but I know that in the age we live in, it is not at all politically correct to say the name Jesus Christ in places like this. It’s not politically correct to bring him into these types of meetings because his name can make people so terribly uncomfortable. But I didn’t survive to make people comfortable.  I survived so I can stir things up a bit, and I have a great time doing just that.

So I was delivered alive, as I said, after 18 hours.  I should be blind, I should be burned, I should be dead. And yet I’m not.  Do you want to hear a fantastic vindication?   The abortion doctor had to sign my birth certificate.  So I know who he is.  And it also says in my birth records, for any skeptic listening, ‘Born during saline abortion.’  They didn’t win.  I’ve done some research on the man who performed the abortion on me and his clinics are the largest chain of clinics in the US; they gross over $70 million each year.  I read a quote from him several years ago: ‘I have aborted over a million babies. I consider it my passion.’  I tell you these things because we are involved in an interesting battle in the world. It is a battle between life and death… of good and evil.  What side are you on?

A nurse called an ambulance and had me transferred to a hospital, which is absolutely miraculous.  Generally, the practice at the time in my country, and up until 2002, was to end the life of an abortion survivor – by strangulation, suffocation, leaving the baby there to die, or throwing it away.  But on August 5, 2002, the extraordinary President Bush signed into law the ‘Born Alive Infants Protection Act’ to prevent that from occurring anymore.

I’m hoping to be hated by the time that I die so that I can feel God about me and understand what it was like to be hated.  I mean, Christ was hated…truly hated by those whose existence he threatened. Like me.  It’s not that I look forward to being hated and I already know that along my journey, I’m already hated. I’m hated because I declare life.  I declare: ‘You didn’t get me.  The Silent Holocaust didn’t win over me.’  And my mission, ladies and gentlemen, among many things, is this: to infuse humanity into a debate that ignores it… to infuse humanity into a debate that we have compartmentalized.  We have removed our emotions from the debate.  Do you really want that?  How much are you willing to take and how much are you willing to risk to speak the truth, in love and graciousness, and to stand up and at least be willing to be hated?  Or at the end of the day, is it all about you?

And so, after I was born, I was placed in an emergency foster care home where they decided they didn’t like me very much.  I don’t know how they could not adore me right from the start. What was wrong with those people?  But they didn’t like me. They couldn’t learn to love me.  You see, I’ve been hated since conception, by so many….  but loved by so many more, and especially by God.  I’m his girl.  You don’t mess around with God’s girl.  I have a sign on my forehead that says: ‘You better be nice to me because my Father runs the world.’

After I was placed in the mean home, I was taken out of the mean home and placed into a new home – a beautiful home… Penny’s home.  And Penny said that by this time, I was 17 months old, 32 pounds of dead weight, and diagnosed with what I consider the gift of cerebral palsy, which was caused directly by the lack of oxygen to my brain while I was trying to survive.  How I am compelled to say this: If abortion is merely about women’s rights, what were mine?  There were no radical feminists standing up and yelling about how my rights were being violated that day.  In fact, my life was being snuffed out in the name of women’s rights.  And, ladies and gentlemen, I would not have cerebral palsy had I not survived what I did, so when I hear the appalling, disgusting argument that we should have abortions because the child just might be disabled… Ugh…  The horror that fills my heart.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are things that you will only be able to learn from the weakest among us and when you snuff them out, you are the ones that lose.  The Lord looks after them, but you are the ones who will suffer forever from their loss.  And what arrogance… what absolute arrogance in the argument that has been made for so long in this human place that we live in that the stronger should dominate the weaker.  That they should determine who lives and who dies.  I can’t believe the arrogance in that.  Don’t you realize that you can’t even make your own heart beat?  Don’t you realize that all the power that you think you possess you really possess none of it.  It is only the mercy of God that sustains you –  even when you hate him.

So they looked at my dear Penny and they said: ‘Gianna will never be anything,’ which is always encouraging. But Penny decided to ignore them and she worked with me three times a day. To make a long story short, I was walking by 3½ with a walker and braces, and I stand up here today before you with a mild little limp and without a walker and without braces.  I fall gracefully sometimes and very ungracefully other times, but I consider it all for the glory of God.  You see ladies and gentlemen, I am weaker than most of you, but this is my sermon.  What a small price to pay to be able to blaze through the world as I do and offer hope.  And I think in our misunderstanding of how things work, we misunderstand how beautiful suffering can be.  I don’t suggest that you willing sign up for it, but when it comes, we forget that God is in control and He often has a way of making the most miserable thing beautiful.

I have met my biological mother.  I have forgiven my biological mother.  I am a Christian.  She is a very broken woman.  She came to an event that I was having two years ago.  She showed up unannounced and said: ‘Hello, I’m your mother.’  It was a very difficult day and yet, as I was sitting there, I kept thinking: ‘I don’t belong to you.  I belong to Christ.  He loves me.  I’m his girl and he treats me like a princess.’

So, ladies and gentlemen, you have an opportunity.  But for just one moment, I’d like to speak just to the men in this room:  Men, you are made for greatness.  You are made to stand up and be men.  You are made to defend women and children and not stand by and turn your head when you know murder is occurring and do nothing about it.  You are not made to use women and leave them alone.  You are made to be kind and great and gracious and strong, and to stand for something.  Men, listen to me… I’m too tired to keep doing your job.

Women, you are not made for abuse.  You are not made to deny your worth and your value.  You are made to be fought for.. forever.

So now is your moment….  What sort of people are you going to be?  I trust incredible.  I trust, men, that you will rise to the occasion.  To the politicians listening, particularly to the men, I would say this: You are made for greatness.  Set your politics aside.  You are made to defend what is right and good.  This fiery young girl will stand here and say:  ‘Now is your moment.  What sort of man do you want to be?  Are you going to be a man obsessed with his own glory or a man obsessed with the glory of God?  It’s time to take a stand, Victoria.  This is your hour.  God will assist you.  God will be with you.  You will have the opportunity to glorify and honor Him in 2008.’

I will just end with this.  Some of you might be slightly annoyed that I keep talking about God and Jesus.  But how on earth can I walk about, limping, through this world and not give all my heart and my mind and my soul and my spirit and my strength to the Christ who showed me mercy and gave me life.  So if you think I’m a fool, it’s just another jewel in my crown.  My whole intent in living here is simply to make God smile.

I hope some of this makes sense.  It just came from my heart.  May God bless and keep you.”

Wow.  Imagine living your life knowing you weren’t wanted, and even worse, that of all the options available, death was the most convenient.

Simply put, the abortion of a viable fetus is the thoughtful premeditated decision to take the life of another human being. Out on the streets we call it first-degree murder – a capital crime.

God created us and gave us the gift of life.  He gave us our free will and fundamental liberties yet set limits on them.  We know these limitations from reading the Bible.  We understand these limitations so that we can be a morally-upright, decent, stable, and compassionate people worthy of the dignity and humanity that God intended for us.  We also understand these limitations so that we, as a people, can be assured of making laws and creating a society that value life and goodness, while punishing and preventing evil.

In this country alone, we acknowledge that our fundamental rights and liberties derive from God and his benevolent nature. And only those fundamental rights are the ones protected by the Constitution. The right to take the life of a viable fetus would never be a right granted by our Creator.

Instead of conforming their behavior to God’s expectations, it is much easier to deny the role that God has played in our founding.  It is much easier to take the watchful eye of God out of society and all reminders of his laws. Instead of people looking to God’s law and conforming their behavior accordingly, they live their lives as a complete free-for-all and then seek to invalidate God’s law to absolve themselves of their immoral acts.

Mother Teresa once asked: “If we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

I may not know the precise moment when life happens, but it is indeed miraculous — that moment when the miracle of life occurs, like a switch being flipped, when life all of a sudden infuses a mass of cells. Unlike all other living things which man has been granted “dominion over,” only man shares that special bond with God for he is blessed with a deep and quick intelligence, foresight, a complex memory, advanced reason, and profound wisdom.  And so we know God loves us. This is why we are supposed to always respect and celebrate this bond we have with God.

So what happens when a woman is carrying a viable fetus and wants to abort that unborn child?  She presents quite a dilemma to God, doesn’t she.  On the one hand it is her body. Yet on the other hand, she was created to be able to bring children into the world.  And still on the other hand, there is the fetus, the growing child, who, although has been miraculously infused with life only asks for a few short months of shelter and support in the mother’s womb.  While God indeed loves all his children, we know from the Bible that He has a particular bond to those who are helpless. He wants us to do what he would do.

Mother Teresa once said: “There are two victims in every abortion: a dead baby and a dead conscience.”  She also commented: “It’s a shame that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

One abortion provider provided this eye-witness account of working in an abortion clinic: “From May to November 1988, I worked for an abortionist. He specializes in third trimester killings. I witnessed evidence of the brutal, cold blooded murder of over 600 viable, healthy babies at seven, eight and nine months gestation. A very, very few of these babies, less than 2%, were handicapped…I thought I was pro-choice and I was glad to be working in an abortion clinic. I thought I was helping provide a noble service to women in crisis….I was instructed to falsify the age of the babies in medical records. I was required to lie to the mothers over the phone, as they scheduled their appointments, and to tell them that they were not ‘too far along’ Then I had to note, in the records that Dr. Tiller’s needle had successfully pierced the walls of the baby’s heart, injecting the poison what brought death…one day, Dr. Tiller came up the stairs from the basement, where the mothers were in labor. He was carrying a large cardboard box, and ducked into the employees only area of the office so that he wouldn’t have to walk through the waiting room. He passed behind my desk as I sat working on the computer, and he turned the corner to go around a short hall. He called out for me to come and help him. the box was so big and heavy in his arms that he couldn’t get the key into the lock. So I unlocked the door for him, and , pushing the door open, I saw very clearly the gleaming metal of the crematorium- a full sized crematorium, just like the ones used in funeral homes. I went back to my computer. I could hear Dr. Tiller firing up the gas oven. A few minutes later I could smell burning human flesh. Mine was the agony of a participant, however reluctant, in the act of prenatal infanticide.”

Another abortion provider gave this heart-wrenching account: “The doctors would remove the fetus while performing hysterotomies (removal of the uterus) and then lay it on the table., where it would squirm until it died.  We weren’t permitted to attend to them. They all had perfect forms and shapes. I couldn’t take it. No nurse could.”  Another wrote: “It is sobering to think that there is an actual human being at the end of the table willingly taking a baby apart.” Another eyewitness said: “The procedure changes significantly at 21 weeks because fetal tissues become much more cohesive and it becomes more difficult to dismember” And still another commented: “A long curved Mayo scissors may often be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus.”

If we as a nation continue to close our eyes and our hearts to the physical torture and purposeful death that these innocent souls endure for the sake of ‘convenience,’ then we have no humanity.  We truly have a dead conscience.

I was thinking about what this country stands for – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  There is one thing for sure when it comes to our Founders – they meant what they wrote and they wrote what they meant.  Words mattered to them and the order of words mattered. The sentence structure dictated the exact meaning. “Life” is listed first.

What happened to our nation’s foundation?  What happened to the “innate rights of human beings,” defined by those seven words – “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” – that our Founders worked so hard to embrace and protect in our Constitutional and to engrain in our national fiber?  A living fetus living inside a woman’s uterus has no rights under our laws or Constitution yet pregnant women have the right to play God and terminate life, and homosexual men have the fundamental right to sodomy – a form of sexual pleasure against the laws of science because it cannot result in conception. California says there is a fundamental right to marry a same-sex partner, in contradiction to both the laws of nature and the Bible. According to Roe v. Wade, women have the fundamental right to an abortion on demand (up until the last trimester) yet according to Judge Roger Vinson, the district court judge for the Northern District of Florida in the case of the 20 states against Obamacare (Florida v. Sebelius, Oct. 14, 2010), there is no fundamental right in general for a person to determine his or her own medical treatment. Where is our collective conscience?  Where is our moral compass pointing these days?  Why is it so important that women have the right to terminate a life inside them without condition?

Just as we knew, in our hearts, that racial segregation was wrong, we also know that killing an unborn is wrong.  If our minds try to rationalize things differently, our hearts still tell us it is wrong and inhumane.

Our society is so uptight about religion in anyplace other than within the church walls or in the home where no one has to know about it. They cry “Wall of Separation” to demand that religion be removed from the sphere of government and absent from the thought process.  Religion and morality have no place in the legislative process or in the halls of justice, they cry.  Yet the “Wall of Separation” equally demands that government can’t support a position that denies God’s law.  Government may not endorse religion or promote religion over non-religion, yet every decision either has to fall on one side or another, doesn’t it.  Every decision is someone’s moral judgment or reflects someone’s view of religion/non-religion. Obama and Nancy Pelosi want Obamacare to cover abortions. They refused to include language preventing government funding for abortion.  Well, that’s a moral and religious stand.  Government is endorsing an absence of religion.  Government currently funds Planned Parenthood, the largest national supplier of abortions.  Again, that’s a position that has the government supporting non-religion.

We all sense that our country is on the verge of being overwhelmed by the many complicated issues, challenges, and crises it faces. We know that when men like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, George Washington, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry and so many others guided us towards independence and founded this great country…  despite their personalities and their varying individual religious beliefs, they acknowledged that the success of their fragile endeavor rested firmly on the grace of God.  They invoked the blessings of Divine Providence in government and for over 100 years we prospered greatly.  And then we took God out of national life and then ignored him in making our laws.

We are going to need to ask God’s help and His divine providence if we are to pull through the crises – moral, political, and Constitutional – that we face.  But first we need to let Him know that his laws are still in our hearts and minds.  And the compassion and loyalty we seek from Him is the same we show to our fellow human beings.  As Pope John Paul II said: “America you are blessed . . . . The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life.”

In closing, I want to share something that touched me when I read it:

Elegy To The Unborn”  by Dr. James R. McLane

One starlit night

As I gazed into the heavens

I knew each star was created by God.

The ocean of stars above me

Spoke of the sea of humanity

Around me and I realized,

I too was created with purpose.

I was created to be born alive

To run and play, to laugh and cry

To work and to grow old.

But most of all

To show love amidst hatred

And to bring hope in despair.

Each one of us was created

With this purpose

And our mother’s womb

Became our passageway,

Our first universe.

From the moment of conception

The light of God breathed forth

An immortal soul,

A new human being of untold value.

As the beauty of the stars shone

I cried for my fellow man,

For millions of unborn babies

Had been crushed by humanity

And discarded as garbage.

Let us turn to the glory of Jesus

So all mothers and their unborn

Might be embraced by humanity

To bring glory unto God.

 

References & Further Reading:

See:  Ronald Reagan, “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation,” The Human Life Review, Spring 1983.  Reference at:  http://old.nationalreview.com/document/reagan200406101030.asp

Eye-witness  accounts from people who are current and former abortion providers.  Referenced at:  http://www.abortionfacts.com/providers/quotes.asp

Gianna Jessen, Sept. 15, 2008 at Queen’s Hall, Victoria, Australia.  Referenced at:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5YlJ9CZ9fI&feature=related

Dr. James R. McLane, “Elegy to the Unborn.”  Referenced at:  http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/elegy-to-the-unborn.htm

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The Social Reformer’s Definition of Life (Roe v. Wade, revisited)

      by Diane Rufino

Demeaning the “Sanctity of Life” for an enhanced “Quality of Life”   

“One day, I walked into an operating room, to just be an observant, which we would do generally, as a medical resident. It was the 1960′s and abortion was still legal. They were performing this hysterectomy, which was a caesarean section. And they lifted out a fetus that weighted approximately 2 pounds, and it was breathing and crying and struggling to breathe. And it was put in a bucket and set in the corner of the room, and everybody in the room just pretended that they didn’t hear it. Soon the crying stopped. And the baby died. And I walked out of that room a different person. That same day in the OB suite, an early delivery occurred and the infant boy was only slightly larger than the one that was just aborted. But in this room everybody did everything conceivable to save this child’s life. My conclusion that day was that we were overstepping the bounds of morality by picking and choosing who should live and who should die. There was no consistent moral basis to the value of life under these circumstances. Some people believe that being pro-choice is being on the side of freedom. I’ve never understood how killing a human being, albeit a small one in a special place, is portrayed as a precious right.”   (Ron Paul, Liberty Defined, pg. 1 and the Natural Right Convention 2007)

On Monday, January 23, thousands of pro-life supporters marched on Washington DC in the freezing rain to show their lend their voice to those who have no voice of their own – the unborn.  In the struggle for rights and recognition, those most fragile and innocent among us look to those with a conscience and a heart to speak for them.  Doctors and lawyers have let them down.  Politicians have let them down. And in too many cases, their very mothers have let them down. But in the end, in the tribunal that mattered most (except in the kingdom of heaven, of course), the exalted Justices of the Supreme Court let them down. They minimized them, just as the others have. Next year, January 22, 2013, will mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which held that abortion is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution under an implied right to privacy and thus established the notion of abortion-on-demand. The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court announced nationalized abortion law, prohibiting states from deciding on the matter, and leaving the unborn defenseless.

For almost 40 years, nine unelected men and women on the Supreme Court have allowed themselves to play God with innocent human life. As Rand Paul puts it, “They have invented laws that have condemned 56 million babies to painful deaths without trial for the crime of being “inconvenient.” Yet President Obama, who is staunchly pro-abortion, proudly announces that “America doesn’t torture.”

The Roe v. Wade decision has been hailed as a great decision for the empowerment of women and the right of women to decide matters involving her body and fertility, yet while they celebrate the enhanced ‘quality of life’ for women, they demean the ‘sanctity of life.’  The truth of the matter is, the high court’s decision wasn’t so much about respecting “Life and Liberty” as it was about serving the social goals of the women’s rights movement and the increase in unwanted pregnancy and uncontrolled population growth.  Ron Paul has said: “As an obstetrician, I know that partial birth abortion is never a necessary medical procedure. It is a gruesome, uncivilized solution to a social problem.”

Currently, about 90% of abortions are done in the first trimester of pregnancy.  But abortions in the third trimester and even moments before delivery are currently legal as well.  Consider what would happen to that same woman if, one minute after birth, she should dispose of that newborn in a dumpster.  She would rightfully be charged with murder, right?  Note the inconsistency.

Conservatives believe that a fetus has a right to life because it is a person from the very moment of conception, or because it is a ‘potential’ person. Liberals deny that a fetus has a right to life because it is not a person. Moderates believe that although a fetus is not a living being from the moment of conception and therefore doesn’t immediately have a right to life, it does acquire that right at some point in its development (usually sometime in the second trimester).  The law, established by Roe v. Wade, says that even if the fetus acquires a right to life because it has become a “person,” such a right is trumped by a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body.

The term “abortion,” as offered in the Roe decision states: “the life of the fetus or embryo shall be destroyed in the woman’s womb.”  Note that the very definition of ‘abortion’ verifies that life is destroyed.  And that brings us to the question: “What is Life?”  Lawmakers and judges struggle to define it, but perhaps it should not be in their domain, because as they try to define it, they often manipulate its definition and meaning and then proceed to devalue it.

Tim Radford wrote this in his article What is Life: “Living things do not die: they begin again, from a tiny cell, and scavenge the dust, the air and water, to find the elements necessary to fashion an aspidistra, an elephant, or an attorney-general, using only the raw materials at hand and energy from a thermonuclear reactor 93 million miles away (the sun). The freshly-minted, self-replicating organism then grows up, grows old and melts away, but not before imparting a fragment of itself to generate yet another copy, but not an identical copy. The process is visible and transparent, everywhere on the planet, but it is ultimately mysterious….   Life looks after itself.”

I think that is what Jesus teaches us – to respect life.  And to do so with love and compassion.

But as our government effectively uses the “wall of separation” concept to squash ‘religion’ in favor of ‘no religion,’ and powerful atheist elements of our country use the no-religion environment established by our government to push a liberal, free-for-all human existence, ‘quality-of-life’ supersedes the ‘sanctity of life.’  Our own president, Barack Obama, praised the Roe v. Wade decision as recognizing the “fundamental constitutional right” to abortion and to “continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”  On this year’s anniversary of the decision, Obama chose these words:  “As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.  And I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right.”

While serving in the Illinois State Legislature and now as president of the United States, Obama has consistently taken a hard line on abortion rights.  As a legislator in Illinois, he voted four times AGAINST legislation to protect the life of a baby that survived a botched abortion, in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

As President, Obama has emphatically stated that America doesn’t torture. It won’t tolerate the torture or mistreatment of terrorists.  But the physical trauma that an unborn undergoes in order to be aborted and then killed is beyond anything that we can comprehend.

If the intentional killing of a baby born live isn’t the very definition of murder, and first-degree murder at that, I don’t know what else can be. And by a physician no less.  The Hippocratic Oath stands for the simple premise to “do no harm.”  The modern version of the Oath states: “Above all, I must not play God.”  As Doctor Paul (aka, Rep. Ron Paul) frequently explains:”I was taught that for each pregnancy I had two patients.”

‘Playing God’ occurs when one person believes he has the power or authority to decide who lives and who dies, often without the force of law, such as making a decision to take someone off life support or targeting someone for a thrill kill.

The abortion issue shows no signs of going away.  The controversy has become firmly engrained in our culture and is becoming sharper than ever as we continue to celebrate the enormous civil rights advances for all minority groups except those growing inside another’s womb.  Pro-life supporters hope that the Roe v. Wade decision will not survive to celebrate its 40th anniversary but those who understand that society cannot be burdened with more unwanted, unplanned babies see the decision as the green light to manage population growth.  Whether you hate or applaud the decision, the Supreme Court certainly put a lot of time and effort into coming up with the ruling, but not necessarily doing so by strictly interpreting of the US Constitution. To look carefully at how the Court came up with its decision is to understand the angle it took in sorting the issues.

The plaintiffs in the case included Texas residents Norma McCorvey, who used “Jane Roe” as an alias, and Dr. James Hallford, a licensed physician. In 1969, Norma was 21 years old, possessed a 10th-grade education, and was pregnant with her third child. She wanted an abortion but a Texas statute prohibited them except in instances to save the life of the mother.  She was too poor to get an illegal abortion in Texas or a legal one in California. Her friends advised her to assert, falsely, that she had been raped because then she could obtain a legal abortion. (There was such a provision in the Texas statute).  But the plan failed  because there was no police report documenting the alleged rape. She nonetheless attempted to obtain an illegal abortion, but found that the facility was shut down by police.  Dr. Hallford was a licensed physician whose practice was suffering because he could not perform legal abortions and who had two pending state abortion prosecutions pending against him. In March, 1970, McCorvey filed a lawsuit on behalf of herself and “all other women similarly situated,” along with Dr. Hallford (and others).  By the time the case was finally heard, McCorvey had given birth and so the case was dismissed for lack of standing and the Texas abortion law was reaffirmed.

Although McCorvey had given birth (and put the child up for adoption), she nonetheless appealed her case to the Supreme Court. As we all know, the question before the Court was whether the Constitution embraces a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion. Now, before reading any further, dwell on that last sentence. What would your gut feeling tell you?   An abortion…  a violent act, a traumatic act to a living human being growing and developing inside its mother.  Would you think the Constitution embraces that right?

The Supreme Court held that it does.  In a 7-2 decision, the Court held that while there is no express right of a woman to have an abortion, the right falls within the right to privacy. The thing is, there is no express right of “privacy” in the Constitution.  But the Court had already gotten around that in 1965, in Griswold v. Connecticut,  by reasoning that many of the rights expressly granted and protected by the Bill of Rights are grounded in a fundamental right to privacy. In Griswold, the Court was asked whether married couples have the right to use contraceptives, and in reaching the decision that it does, the Court reasoned that it must fall within the “penumbra” of privacy rights. “Penumbra” refers to those rights guaranteed by implication in a constitution.  (Activist judges will use it to refer to the ‘implied’ powers of the federal government or its laws).  The Supreme Court was able to hold that the right to privacy is an implied basic human right because privacy underlies many of the express fundamental rights in our Bill of Rights.

Appellants (challengers) Estelle Griswold, executive director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, and Dr. C. Lee Buxton, director of the PPL’s office in New Haven and also a professor of Medicine at Yale Medical School, were convicted for prescribing contraceptive devices and giving contraceptive advice to married persons in violation of a Connecticut statute which prohibited contraception. The statute read:  (i) “Any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days nor more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned.  (ii) Any person who assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender.”  Griswold and Buxton challenged the constitutionality of the statute on behalf of the married persons with whom they had a professional relationship.  The Supreme Court held that the right of married persons to use contraception is a matter of privacy. (Marital privacy). Writing for the Court, Justice Douglas stated that the specific guarantees of the Bill of Rights have penumbras “formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance,” and that the right to privacy exists within this area. The Supreme Court struck down the statute, holding that the Constitution created substantive rights, including privacy, which are so “fundamental to the principles of liberty” that they could not be restricted by government.

To be more specific, according to the Supreme Court, this right of privacy is grounded in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth amendments. (“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”). Griswold was the first case that created a right relating to reproduction without naming a specific clause in the Constitution, because, of course, there is no such provision.

In Roe v. Wade, the Court held that a right to privacy under the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment  extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that right is not absolute. That right must be balanced against the state’s legitimate interests in: (1) regulating abortions; (2) protecting prenatal life; and (3) protecting the mother’s health.  According to the decision, a woman’s right to control matters involving her fertility and reproduction is strongest in the early months of pregnancy and the state’s interests become stronger as the pregnancy goes on.  The judges therefore used a balancing test and came up with a trimester approach to determine which party’s interests are most important at which time during the pregnancy.

The case was addressed methodically, first looking at the history of abortion, then the problems presented by abortion services not being regulated (‘back-alley abortions”), and finally the general and historical view of when life begins. According to the Supreme Court’s historical analysis, at common law, abortions were performed before “quickening” — the first recognizable movement of the fetus in-utero which appears usually between 16th to the 18th week of pregnancy. That was the time that a “person” was understood to come into being – to become sufficiently ‘formed” or recognizably human.  It was also the time at which the fetus was believed to be infused with a “soul” or “animated.”  At common law, abortion was not an indictable offense.  The so-called authorities on which this early definition was based, and on which the Supreme Court relied, included philosophers, theologists, and civil rights laws.  The Court also claimed that the definition coincides with the canons of the Christian church.  Where was the medical evidence?  “Although Christian theology and the canon law came to fix the point of animation at 40 days for a male and 80 days for a female, a view that persisted until the 19th century, there was otherwise little agreement about the precise time of formation or animation. There was agreement, however, that, prior to this point, the fetus was to be regarded as part of the mother, and its destruction, therefore, was not homicide. The significance of quickening was echoed by later common law scholars, and found its way into the received common law in this country.”  [Roe, pg. 134]

By 1840, when Texas had received the common law, only eight American states had statutes dealing with abortion. It was not until after the Civil War that legislation began generally to replace the common law. Most of these initial statutes dealt severely with abortion after quickening, but were lenient with it before quickening. While many statutes included the exception for an abortion thought by one or more physicians to be necessary to save the mother’s life, that provision soon disappeared, and the typical law required that the procedure actually be necessary for that purpose. Gradually, in the middle and late 19th century, the quickening distinction disappeared from the statutory law of most States and the degree of the offense and the penalties were increased. By the end of the 1950′s, a large majority of the states banned abortion in general, except and unless it was necessary to save or preserve the life of the mother. In 1967, Colorado became the first state to legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, or in which pregnancy would lead to permanent physical disability of the woman. Similar laws were passed in California, Oregon, and North Carolina. In 1970, New York repealed its 1830 law and allowed abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Similar laws were soon passed in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington. A law in Washington, DC, which allowed abortion to protect the life or health of the woman, was challenged in the Supreme Court in 1971 in United States v. Vuitch. The court upheld the law, deeming that “health” meant “psychological and physical well-being,” essentially allowing abortion in Washington, DC.  By the end of 1972, 13 states had a law similar to that of Colorado, while Mississippi allowed abortion in cases of rape or incest only and Alabama and Massachusetts allowed abortions only in cases where a woman’s physical health was endangered.

Therefore, the Court claimed, at common law and at the time of the adoption of our Constitution, abortion was viewed with less disfavor than it was after the Civil War and then in the 20th century.  The Court never once entertained the possibility that the medical field understands fetal development better or that medical advances care for pregnancies better now than in earlier times, therefore preserving the health of the mother and not necessitating abortions for those pregnancies that pose a potential risk to her. Furthermore, in the Court’s opinion, “risk of harm” to the mother which would necessarily justify an abortion (in almost all cases) would include stress and emotional and psychological harm. “Maternity, or additional offspring, may force upon the woman a distressful life and future. Psychological harm may be imminent. Mental and physical health may be taxed by child care. There is also the distress, for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it. In other cases, as in this one, the additional difficulties and continuing stigma of unwed motherhood may be involved.”  All these are factors that might justify a decision to terminate a pregnancy, according to the Court. [Roe, pg. 153]

Along this line of thinking, then, couldn’t a child who is born, or even a difficult relative, also interfere with this definition of “liberty”?  Does a person have the right to kill an aged parent because of “the stress” and “taxing” of elder care and the problem of trying to provide care when he/she is unable, mentally, psychologically, and physically able to do so?   Does a parent have the right, under this thinking, to kill his/her child who might be born with a disability that makes care so burdensome and stressful as to cause psychological harm?

The Court then went into a discussion of the need to make sure that women get reputable medical care when they go for abortions. They didn’t want them to have to seek back-alley abortions or have to travel from a state where abortion was illegal to a state where it was legal.  And finally, they looked to the Constitution to see if there is even a fundamental right to an abortion such that a woman cannot be denied the ability and opportunity to have one.  That is when they made their famous pronouncement that such a right indeed exists, within another right that is not expressly protected on its own – privacy.  As Justice Blackmun announced in the majority opinion of the Court: “This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

The Court, however, never looked far enough into the Bill of Rights or in any penumbra of rights to find protection for the unborn. It never showed the degree of concern for them that it showed for women’s rights.  Not even close.

A central issue in the Roe case (and in the wider abortion debate in general) was the question of when human life begins.  Does it begin at conception, birth, or at some point in between?  The Court declined to resolve that issue, noting that: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”  Instead, the Court chose to point out that historically, under English and American common law and statutes, “the unborn have never been recognized as persons in the whole sense” and therefore, they are not legally entitled to the protection afforded by the right to life specifically enumerated in the Fourteenth Amendment.  (“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizen of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”)  So rather than assert that human life begins at any specific point, the court simply declared that the State has a “compelling interest” in protecting “potential life” at the point of viability (which in reality has amounted to ‘little interest’).

In other words, because an unborn child doesn’t fit within the definition of the 14th Amendment, it is not entitled to any rights afforded under the US Constitution.  The Supreme Court reached a very similar decision in the Dred Scott case when it decided that blacks could never qualify as ‘citizens’ of this country and therefore have no rights recognized under the US Constitution.

But the High Court made a key admission, which it conveniently swept under the carpet in reaching its ultimate decision: “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case (Norma McCorvey; aka, Roe, who sought an abortion), of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the 14th Amendment.”  [“… 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 law.”]

Sadly, the Court redefined “life” to mean only babies who have been born. As Justice Blackmun wrote: We are persuaded “that the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. The unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.”

In assessing the interests at stake when a woman doesn’t want the baby growing inside her, the decision reads:

“The State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient. This interest obviously extends at least to the performing physician and his staff, to the facilities involved, to the availability of after-care, and to adequate provision for any complication or emergency that might arise. The prevalence of high mortality rates at illegal “abortion mills” strengthens, rather than weakens, the State’s interest in regulating the conditions under which abortions are performed. Moreover, the risk to the woman increases as her pregnancy continues. Thus, the State retains a definite interest in protecting the woman’s own health and safety when an abortion is proposed at a late stage of pregnancy. The third reason is the State’s interest — some phrase it in terms of duty — in protecting prenatal life. Some of the argument for this justification rests on the theory that a new human life is present from the moment of conception. The State’s interest and general obligation to protect life then extends, it is argued, to prenatal life. Only when the life of the pregnant mother herself is at stake, balanced against the life she carries within her, should the interest of the embryo or fetus not prevail. Logically, of course, a legitimate state interest in this area need not stand or fall on acceptance of the belief that life begins at conception or at some other point prior to live birth. In assessing the State’s interest, recognition may be given to the less rigid claim that as long as at least potential life is involved, the State may assert interests beyond the protection of the pregnant woman alone.   It is with these interests that this case was concerned. [pp. 151-152]

But the privacy right involved cannot be said to be absolute. A State may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of a person to do whatever he or she wishes with his or her body.

We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified, and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.

In view of all this, we do not agree that, by adopting one theory of life, Texas may override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake. We repeat, however, that the State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman, whether she be a resident of the State or a nonresident who seeks medical consultation and treatment there, and that it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. These interests are separate and distinct. Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes “compelling.”

With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in the health of the mother, the “compelling” point, in the light of present medical knowledge, is at approximately the end of the first trimester. This is so because of the now-established medical fact, referred to above that, until the end of the first trimester mortality in abortion may be less than mortality in normal childbirth. It follows that, from and after this point, a State may regulate the abortion procedure to the extent that the regulation reasonably relates to the preservation and protection of maternal health. Examples of permissible state regulation in this area are requirements as to the qualifications of the person who is to perform the abortion; as to the licensure of that person; as to the facility in which the procedure is to be performed, that is, whether it must be a hospital or may be a clinic or some other place of less-than-hospital status; as to the licensing of the facility; and the like.

This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this “compelling” point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient’s pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State.

With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

Measured against these standards, Art. 1196 of the Texas Penal Code, in restricting legal abortions to those “procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother,” sweeps too broadly. The statute makes no distinction between abortions performed early in pregnancy and those performed later, and it limits to a single reason, “saving” the mother’s life, the legal justification for the procedure. The statute, therefore, cannot survive the constitutional attack made upon it here.   [pp. 163-165]

And so that’s how  the Court came up with its famous balancing test:

1.  In the first trimester, the state (that is, government) can treat abortion only as a medical decision, leaving medical judgment to the woman’s physician.

2.  In the second trimester (before viability), the woman has the right to have an abortion and the state can assert a legitimate interest to protect the health of the mother (ie, to regulate abortion procedure so that it related to the woman’s health).

3.  After viability (the third semester), the potential of human life can be considered as a legitimate state interest, and the state can choose to “regulate, or even proscribe abortion” as long as the life and health of the mother is protected.

“A state criminal abortion statute of the current Texas type, that excepts from criminality only a lifesaving procedure on behalf of the mother, without regard to pregnancy stage and without recognition of the other interests involved, violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment….     This holding, we feel, is consistent with the relative weights of the respective interests involved, with the lessons and examples of medical and legal history, with the lenity of the common law, and with the demands of the profound problems of the present day. The decision leaves the State free to place increasing restrictions on abortion as the period of pregnancy lengthens, so long as those restrictions are tailored to the recognized state interests. The decision vindicates the right of the physician to administer medical treatment according to his professional judgment up to the points where important state interests provide compelling justifications for intervention. Up to those points, the abortion decision in all its aspects is inherently, and primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician. If an individual practitioner abuses the privilege of exercising proper medical judgment, the usual remedies, judicial and intra-professional, are available.  [Roe, pg. 166]

Roe is clearly quite a stretch under the “Due Process” clause of the 14th Amendment.  In fact, I firmly believe it was incorrectly decided under that amendment. The Court stated many years ago that the Due Process Clause protects those liberties that are “so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.”  [See Snyder v. Massachusetts (1934), pg. 105]  The reference point was the time period in which the amendment was drafted and enacted, which was 1868. (Valid ratification is still not certain since the southern states were coerced into ratifying the amendment after their defeat in the Civil War).  Liberties “rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people” refers to those which were fundamental in the establishment of our country.  I don’t argue that the rights of privacy are not fundamental.  They are.  Our notions of individual liberty are certainly not so restricted as to exclude the right of marital privacy.  But there can be no understanding or argument that the right to an abortion is one that is “so rooted in our traditions and culture” as envisioned by the drafters of the 14th amendment. There is no understanding that a privacy right can extend to situations that directly involve the brutal denial of rights of another. Alexis de Tocqueville, who compared the embrace of liberty in America to that in Europe in his book Democracy in America, said: “It was never assumed in the United States that the citizen of a free country has a right to do whatever he pleases; On the contrary, more social obligations were there imposed upon him than anywhere else.” [Vol. 1, Chapter V]  Abortion is a woman’s rights movement issue, an empowerment tool, designed to give women greater control over her body and a “get out of jail” free card over certain responsibilities for the purpose of allowing her greater freedom over her time and energies.

Never once does the Court discuss the “Equal Protection” rights of the unborn to the rights and privileges afforded other human beings. The Court acknowledges that there comes a point in the development of the fetus when it becomes a viable human being.  Yet it seems to deny that it is a “citizen” and therefore not entitled to any protections under the US Constitution.  This is similar to what the Supreme Court held for Dred Scott (1857), the slave who sued for freedom when he was moved to a “free” state.  In that decision, the Court held that those of African descent could never be “citizens” and therefore are not entitled to any protectable rights under the Constitution. The Supreme Court seems to have a habit of defining which human beings have rights and liberties.  Our laws need to be enforced with equal justice, not social justice.

Carolyn Gargaro in her article “Roe v. Wade: The Unconstitutional Decision,” wrote:  ”Recall the 1857 Dred Scott v. Sanford decision, which declared that slavery could not be prohibited by Congress in any territory of the U.S. and that African Americans were not full persons and not afforded the same rights as “full persons.” Sound familiar? President Lincoln argued that the slaves were persons, not possessions, and that their unalienable right to liberty was protected by the Declaration of Independence unborn. To add to the irony, after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, came the Thirteenth (1865) and Fourteenth (1868) Amendments, all which overthrew slavery and the erroneous Dred Scott Supreme Court decision.”  How ironic it is that clause 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was drafted specifically to overturn the law established by the Dred Scott case and to provide citizenship for a class of persons who were ignored, is the very clause used by the same Court to deny citizenship to another class of persons. The Fourteenth Amendment was supposed to protect people from the arbitrary denial of rights.

Justice William Rehnquist also did not believe that abortion was a right reasonably protected under the 14th Amendment.  In his dissenting opinion, he emphasized that the decision by the majority to break pregnancy into three distinct terms and to outline the permissible restrictions the State may impose in each one amounts to judicial activism rather than a determination of the intent of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment. He wrote:

“The fact that a majority of the States reflecting, after all, the majority sentiment in those States, have had restrictions on abortions for at least a century is a strong indication, it seems to me, that the asserted right to an abortion is not “so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental,” [Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105 (1934); discussing the criteria for those rights that should be covered under the 14th Amendment’s “due process” clause]. Even today, when society’s views on abortion are changing, the very existence of the debate is evidence that the “right” to an abortion is not so universally accepted as the appellant would have us believe.

To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. While many States have amended or updated their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today. Indeed, the Texas statute struck down today was, as the majority notes, first enacted in 1857, and “has remained substantially unchanged to the present time.”

There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted. The only conclusion possible from this history is that the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter.”  [Roe, pp. 176-177]

Justice White dissented as well and wrote: “I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”  [Roe, pg. 179]

Why the regulation of abortion should become a federal constitutional issue is a sign of how far our nation has strayed from the initial clear language of our Constitution. Nearly all governmental authority over matters touching on the lives of citizens was left to state governments, to reflect the interests of its citizens. James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and property of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the state.”   The Bill of Rights, which lists those rights possessed by Americans that the government shall not take away, or burden without an absolute necessity, includes the Ninth Amendment, which proclaims that the prior amendments are not meant to diminish the importance of other rights retained by the people, and the Tenth Amendment, which makes the residual powers of the state governments even clearer.

Many claim that the right to an abortion potentially falls within the purview of the Ninth Amendment, which reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  But an essential concept in this country, and the reason we are a nation of laws, is that no person is entitled to exercise their rights when they infringe upon the rights of another.  It has long been the dominion of the states – and not the federal government – to enact laws which define self-defense, justifiable homicide, manslaughter, rape, and murder.

Our Bill of Rights were cautiously drafted and adopted for a reason.  And that reason was the apprehension of the States for a federal government by the very nature of man and power would tend to try to concentrate more power in itself and assume powers away from them.  As Machiavelli wrote: “Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.”  Alexander Hamilton, a leading Federalist argued that a Bill of Rights was not necessary and in Federalist No. 84, he posed: Why do we need a Bill of Rights to “declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?  Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?”

He went into further detail: “It has been several times truly remarked that bills of rights are, in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgements of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was the MAGNA CHARTA, obtained by the barons, sword in hand, from King John. Such were the subsequent confirmations of that charter by succeeding princes. Such was the Petition of Right assented to by Charles I., in the beginning of his reign. Such, also, was the Declaration of Right presented by the Lords and Commons to the Prince of Orange in 1688, and afterwards thrown into the form of an act of parliament called the Bill of Rights. It is evident, therefore, that, according to their primitive signification, they have no application to constitutions professedly founded upon the power of the people, and executed by their immediate representatives and servants. Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing; and as they retain everything they have no need of particular reservations. “WE, THE PEOPLE of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  [Federalist No. 84]

The Federalists were concerned that any constitutional enumeration of liberties might imply that other rights, not enumerated by the Constitution, would be surrendered to the government.  Nationalist (turned Federalist) James Madison argued that any attempt to enumerate fundamental liberties would be incomplete and might imperil other freedoms not listed. In 1789, he introduced 19 draft amendments (to become the Bill of Rights) to the House of Representatives and for one in particular, he offered this comment: “It has been objected also against a Bill of Rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration; and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government, and were consequently insecure. This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard against the admission of a bill of rights into this system; but, I conceive, that it may be guarded against. I have attempted it, as gentlemen may see by turning to the last clause of the fourth resolution: “The exceptions here or elsewhere in the constitution, made in favor of particular rights, shall not be so construed as to diminish the just importance of other rights retained by the people; or as to enlarge the powers delegated by the constitution; but either as actual limitations of such powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.”  This draft amendment submitted by Madison would be the precursor of the Ninth Amendment.  It was specifically proffered to quiet fears that a bill of specifically enumerated rights would be interpreted as a denial that others were protected.

A similar sentiment was expressed in the anti-Federalist essay, Federal Farmer No. 16 (widely acknowledged was written by Founder Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia): “The supreme power is undoubtedly in the People, and it is a principle well established in my mind, that they reserve all powers not expressly delegated by them to those who govern; this is as true in forming a state as in forming a federal government. There is no possible distinction but this founded merely in the different modes of proceeding which take place in some cases. In forming a state constitution, under which to manage not only the great but the little concerns of a community: the powers to be possessed by the government are often too numerous to be enumerated; the people to adopt the shortest way often give general powers, indeed all powers, to the government, in some general words, and then, by a particular enumeration, take back, or rather say they however reserve certain rights as sacred, and which no laws shall be made to violate….  When we particularly enumerate the powers given, we ought either carefully to enumerate the rights reserved, or be totally silent about them; we must either particularly enumerate both, or else suppose the particular enumeration of the powers given adequately draws the line between them and the rights reserved, particularly to enumerate the former and not the latter, I think most advisable: however, as men appear generally to have their doubts about these silent reservations, we might advantageously enumerate the powers given.”

In his address to the House to introduce the final draft of the Bill of Rights, Madison said: “It has been said, by way of objection to a bill of rights….that in the Federal Government they are unnecessary, because the powers are enumerated, and it follows, that all that are not granted by the constitution are retained; that the constitution is a bill of powers, the great residuum being the rights of the people; and, therefore, a bill of rights cannot be so necessary as if the residuum was thrown into the hands of the Government. I admit that these arguments are not entirely without foundation, but they are not as conclusive to the extent it has been proposed. It is true the powers of the general government are circumscribed; they are directed to particular objects; but even if government keeps within those limits, it has certain discretionary powers with respect to the means, which may admit of abuse.”

Many believe that abortion is not an area that is reserved to the federal government to regulate. While a State has the inherent police powers to regulate for the health, safety, welfare, and morality of its people, the federal government has no such police powers.  The States have this power to regulate behavior and enforce order within their borders because of the reservation of powers under the Tenth Amendment.  The federal government, on the other hand, is a creation of the States and has limited powers and therefore no police power is assumed by it. The federal government was created by the federal compact formed by the States in drafting and ratifying the US Constitution.  The federal government can only regulate and burden individual rights when: (i) there is a compelling governmental interest; (ii) when the law or policy is narrowly-tailored to achieve that goal or interest; and (iii) the law or policy applies the least restrictive means for achieving that interest.

The balance of power between the States and the federal government, as embraced by the US Constitution, was an issue that concerned the States deeply.  Patrick Henry was so distrustful of the Constitution that he urged Virginia to secede from the Union and not ratify it.  He  believed it was poised for abuse by the federal government, would ultimately result in tyranny, and would undue all that was fought for in the Revolutionary War. He believed the lynchpin of the American system was the recognition and protection of strong, sovereign, independent States which would keep checks on a federal government that was infused with certain limited delegated powers. This was our concept of federalism, or Dual Sovereignty.

Federalism is the constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments.  It is widely regarded as one of America’s most valuable contributions to political science and the most important ‘check’ in our system of checks and balances on the power of our centralized government.

Again, James Madison, “the father of the Constitution,” explained the separation in terms we can all understand: “The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, such as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce…. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.” [Federalist No. 45]  In a letter that Jefferson wrote, he emphasized that states are not “subordinate” to the national government, but rather the two are “coordinate departments of one simple and integral whole….  The one is the domestic, the other the foreign branch of the same government.”

In Federalist No. 39, an extremely important essay which discussed the nature of the government, Madison wrote:  “[The nature of the government] in relation to the extent of its powers is federal. The idea of a national government involves in it, not only an authority over the individual citizens, but an indefinite supremacy over all persons and things, so far as they are objects of lawful government. Among a people consolidated into one nation, this supremacy is completely vested in the national legislature. Among communities united for particular purposes, it is vested partly in the general and partly in the municipal legislatures. In the former case, all local authorities are subordinate to the supreme; and may be controlled, directed, or abolished by it at pleasure. In the latter, the local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere. In this relation, then, the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects. The most effectual precautions are taken to secure this impartiality, to  prevent an appeal to the sword and a dissolution of the compact.”

Since governments tend to overstep the bounds of their authority, the Founders knew it would be difficult to maintain a balanced federalism. In fact, that was one of the central issues raised by the state ratifying conventions as they met to decide whether to approve the new Constitution. Responding to this concern, in Federalist No. 31, Alexander Hamilton expressed his hope that “the people will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the state governments.” As he wrote: “This balance between the national and state governments forms a double security to the people. If one government encroaches on their rights, they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by the certain rivalship which will ever subsist between them.”

He went on to say, in Federalist No. 31: “The moment we launch into conjectures about the usurpations of the federal government, we get into an unfathomable abyss, and fairly put ourselves out of the reach of all reasoning. Imagination may range at pleasure till it gets bewildered amidst the labyrinths of an enchanted castle, and knows not on which side to turn to extricate itself from the perplexities into which it has so rashly adventured. Whatever may be the limits or modifications of the powers of the Union, it is easy to imagine an endless train of possible dangers; and by indulging an excess of jealousy and timidity, we may bring ourselves to a state of absolute skepticism and irresolution. I repeat here what I have observed in substance in another place, that all observations founded upon the danger of usurpation ought to be referred to the composition and structure of the government, not to the nature or extent of its powers. The State governments, by their original constitutions, are invested with complete sovereignty……  As in republics, strength is always on the side of the People, and as there are weighty reasons to induce a belief that the State governments will commonly possess most influence over the Union (ie, the federal government)….  The safest course is to confine our attention wholly to the nature and extent of the powers as they are delineated in the Constitution. Everything beyond this must be left to the prudence and firmness of the People; who, as they will hold the scales in their own hands, it is to be hoped, will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the State governments.”

And so, in the end, the States spoke out clearly and strongly in their ratification conventions.  They would not give up sovereignty.  They would not adopt a Constitution without a Bill of Rights.  They didn’t trust that a federal government would be able to police itself and not attempt to abuse and enlarge its powers and tread on the rights reserved to the States and to the people. The federal government was never intended to regulate abortion nor define life.  The statements made by Madison make abundantly clear that the Framers did not intend that the first eight amendments be construed to exhaust the basic and fundamental rights which the Constitution guaranteed to the people and the powers it reserves to the States.

Not only did the Supreme Court err by removing the regulation of abortion by the States, it did something far worse.  It used its lofty judicial powers not for strict interpretation of the US Constitution, but rather to fashion a remedy for a pressing social issue – the increasing rate of unwanted pregnancies by those who can’t properly provide for them.

The Burger Court in Roe decided that the Constitution must evolve, and it must be flexible enough to consider current public opinion when deciding whether a right was sufficiently “fundamental” to deserve constitutional protection.

In an interview with the NY Times Magazine in 2009, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made the following statement: “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”  So, instead of Roe being about a woman’s right to choose, Justice Ginsburg actually thought it was more about getting rid of unborn babies of an “undesirable” portion of our population, because after that, Medicare funding became available for abortions (which she saw as affecting predominantly one segment of the population). She came to question that perception when the Court decided Harris v. McCrae eight (8) years later in 1980, upholding the Hyde Amendment, which was passed in 1976 by Republicans and which forbids the use of public funding for abortion.  But the Amendment has rarely been used or state funding has taken its place, since the ACLU and other groups have argued that the Amendment targets blacks and other low-income minorities and denies them abortion services (ie, since abortion services are provided/used mainly by low-income minorities, denying them unfairly targets minorities!) [See Emily Bazelon, “The Role of Women on the Court”].  So, social engineering appears to be what the abortion issue was and is all about.

But it is also an issue strongly associated with Women’s Rights.

In 2005, Ginsburg, a lifelong proponent of Women’s Rights, addressed NY University’s law school and said that if she were on the Court at the time, she would have secured the right of a woman to have an abortion even more firmly through the Equal Protection Clause.  She said she would have argued that women cannot participate in society equally with men without the ability to control their reproductive lives.  Perhaps Ginsburg had a mind melt with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  In Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992), Justice O’Connor wrote: “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.”  That case went on to remove any obstacles in the way of a woman getting an abortion, such as consent by her husband.

This case is a perfect example of judicial activism.  This is what judicial activism sounds like and smells like.

We all know that Planned Parenthood is prominent in providing abortion services. It receives about $1 million each day in taxpayer funds.  And we know that our pro-abortion President and Democrat leaders refused to cut funding to Planned Parenthood last year. When House Speaker John Boehner asked President Obama how much he was willing to cut from the organization, he said “None, zip, zero, nada.”  Vice President Joe Biden even told Boehner the Obama administration was prepared to take the battle to voters and allow a shutdown of the federal government over Planned Parenthood funding.  This year, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a breast cancer charity, made a decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. A few days later, however, it reversed that decision, after intense pressure from pro-abortion groups. As one commentator put it: “We have witnessed an absolute shakedown of an organization that simply wants to save the lives of women through cancer research.”

But what most people don’t know is that Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger in 1916 for the purpose of “stopping the multiplication of the unfit.”  Eugenics.  She boasted that the services provided would be “the most important and greatest step towards race betterment.” But it even more sinister than that.  Sanger united with eugenics financier and businessman, Clarence Gamble, to find several personable black ministers who could help them promote and sell their services as ‘community health and welfare services.’  As Michelle Malkin described in her recent article on the Planned Parenthood founder: “Outright murder wouldn’t sell. But wrapping it under the egalitarian cloak of “women’s health” — and adorning it with the moral authority of black churches — would.  Sanger and Gamble called their deadly campaign ‘The Negro Project.’ “

The social problems caused by uncontrolled pregnancy was one that the Supreme Court no doubt entertained in Roe v. Wade.  In fact, it was later learned that the plaintiff, Norma McCorvey, really never intended to push her case any further once her pregnancy progressed and she gave birth. She was pressured by pro-abortion groups to appeal her case to the Supreme Court.  If the Court could somehow find that a woman has an inherent right to terminate her pregnancy, then populations could more easily be controlled.  Women wouldn’t be “saddled” with babies they didn’t want or never planned for. Cities wouldn’t be overly burdened with children that its institutions would have to help raise and care for.  Society would be spared exceeding numbers of “useless idiots.”

John Holdren, President Obama’s science czar, is an outspoken proponent of forced abortions and mass sterilizations. For those old enough to remember or those who read their history, only a few years into his presidency of the Third Reich, Hitler instituted a similar policy of forced sterilization.  Any citizen who was deemed “unfit” (insane, infirm, disabled, malformed) or didn’t possess characteristics suitable enough for the “master race” were either institutionalized and sterilized or received a letter informing them that they had to report and be sterilized. Holdren is a self-professed protege of eugenicist Harrison Brown, whom he credits with inspiring him to become a scientist. Brown envisioned a government regime in which the “number of abortions and artificial inseminations permitted in a given year would be determined completely by the difference between the number of deaths and the number of births in the year previous.” He urged readers to “reconcile ourselves to the fact that artificial means must be applied to limit birth rates.” He likened the global population to a “pulsating mass of maggots.”  [Michelle Malkin, “To Stop the Multiplication of the Unfit’]

To some, the abortion ruling in Roe is the most significant decision in modern history. To those who learned about such horrors as what happened under Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, where hundreds of late-term, healthy, living, breathing viable babies were  aborted live and then systematically killed (including with scissors), they ask themselves “What have we done?” And to others, the fight is not over to give the unborn the rights they deserve. They continue to respect the sanctity of life.  Social problems must be addressed by the legislature and not by the Courts, because in doing so, legal analysis will often be skewed to the result that solves the problem. And the funny thing about jurisprudence is that courts hardly ever re-invent the wheel. They just continue to re-cycle and re-cite prior decisions.

The growing opposition to abortion-on-demand has led to a number of proposals, including some which are my own, which I’ve attempted to summarize below:

1).  Amend the US Constitution (much in the same way that the 14th Amendment did to over-turn the Dred Scott decision).  Senator Rand Paul suggests a Human Life Amendment to the US Constitution.  His father has already introduced such a constitutional amendment.

2).  Congress should define life.  The “Life at Conception Act,” which was introduced in January 2011 by Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss) and which was co -sponsored by Senator Rand Paul, would define all fetuses to be persons with a right to life guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.  It would effectively negate Roe v. Wade.  Such a law would permit states to declare abortion to be murder and to outlaw new fetal stem cell research and some contraception and fertility treatments.  In 2005 and 2007, Rep. Ron Paul introduced the “Sanctity of Life Act,” which would define human life as beginning from conception, removing abortion from federal jurisdiction.

But life doesn’t necessarily have to be defined as beginning at conception.  To many, a fertilized egg is hardly a person. To recognize that leaves a narrow window of opportunity available for the morning after pill or something similar. To emphatically state that a fertilized egg is a person ultimately gives the government the right to place the woman’s body under the control of the government.  Reasonable minds can come up with a solution that doesn’t involve the highest Court getting in the business of legislating abortion from the bench.  This approach is infinitely more compatible with the 14th Amendment and with the US Constitution in general.

A constitutional amendment on the definition of life would provide better protection than an act of Congress because the amendment would be supreme law.

3).  State nullification of the Roe v. Wade decision.  States can pass a nullification bill which, in effect, says that the Roe decision exceeds the authority of the Supreme Court to strictly interpret the US Constitution and is therefore null and void and not to be enforced in the State.  The bill would have to state something like this:

“The government formed by the Constitution of the united States was not the exclusive or final judge of the extent of powers delegated to itself.  Likewise, the authority of the Supreme Court extends only to the strict interpretation of the Constitution and not to any arbitrary decisions designed for social purposes. The States, the parties to the federal compact (which brought the government into existence for limited responsibilities), have the right under that compact to judge for themselves the extent of powers so delegated and the interpretation of the Constitution that they themselves created and ratified. We, the People of ______ (state), will not submit to the application of force or judicial decision to undermine rights and powers reserved in the Ninth and Tenth amendments and to reduce this State to obedience to the federal government.

The State of ______, having the right, and being duty-bound, to interpose to address any usurpation of power and rights delegated in the US Constitution and for the protection of the liberties of its citizens, declare that the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade invades upon the State’s powers and is therefore null and void. The People of this State will henceforth hold themselves absolved from all further obligation to be bound by that decision.

No state or federal court shall adjudicate a case that relies on the Roe v. Wade decision.

No federal agency or agent shall attempt to interfere with the force of this bill. They will have no authority to do so within the borders of this State.”

4).  Leave it to the States to define life as they wish.  Let states determine the point of fetal viability. Congress would have to legislatively limit the jurisdiction on the federal courts such that they would be prohibited from hearing any case or relying on any judicial precedent when it comes to the matter of how life is defined.

5).  Leave the issue of abortion to the States.  Pressure Congress to pass HR 300, sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul, which reads: “Prohibits the Supreme Court and each federal court from adjudicating any claim or relying on judicial decisions involving: (1) state or local laws, regulations, or policies concerning the free exercise or establishment of religion; (2) the right of privacy, including issues of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction; or (3) the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation where based upon equal protection of the laws.”

HR 300 would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life.  So if North Carolina or Texas or any state passes a law against abortion, no one can challenge that law in federal court. As Ron Paul explains: “This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn.”

This bill was originally introduced in 2005 as the “We the People Act.”

6).  Define abortion as an act of violence against an unborn. As Ron Paul explained: “I see abortion as a violent act.  All other violent acts are handled by the States – murder, rape, armed robbery..  Take away the jurisdiction of the government by a majority vote of the House.”

7).  Abortion should be allowed in the first few weeks (before a heartbeat) and then after that, there should be consequences, including having the child and putting it up for adoption.  If the church is pushing for the right to life, then one solution is to have the church be in charge of adopting and raising the children. That might sound as if I’m pushing the burden on the Catholic Church, but wouldn’t that be one way to help push back against the decay that has resulted in allowing women raise children who aren’t equipped to do so or were motivated solely for a government check and a way to raise children with good solid morals? Besides, adoption is always a decision one can live with.  Plus, sometime down the road, the woman might have a change of heart and try to be part of that child’s life in some way.

8).  Schools should push abstinence.  Schools should promote morality and that means to bring religion back into the public schools. The fact is that humans, like almost all other species, must reproduce to propagate the species.  Sex is how we, biologically, reproduce.  Since we have become such an amoral, sex-driven, gratification-based culture, women have forgotten the duty, and burden, they bear by being the partner that develops and brings forth life.  Young women need to be reminded of the significance of sex for the role it plays in biology and in evolution and schools and other authority should be highly critical of decisions to engage in a sexual relationships.   Only with a strong background in biology and religion (and an overhaul of the welfare program which rewards teen pregnancy and the creates the mentality where mothers encourage their daughters to get pregnancy for security) teach dependency as a way of life) can we expect to fight the abortion problem.  Because religious reverence and reflection has been removed from anywhere a child may go, except Church and perhaps home, momentary physical pleasure is the new social norm.

9).  If it is a social problem that the Court intended to use the decision to address, why not simply address that social problem legislatively.  It may not be as “politically correct,” as legislators would like, but it’s far better addressed by statute, which can be better responsive to changing social conditions, than by twisting constitutional law.

As explained earlier, the abortion issue isn’t about the sanctity of life as much as it is about the impact on society of having so many unwanted babies born into a society with limited financial resources (half of Americans paying income taxes) and with such severe social decay.  Children who are unwanted don’t stand a chance of growing up to be the kind of upstanding, intelligent, respectful, well-adjusted adults to contribute meaningfully in our country.  The abortion problem is a problem of morality and a turn from religious instruction, both of which our government is completely complicit in.  Thanks to government policies and the legal fiction known as “Wall of Separation,” American culture has adopted the idea that momentary pleasure is better than lasting pleasure and physical pleasure is better than spiritual pleasure. Our culture has clearly rejected the historic notion that sexuality is meant to be enjoyed within the confines of a stable, committed marital relationship. Sexual immorality and promiscuity is glorified. Our children are inundated with it from TV shows, movies, and music videos. The government claims it is not its role to get involved with morality, but every decision by government reflects someone’s moral judgment.  What they mean to say is that they just don’t want any decisions made that remotely have anything to do with religion.  And we all know that religion provides the principles, restraint, and posturing that define morality.  I say to government:  “If you don’t believe you should promote morality, then get out of the public education business!”  Leave it to the States who are legitimately charged with regulating for the general health, safety, morality, and welfare of its citizens.

The case of Roe v. Wade overruled the 100-year-old Texas abortion law which banned abortion except when necessary to save the life of the mother.  Even further, it engrained something terrible and evil in our collective national conscience…  abortion-on-demand..  the mindset that abortion is completely acceptable in almost all cases, in all stages of pregnancy, and for almost all reasons. It engrained something unconscionable in the minds of women who put convenience, career, and equal competition in society with men above all else — that a baby conceived by the Holy Spirit to be loved, wanted, and cared for, is expendable.

The silent screams have increased to levels we can’t even imagine…  They are the silent screams that no one hears except God.

References:

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).  Referenced at:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0113_ZS.html

Tim Radford, “What is Life?,” The Guardian/The Observer, April 26, 2008.  Referenced at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/apr/27/genetics.evolution

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 84.  Referenced at:  http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa84.htm    [Hamilton addresses  general objections to the Constitution]

James Madison, Speech Introducing the Bill of Rights (to House of Representatives), June 8, 1789.

Federal Farmer No. 16.  [Making the case for a Bill of Rights].  Referenced at:  http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch14s32.html

Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).  Referenced at:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0381_0479_ZO.html

Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).  Referenced at:  http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/griswold.html

Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97 (1934).  Referenced at:  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=291&invol=97

Michelle Malkin, “To Stop the Multiplication of the Unfit,” Feb. 10, 2012.  Referenced at: http://michellemalkin.com/category/health-care/

Carolyn Gargaro, “Roe V Wade – The Unconstitutional Decision,” Rightgrrl, Feb. 3, 2000.  Referenced at:  http://www.rightgrrl.com/carolyn/roe.html

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 31.  Referenced at:  http://constitution.org/fed/federa31.htm   [The general power of taxation, cont’d from No. 30]

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28.  Referenced at:  http://constitution.org/fed/federa28.htm    [Limitations on legislative power with respect to Providing for the Common Defense]

James Madison, Federalist No. 39.  Referenced at:  http://constitution.org/fed/federa39.htm    [The absolute need to have the government conform to Republican principles; Addresses the question of whether the government is ‘federal’ or ‘national’]

James Madison, Federalist No. 51.  Referenced at:  http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa51.htm    [The importance of proper checks and balances]

Andrew M. Allison, “Federalism and the 10th Amendment,” The National Center for Constitutional Studies, March 1995.  Referenced at: http://www.nccs.net/newsletter/mar95nl.html

Letter to Major John Cartwright, 5 June 1824; in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson , ed. Albert Ellery Bergh, 20 vols. (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1907), Vol.16.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1831.

Steven Ertelt, “Obama Refused Boehner’s Demand to Cut Planned Parenthood Spending”, Life News, April 11, 2011.  Referenced at:  http://www.lifenews.com/2011/04/11/obama-refused-boehner-demand-to-cut-planned-parenthood-funding/

Fred Lucas, “Obama Defends Roe v. Wade As Way for ‘Our Daughters’ to Have Same Chance As Sons to ‘Fulfill Their Dreams’,” January 23, 2012.  Referenced at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-defends-roe-v-wade-way-our-daughters-have-same-chance-sons-fulfill-their-dreams

Ron Paul, Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Define Our Freedom, Grand Central Publishing, 2011.

Ron Paul, National Right to Life Convention, Kansas City, Missouri, June 15, 2007

Emily Bazelon, “The Role of Women on the Court,” NY Times, July 9, 2009.

What is the Significance of the Constitution and Can Nullification Save It?

               by Diane Rufino

Obamacare has the potential to transform this country into one that dangerously curbs our fundamental freedoms, socializes wealth, status, and risk, and puts us at the mercy and the discretion of a government that is more interested in social engineering than the individual rights so profoundly advanced by our founding documents and so proudly defended by patriotic heroic Americans.  It also has led to something perhaps President Obama never intended and that is a renewed interest in the US Constitution and a rekindled appreciation for our Founders and the values and principles upon which they established our nation.  Suddenly, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and books on our Founding Fathers have topped the reading lists for ordinary Americans. An article in The Hill (May 2010) announced that the Constitution was the best-seller of the year. Former Attorney General Ed Meese, and current head of the Heritage Foundation’s Constitution Center, said: “I think there is more interest now than I’ve seen in the last many years, and I think it’s because people are really worried about whether the federal government is getting so large, so expansive, so intrusive and so powerful that the Constitution is in jeopardy.”

Thanks to the policies and conduct of President Obama, many people are finally learning what real American values are. In the end, his legacy may very well be that he inspired Americans to take a stand for their constitutional liberties.

Yet, I am amazed that certain people still don’t appreciate the immeasurable value of that simple document that spans about six printed pages.  Or maybe they don’t want to take the time to educate themselves on the meaning of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Maybe life in the United States for many people isn’t about freedom and opportunity anymore but rather about control, boundaries, and things.  Maybe “bread and circuses” satisfy the soul more deeply than the exercise of one’s freedom.  If that is true, how sad a statement it makes about the evolution of mankind.  What a sad statement it makes about a people who are overwhelmingly blessed with freedom and protection and who have been the lucky benefactors of the actions of generations of brave and honorable men and women who fought and sacrificed for those ideals but too weak and apathetic to pay it back or pay it forward.

What is a constitution?  The whole purpose of any constitution, and especially the Constitution of the United States, is to remove as best as possible and as much as possible the interpretation and application of the law from political controversy.  With a constitution, the purpose is to set up basic principles that are going to apply and which the legislature and the courts are supposed to faithfully abide by.  In bullet points, our Constitution can be summed up as follows:

  • It is a social compact (ie, a contract, listing the responsibilities and obligations that bind parties)
  • Like the Magna Carta, the Right of Petition of 1628, the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the constitutions of the individual Colonies, and the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution defines the relationship between the People and their government.  It sets limits on government power and authority with respect to essential freedoms, especially those of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness (the right to enjoy the fruits of one’s freedoms)
  • It sets forth the enumerated, limited responsibilities of each branch of government, leaving the residual bulk of power to the States (10th amendments).  All government action beyond the expressly enumerated powers is unconstitutional.  It exceeds the grant of power that was agreed to under the compact.
  • The first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights) list those rights which are so fundamental to the concept of individual liberty that the government is forbidden to intrude upon them.
  • It represents our Founders’ intent to treat each person as a sovereign, vested with certain inalienable rights that no government can take away.  Individuals willingly transfer some of their rights to their local and state governments for their protection, but they DON’T agree to transfer any such rights or responsibilities to a federal or central government other than those that are clearly and expressly listed in the Constitution.  Government roles were always intended to be narrowly-construed so as not to burden the sovereign people or divest them of their God-given rights.
  • Is a shield, to protect each individual against the unlawful acts of the federal government.  It is NOT a sword for the government to slice away rights and liberties.
  • It stands for the fundamental proposition that in a free society, and especially in a constitutional republic, people do not require constitutional authority to act and to exercise their rights.  Government does.

A social contract is an agreement intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments.  People form an implicit social contract, ceding their natural rights to an authority to protect them from abuse and from the actions of depraved individuals.  John Locke, one of the most influential philosophers of government of the Enlightenment Era, explained that people escape their primitive state by forming into communities and thus entering a social contract under which the state provides protective services to its citizens. Locke regarded this type of contract as revocable.  A government depends on the consent of those who are governed, which may be withdrawn at any time, thus dissolving the agreement and thereby invalidating the government.  That is what Thomas Jefferson meant when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence: “”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Thomas Paine, in his Rights of Man, wrote: “The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a contract with each other to produce a government, and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.”

While we today barely talk about this fundamental concept, the States were keenly aware of the relationship created by the Constitution and obligations associated with it.  That is why it is so important to read contemporaneous historical documents to understand our history and especially our Constitution and its foundations.  Look at the phraseology officially given by the state of Virginia when it finally adopted (reluctantly) the Constitution on June 25, 1788:

The Virginia Ratification of the Constitution of the United States

“We the delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the general assembly, and now met in convention, having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention, and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us, to decide thereon, Do, in the name and on behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power nor granted thereby, remains with them and at their will; and therefore no right, of any denomination, can be cancelled, abridges, restrained or modified by the congress, by the senate or house of representatives acting in any capacity, by the president or any department, or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the constitution for those purposes; and that among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified by any authority of the United States.”

We all know that Virginia, and other states as well, refused to ratify the Constitution until special assurances were given that the federal government would remain constrained and would not burden individual rights. That is why several delegates to the Constitutional Convention refused to sign the document – Virginia’s George Mason and Edmund Randolph, New York’s John Lansing Jr. and Robert Yates, Maryland’s Martin Luther and John Francis Mercer, and Massachusetts’ Elbridge Gerry. One of those assurances was the addition of a Bill of Rights and others were given in The Federalist Papers, written by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, two of the delegates and drafters of the Constitution.  The States, in general, were fearful of a government that would have the tendency to become increasingly centralized and destructive of state sovereignty and ratification wasn’t taken very lightly at all. It took almost two years, generated some heated debate (including a suggestion of secession by Patrick Henry), generated transcripts that we are able to consult today as to the meaning and intent of the Constitution, and caused many to wonder whether they weren’t frustrating the goals they sought to achieve with the American Revolution.

As I explained in my article, “The Proper Role of Government,” of December 2011, in every compact or contract between two or more parties, there is mutual obligation. The failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement entirely releases the obligation of the other.  This, in fact, was the position of the state of South Carolina in its “Declaration of Secession” (adopted on December 24, 1860):

The People of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue….

In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th July, 1776, in a Declaration by the Colonies, “that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES….

They further solemnly declared that whenever any “form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government.” Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies “are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown….”

In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty; adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments–Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels; and, in 1778, they entered into a league known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first article, “that each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence….”

Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it is instituted….

In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and…these Deputies recommended, for the adoption of the States…the Constitution of the United States.

The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States; they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed, the compact was to take effect among those concurring; and the General Government, as the common agent, was then to be invested with their authority….

By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers were restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But, to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people….

We hold that the mode of its [the United States’s] formation subjects it to a…fundamental principle: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other…. We assert, that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused for years past to fulfill their constitutional obligations….

The Declaration of Secession (it’s full title reading “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina From the Federal Union”) acknowledged that the federal government is “a common agent” of the States.  This means that from South Carolina’s understanding of the compact, the federal government was intended to work on behalf of the States….   each one fairly and equally.

Today, we all feel the federal government breathing too deeply down our backs.  We don’t like the fact that it knows a little too much about us or can if it wants to.  We don’t like the fact that at any point in time, we are very likely breaking a law or regulation that we know absolutely nothing about.  We don’t like the fact that government makes a social statement about every aspect of community and public life. Communities have lost their ‘local flavor,” unless those communities have become just too undesirable for most people to want to live.  The pessimism we feel in this land marked by Lady Liberty is because the balance of power has shifted away from the States (where it is closest to the people and therefore more responsible to their needs and interests) and the People themselves. The shift has been a slow, but steady descent into a culture that our founding patriots fought a Revolution to avoid.  To put one’s finger on the reason, it would most certainly have to be the failure of elected officials to honor their oaths to the very foundation of our republic – the Constitution.  Government has been run willy nilly and at the discretion of omnipotent leaders who have been too willing to sacrifice freedom and the proper, balanced rule of law for a quick fix.  They’ve violated, perverted, ignored, and subverted the Constitution by their actions.  Power has proven to be a tempting mistress. Citizen legislators have become beltway professionals. And the emphasis on local government and people, as promised by Founding Fathers, has given way to a centralization of power in Washington DC and the socialization of the people for their easiest management and their best service to the government.  The shift away from the ‘Individual’ to the ‘Government’ has resulted from the following:

  • By the concentration of power in the government as to what the Constitution means and how it is to be interpreted.  Consider this: When a controversy arises over what the Constitution means and whether a particular act or law exceeds its bounds, who or what body should be entrusted to make that decision?  Do you think our Founders (understanding that our government was a creation of the People and the States and never to burden their sovereignty, except for a few narrow exceptions; Article I and II) intended the Supreme Court to be the ultimate arbiter and interpreter?  Since the federal courts are themselves a branch of the federal government, how can the people expect them to be impartial?  The federal government, which the states themselves created and took great pains to define, cannot hold a monopoly on constitutional interpretation and cannot decide for itself what the extent of its own powers are.  As Thomas Woods wrote: “That would mean that the people are governed by the mere discretion of their rules rather than by the Constitution.”
  • With the 14th, 16th, and 17th Amendments
  • With the erosion of States’ rights and the assertion of State sovereignty
  • The interpretation of the Supreme Court that the ‘elastic clauses” of the Constitution (‘Commerce’ Clause, the ‘General Welfare’ Clause, and the ‘Necessary & Proper’ Clause), in total disregard to all the writings and assurances provided for our benefit by our Founders, pointedly addressed in the Federalist Papers, explained in the State ratifying conventions, and the wording of Constitution itself, confer additional and greatly expanded, implied powers.
  • Several decisions by the Supreme Court which amount to ‘judicial activism’ rather than strict interpretations of the Constitution. (For too  many years, and for too many important cases, Supreme Court justices have willingly ignored the writings of our Founding Fathers in their deliberations to concentrate greater power in the federal government).

References to the Federalist Papers in decisions from the high court have only become particularly popular since the beginning of the Rehnquist Court in 1986.  Luckily, there has been a substantial increase in the frequency of citations to this authority in the last two decades so maybe the leftward pendulum of the Court is now swinging to the right to somehow… hopefully, bring our government back in line with a more strict reading of the Constitution and help get it off our backs, out of our pockets, and out of our way so we can be productive.

But we just can’t hope for the Supreme Court to re-establish proper constitutional bounds on government, re-assert the proper and intended balance of power, re-interpret the Constitution to construe the elastic clauses strictly and narrowly as our Founders intended, and re-affirm the true design of our government because we can’t count on the justices to do the right thing.  It’s the hard thing to do and an unpopular one too many groups who believe the Constitution must be weakened in order to create a new social order. It requires discipline and a backbone. Therefore, the Court will likely not take that route – the “high road.”

So how can we re-establish the proper balance between the People and government, before it’s too late?  How can we reign in the centralization and exceeding control of government?  The answer, most simply, is nullification – the action of a State to declare when the federal government has stepped outside its constitutional bounds and then declare those actions null and void and therefore unenforceable. Nullification, as a States’ rights principle originally proposed by the Federal Farmer (anti-Federalist paper) and then by Thomas Jefferson, says that the States’, being closest and most responsive to the people, are the sovereigns that are the proper guardians of individual liberty. If a federal law exceeds the power in the Constitution or violates the proper balance of power between the government and the states, then it is up to the States, the parties to the federal compact that is our Constitution, to declare it so and then refuse to enforce it. It would be absurd to wait for the federal government to condemn its own law or policy or department.

How can a state do this?  Because it is a sovereign. Under our federalist system, each state is considered as a dual sovereign with the federal government. Other views consider the states as the dominant sovereigns, with the federal government having more of a “support” capacity. As Thomas Woods explains: “Nullification is a shield between the people State and an unconstitutional law from the federal government.”

The Federal Farmer (penned most likely by Richard Henry Lee) subscribed to the compact theory of federalism, of which Thomas Jefferson and James Madison also subscribed. In fact, it can be argued that this is the basis of the Tenth Amendment.  The Federal Farmer explains that the nation was formed through a compact agreed upon by all the states, and that the national government is consequently a creation of the states. Both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote separately to propose that the Constitution be based on this principle. Under the Compact Theory of Federalism, the United States is made up of a voluntary union of States that agreed to cede some of their authority in order to join the union, but that the states did not and could not, ultimately, surrender their sovereign rights. Under this theory, states can determine if the federal government has violated its agreements, including the Constitution, and nullify such violations or even withdraw from the Union (ie, states would be the final judges of whether the national government has overstepped the boundaries of the “compact.”).  If the states did not have inherent authority, the Federal Farmer reasoned, the Constitution would tear down the sovereign states in favor of a consolidated government, and that this end of the federal system would be destructive of American liberties. Richard Henry Lee was a very important historical figure.  He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia and president of that body in 1774. He later served as President of the United States in the Congress assembled under the Articles of Confederation, and as a US Senator from Virginia (1789–1792) under the new Constitution. It was he who, in 1776, presented the formal request for a Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

So, the concept of nullification was indeed a founding doctrine.  In fact, it got significant attention in the very early years of our newly-created government. In 1798, the federal government passed the Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798.  The Alien Acts were essentially not enforced so they posed no concern at the time. [Note however that the Alien Enemies Act is still on the books today and authorizes the president to deport aliens whose home countries are at war with the US. The Alien Friends Act authorized the president to deport resident aliens who were considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the US.’  This particular act expired in 1800].  The Sedition Act, however, posed a serious and grave threat to fundamental liberties.  The Act established fines and jail time to persons who write (even personal letters), spoke, uttered, published any false, malicious, or inciting statements against the government, or contributed in any way to them or even caused any such to be made. No writings or utterances were to be made to bring contempt or disrepute upon the President or Congress or its members.  John Adams was the president at the time. Thomas Jefferson was the vice president.

Jefferson was outraged.  What could be done, he thought?  Petitions or protests wouldn’t work because they would only subject the protestors to fines and imprisonment under the Sedition Act.  He reasoned that a stronger response was needed.  The extreme, he fully understood, was secession (which he believed was the absolute right of a people who wanted to abolish a oppressive government; he believed wholeheartedly in the principle and right of self-government).  This crisis led Jefferson to propose the concept of interposition and nullification – the duty of states and state governments to stand between the People and the unconstitutional actions of the federal government.  He wrote: “The true barriers of our liberty are our State governments.” Jefferson claimed that the Sedition Act was a nullity.

Jefferson’s concept of nullification states that since the federal government, either as a whole or by any of its branches, is not and cannot be an impartial arbiter of disputes between it and the States, it must be up to each state’s own judgment to decide when the Constitution has been violated and how that violation is to be addressed (such as by refusing to abide by it).

In response to the Sedition Act, Jefferson drafted a series of resolutions.  Again Jefferson rose to the occasion to protect individual liberty.  His resolutions condemned the Alien & Sedition Acts as gross violations of the Constitution and addressed the proper response by the States.  He gave a draft of his resolutions to Wilson Nicholas, a member of the Virginia state legislature, who then passed a copy along to his friend John Breckinridge, a member of the Kentucky state legislature.  Jefferson’s resolutions would become the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.

The Kentucky Resolutions state:  “Resolved, that the several States composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to the federal government, but that by a compact titled the ‘Constitution for the United States’ and of amendments thereto, they constitute a general government for specific purposes – delegated with certain definite powers, reserving to each State the residuary mass of rights to their own self-government; and that whensoever the federal government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.  That to this compact, each State acceded.  The government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers.  As in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself what is the proper measure of powers, as well as the proper mode and manner of redress.”

The concept of nullification was officially introduced as a proper means of limiting the size and scope of government.

John Breckinridge, who sponsored the resolutions in the Kentucky legislature, argued that when the federal government passed laws that extend beyond its constitutional powers and bounds, the people at the state level (ie, the State legislatures) ought to make a legislative declaration that such laws are unconstitutional and therefore null and void and thereby protect their citizens from their operation.  In other words, it is the States’ duty to protect the People and their rights from an overreach of power by the federal government.

It was James Madison who ultimately wrote the Virginia Resolutions and in it he asserted that whenever the federal government exceeds its constitutional limits and begins to oppress the citizens of a state, that state’s legislature is duty bound to ‘interpose’ its power to prevent the federal government from victimizing its people.

The Virginia Resolutions of 1798 state that the Virginia Assembly views the powers of the federal government “as resulting from the compact, to which the States are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact, and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers not granted by that compact, the States, who are parties thereto, not only have the right, but are duty-bound, to interpose to arrest the progress of the evil, and to maintain within their respective limits the authorities, rights, and liberties pertaining to them.”

Because of the wording of the Kentucky Resolutions and the Virginia Resolutions, we use the terms “nullification” and/or “interposition” to refer to state action that makes a determination that a federal law exceeds constitutional bounds and therefore it is not enforceable as against the people. The terms are slightly different but they essentially mean the same thing (with some minor differences).

The principle of nullification is essential to the maintenance of our federal republic. According to Jefferson, perhaps our most learned and well-read Founder, the States must stand firm against the federal government when it attempts to enlarge its powers, either by forced or activist constructions of the Constitution or by federal action that is not otherwise authorized by our founding compact.  Nullification is well-supported by the compact theory of government (by all accounts, the theory upon which our government was established under the Constitution), by the concept of federalism that provides the greatest “check and balance” on the power of government, and by the very words of the Declaration of Independence which establishes the right of self-governance as a fundamental human right.

Nullification was not only a principle, but it was the force behind South Carolina’s attempt to curb the power of the federal government in 1832.  This would become known as the Nullification Crisis.  History has gone to extensive efforts to erase the doctrine of nullification from the books and from meaningful political discussions.  It has gone through extensive efforts to portray South Carolina in a bad light and as an agitator for its part in trying to exert sovereign influence over the conduct of the US Congress and the executive and in understanding this, we can understand why the South was so easily vilified for its decision to secede from the Union.

In 1824, a high protective tariff was proposed.  The purpose was to protect industry in the North which were being driven out of business by low-priced imported goods (by putting a tax on them).  On May 19, 1828, it was passed by the US Congress. It came to be labeled the “Tariff of Abominations” by the Southern states because of the negative effects it had on the Southern economy.  The South was harmed directly by having to pay higher prices on goods the region did not produce, and indirectly because reducing the exportation of British goods to the US made it difficult for the British to pay for the cotton they imported from the South. The South responded by lowering the price on their products, cotton in particular. The North took advantage of this and bought the cotton at the lower value for their manufacturing looms. (The South in fact suspected the tariff was put in place for this very purpose – to benefit Northern industry). It also harmed the South by reducing the demand for raw cotton abroad. Because the South was an agricultural society, Southerners relied heavily on sales in the world market for their produce so that the protective tariffs did not offer them any service (only a detriment).  All in all, the South suffered most of the losses from the tariff policy and the North reaped most of the gains and the South accused the government of not being concerned with Southern interests.

At the time, the South was impoverished and declining in prosperity while the North was becoming wealthy and very prosperous. Historians say that the trend began after the Revolutionary War; they say that the South’s golden era had peaked and was in decline.  The South believed they were impoverished to enrich the North. The North, on the other hand, blamed the decline on the South’s inability to modernize and industrialize.  The southern states claimed that their economy was suffering because of the intentional conduct of the federal government, which it accused of being pro-North and anti-South. They claimed that the double action on the part of the government of levying revenue from the industry of one section of the Union (the South) and spending it on the industry of another section of the Union (the North) was to blame, we well as the protective tariffs.  But despite charges of an impoverished South, its exports, along with the tariffs and customs revenues, were the only important sources of tax revenue that supported the federal government.  Some have estimated that 30% of the U.S. population (the South) was providing at least 70% of the income to the government.

During one session of  Congress in 1829, Representative Daniel Webster of Massachusetts happened to criticize slavery during one House session. He spoke of the repressing effects of slavery upon the progress and prosperity of a state. He pointed to Ohio and Kentucky, which are neighbors, as an example of a stark contrast, suggesting that Ohio was more prosperous because it was not a slave state. Representative Robert Hayne of South Carolina took offense to the remarks and told Mr. Webster that the New England states, and the Free States in general, should keep their opinions to themselves and that the matter was certainly none of their business.  Mr. Hayne uttered the sentiments of John C. Calhoun (former US Senator from SC, but serving as Vice President at the time under Andrew Jackson), who was a proponent of the doctrine of nullification.  Hayne declared that it is the right and the duty of a state to decide upon the constitutionality of a federal law and refuse to obey it if that state determines it to be unconstitutional. This is, to declare it null and void, and without force of law.  Unenforceable.  When Mr. Webster retaliated by calling attention to the public meetings taking place all over South Carolina to openly oppose the tariff laws, Mr. Hayes re-emphasized the right of state nullification.  He said that allegiance was to the State and only obedience was required to the National government.  He would stand with what he considered his legitimate sovereign – the state of South Carolina. He followed that bold utterance with the theme – “Liberty first and the Union afterwards!”

Speaking from the House floor, Rep. Webster accused Rep. Hayes of plain defiance to the US Constitution and blasted the doctrine of nullification.  He ended his speech by exclaiming: “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!”

On April 13, 1830, there was a dinner party at Jesse Brown’s Indian Queen Hotel in Washington DC to honor the birthday of Thomas Jefferson. President Andrew Jackson was present and so was his Vice- President, John Calhoun, as well as Martin Van Buren and others. The purpose for the party soon became apparent.  The event would mark the official inauguration of the doctrine of nullification, as put forth by Jefferson and memorialized in The Kentucky Legislature (Kentucky Resolves) in 1798.  At the close of the meeting, Calhoun offered a toast: “The Union, next to our Liberty, most dear…. may we remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the States and by distributing equally the benefit and burden of the Union.”

In that toast was presented the issue that liberty precedes the Union. “Liberty before Union.” Supreme state sovereignty and the right of disunion. In fact, Calhoun wrote an essay entitled, “An Exposition and Protest,” which he published anonymously. The essay argued that since the federal Constitution was a compact between the states, the states had the ability to declare laws unconstitutional. If a state did this, Calhoun argued, then the proper course of action was for the federal government to reconsider the law. Under Calhoun’s plan, a nullified law would have to be re-approved by a two-thirds vote in Congress and a three-fourths vote in the state legislatures, then the nullifying state would have the option of acquiescing or seceding.

Andrew Jackson, a Democrat, clearly did not support nullification.  After that dinner party and that memorable toast, he kept a watchful eye on his vice president.  Going forward, he viewed him with great suspicion.  For it was no secret that there was a party in the country intent on subordinating the government to the States and at the time, the greatest voice to that position was in South Carolina.  Note that soon after the dinner party, in an attempt to distance itself from the doctrine of nullification, the Virginia state legislature passed resolves intended to wipe from Jefferson’s “fair fame” the “stigma” of nullification that Calhoun was attempting to promote.  But nullification continued to become more popular in South Carolina, to the point that the state even began talking about secession. But the state was not yet moved to action.

In 1832, Congress passed another tariff which was also protectionist in nature and also harmful to the South’s interests.  Although Calhoun was vice president at the time, he could not prevent Andrew Jackson from signing the bill into law. But when the Democratic Party replaced Calhoun with Martin Van Buren as the vice-presidential candidate for the 1832 election (because of the “difference in opinion” between Calhoun and Jackson), Calhoun felt that he had nothing to lose by challenging the law.  Calhoun then resigned his position as vice president.

In November 1832, Andrew Jackson was re-elected.  Upon learning of the election results, a convention of the delegates of the people of South Carolina was called, with Mr. Hayes as its president, and at its conclusion was put forth an Ordinance of Nullification. The exact title read: “An Ordinance to Nullify Certain Acts of Congress of the United States Purporting to be Laws Laying Duties and Imposts on the Importation of Foreign Commodities.”  After the convention convened, the state legislature elected Hayes as Governor of the commonwealth.  He resigned his Senate seat to assume the position. Calhoun was selected to replace Haynes. The Ordinance of Nullification forbade all authorities (state and federal) within the borders of South Carolina to enforce the payment of duties imposed by the tariff laws and stated that no case based on law or equity, decided in the courts of South Carolina and touching on the authority of the Ordinance or the validity of the acts of the legislature for giving effect to it, would be permitted to be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.  The exact words of the Ordinance read:

“And we, the people of South Carolina, to the end that it may be fully understood by the Government of the United States, and the people of the co-States, that we are determined to maintain this, our Ordinance and Declaration, at every hazard, Do further Declare that we will not submit to the application of force, on the part of the Federal Government, to reduce this State to obedience; but that we will consider the passage by Congress, of any act… to coerce the State, shut up her ports, destroy or harass her commerce, or to enforce the acts hereby declared null and void, otherwise than through the civil tribunals of the country, as inconsistent with the longer continuance of South Carolina in the Union: and that the people of this state will thenceforth hold themselves absolved from all further obligation to maintain or preserve their political connection with the people of the other States, and will forthwith proceed to organize a separate Government, and do all other acts and things which sovereign and independent States may of right do…. “

The Ordinance of Nullification reached President Jackson on December 1st and on the 10th, he  issued a proclamation to the people of South Carolina – The Nullification Proclamation.  He warned that they should use their better judgment and denounce the Ordinance.  The Proclamation stated that states and municipalities are forbidden from nullifying federal laws. He also threatened to enforce the proclamation with the use of federal arms. Although congressional compromise soon defused the situation, Jackson’s proclamation made it clear that he believed the federal government was the supreme power in the United States and he was willing to use the military to ensure its supremacy.

The state of South Carolina felt an escalation of tensions and felt that their position might eventually lead to secession. The states of Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama gave their neighbor assurances that if the government took a stand against her and forced her to secede, they would join her.  [North Carolina, “always patriotic at heart, nobly refused to stain her annals with even the semblance of treason and rebellion.”]  South Carolina was fully prepared to enforce its Ordinance of Nullification, including a military response.

John Calhoun, who had resigned his position as Vice President, assumed Hayne’s seat in the Senate, where he felt he could more effectively defend his state.  When President Jackson found out, he resolved to arrest him the minute he stepped foot in Washington, have him tried for treason, and then hung (if found guilty).  Representative Webster and others persuaded Jackson to abandon those extreme measures.

In order to avert a national crisis (termed the “Nullification Crisis”), leaders in Congress attempted to work out a compromise on the first day of the new session. Representative Gulian Verpalnck of New York proposed a reduced tariff, but it failed to win majority support. Senator Henry Clay then proposed what became known as the “Compromise Tariff.” This tariff would maintain protection, but its rates would decrease every year, until the protective tariff itself was totally eliminated by 1842.  The reduction in the tariff over the course of 10 years was designed so that all interests would not be harmed. This proposal was acceptable to a majority in Congress and to South Carolina.

When President Jackson was made aware of the Compromise Bill, he exclaimed: “Compromise! I will make no compromise with traitors.  I will have no negotiations. I will execute the laws. Calhoun shall be tried for treason and hanged, if he does not instantly cease his rebellious course.”  In fact, before he went to bed that night, Jackson let it be known that he intended to act without delay.  Representative Letcher of Kentucky was notified (awoken from his sleep) by a Louisiana Senator who had heard directly from a member of Jackson’s staff that Calhoun’s arrest might take place at any hour.  Letcher immediately alerted Calhoun to the danger.

Letcher, a friend of Senator Clay’s, immediately proposed the identical Compromise bill in the House. Representatives from many states bonded together to pass the bill in order to try to avert the danger posed by the tensions between the state of South Carolina and President Jackson. This was true in both the Senate and the House. The one demand was that Senator Calhoun himself would vote for the bill and not go on record to oppose it.  They feared that if he did so and attempted to derail the bill, it would be the gallows for him and might also lead to military conflict. It was indeed a bitter pill to swallow, but Calhoun agreed to vote in favor of the Compromise bill

Not happy with the ‘concession‘ by Congress and wanting the supreme power to crush state rebellion in the bud, President Jackson had a bill introduced from the Judiciary Committee (formally introduced by Rep. Wilkins of Pennsylvania) which would be known as the Force Bill.  The Force Bill would give the President the power to use military force to subordinate states and force them to obey all federal laws.

The Force Bill met with great opposition in Congress, including arguments that it was unconstitutional. But in the end, both houses passed the Compromise Tariff and the Force Bill, and Jackson signed them both into law on March 2, 1833.  Jackson immediately sent US Navy warships to Charleston Harbor.

In the aftermath of the debate on the Force Bill, Calhoun said: “The contest between the North and South will, in fact, be a contest between power and liberty, a contest in which the weaker section, with its peculiar labor, productions, and situation, has at stake all that is dear as freemen. Should they be able to maintain, in their full vigor, their reserved rights, liberty and prosperity will be their portion.  But if they yield and permit the stronger interest to consolidate within itself all the power of the government, then will its fate be more wretched than that of the Aborigines, whom they have expelled, or of their slaves…..  Every Southern man, true to the interests of his section and faithful to the duties which Providence has allotted to him, will be forever excluded from the honors and emoluments of this government, which will be reserved for those who have qualified themselves, by political prostitutions, for admission into the Magdalen Asylum.”

With the passage of the Compromise Bill, South Carolina rescinded its nullification of the tariffs. But it went on record to nullify the Force Bill, perhaps as an act of principle. The crisis was averted.  But it wouldn’t last, for Lincoln ran on a platform to raise the tariff to its 1832 rate.

Although the crisis was avoided, President Jackson continued to distrust South Carolina and the other southern states.  To him, it wasn’t about the preservation of Liberty. He believed their goal was the destruction of the Union and the destruction of the government. He was in favor of a supreme federal government and the southern states were not.  He believed the tariff issue was merely a ruse to undermine the government’s supremacy. In fact, he publicly espoused these views.  He warned his countrymen that slavery would be the next “pretense” used by the “conspirators” (as he called the southern states) to destroy the nation.

The South, however, continued to express the opinion that slavery would ultimately be abolished. The States generally felt that slavery was only to be regarded as a “choice of two evils” – an “unfortunate inheritance” to be “endured so long as it must be endured,” and “to be abolished just as soon as it could be done so safely.”

After the Nullification Crisis, the South would forever be looked upon with suspicion. They had already been labeled as “conspirators.” They would never be taken seriously again on their legitimate States’ Rights concerns or their fear for the erosion of liberty.

In hindsight, the Nullification Crisis would be a rehearsal for the political turmoil that culminated in the American Civil War.

It could be argued that nullification worked.  South Carolina got the relief it sought (albeit over the course of 10 years).  Without its stance, the tariff would have never been lowered.  Imagine if all the southern states had banded together to nullify the tariff of 1832.  What if all 50 states, or even a majority, decide to nullify the healthcare bill?  What if the states decide to nullify a Supreme Court decision, such as Roe v. Wade?  Will the federal government send out troops to each state to enforce its law?  What reaction will Americans have upon seeing the federal government take up arms against the states for doing what our nation was set up to do – stand up for rights and liberties?

The question becomes this: Should the States have an express responsibility to be vigilante regarding the conduct of the federal government and nullify laws, action, and Supreme Court decisions that exceed the scope of the Constitution?   Is this the answer to paring back the size of government and preventing the Supreme Court from taking a “living document” approach and engaging in judicial activism rather than strict interpretation?   Remember that Jefferson introduced the concept of nullification as a “proper” and logical means of limiting the size and scope of government. Again, states were at least equal sovereigns to the federal government, and not subservient. As we are indeed in a constitutional crisis, shouldn’t nullification once again be introduced as the proper means to limit the size and scope of government?  (I would also stress that in addition to nullification, the 17th amendment needs to be repealed…..  but now that people have control over their Senators, how willing will they be to give that control up?  Only an educated populace can understand the true significance of federalism as a check and balance, the original selection of Senators, and the 17th amendment).

How else can we effectively curb the abominations, violations, and excesses of government than to assign an obligation upon the States to be diligent in reviewing the acts of the federal government? The States need to be our first line of defense and then the voting process can be the coup de grace. Again, we just need people to do their homework and research their candidates and elect those to state government who are strong on States’ rights.

In a speech to Arizona State University in December 2009, Congressman Ron Paul had this to say: “My suspicion is that there will never be official nullification or secession, but if the federal government continues to fail, and they can’t deliver anything and checks bounce, then we will be forced to take care of ourselves. And we will be forced to almost ignore everything they do.”

Less than a week later, Congressman Paul was interviewed by Mike Church on his radio show, and when asked about his thoughts on nullification, he answered: “I think it’s a great idea. It was never really successful in our history. But I think it’s going to grow in importance. And I think it’s going to grow because the federal government will be seen as inept and ineffective. And I think it will almost be de facto in the sense that the states will eventually just ignore some of the mandates.”

In 2011, a bill entitled “Protect Healthcare Freedom” Act – aka, House Bill 2 (H.B. 2) – would have acknowledged the illegality of Obamacare and declared that North Carolinians would not have to be bound by its mandate.  It was a nullification bill. It provided that the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  “shall not to any of the following:

(1) Compel a person to (i) provide for health care services or medical treatment for that person or (ii) contract with, or enroll in, a public or private health care system or health insurance plan.

(2) Interfere with a person’s right to pay directly for lawful health care services or medical treatment to preserve or enhance that person’s life or health.

(3) Impose a penalty, tax, fee, or fine on a person for (i) providing for, or failing to provide for, health care services or medical treatment for that person or (ii) contracting with, or enrolling in, or failing to contract with or enroll in, a public or private health care system or health insurance plan.

The NC House voted to approve it and the Senate approved it as well, by a strong margin. It reached the desk of the Governor, Beverly Perdue, and she quickly vetoed it.  Democrats refused to cross over to the conservative side to over-ride the veto.  The Governor and democratic legislators played politics, choosing to provide another service to their constituents rather than stand up to an unconstitutional act of Congress and by the President.

My state of North Carolina, once a proud leader and advocate for state sovereignty and individual rights, is nothing more than a puppet of a socialist federal administration. It has no backbone and serves no function to limit the federal government. It is powerless to protect its citizens. It can only “give them things”….. the “things” that are provided by Sugar Daddy, big government. In perhaps the most audacious attempt to enlarge Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause, extending its power from mere objects (goods and services) and instrumentalities of commerce to the forceful compulsion of human beings, North Carolina threw its citizens to the wolves rather than stick up for their right to make healthcare insurance decisions themselves. North Carolina needs a Ken Cuccinelli or a Jan Brewer.

State leaders who cannot stand up to the federal government will only give reason for ordinary citizens to believe they will have to take matters into their own hands, as English subjects did in the 17th century to get the monarchy off their backs.  But first, ordinary citizens must try to infuse their state government with Ken Cuccinelli types. If states will stand up for their citizens, citizens will stand up for their states.  And an era of supreme state sovereignty and prosperity will return.  As Andrew Jackson once said: “Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission.”

For those who want to preserve Liberty – preserve fully the rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and protected in the US Constitution – you must realize what our Founders understood: “Only the States can defend Liberty.”  It is therefore absolutely essential that people focus their attention on electing state legislators, governors, judges, and sheriffs who will fearlessly defend their God-given liberties.

Daniel Webster perhaps said it best: “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”

References:

Diane Rufino, “The Proper Role of Government,” Dec. 2011.  http://forloveofgodandcountry.wordpress.com

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Nullification, 2010, Regnery Publishing, Washington DC.

Benson J. Lossing, “South Carolina Nullification,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 0025 Issue 147 (August, 1862);  pp. 367-376.  Accessed from the Cornell University Library.  Referenced at: http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=harp;cc=harp;rgn=full%20text;idno=harp0025-3;didno=harp0025-3;view=image;seq=381;node=harp0025-3%3A1;page=root;size=100

Note:  Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (1850 – 1899)

American President:  Jackson Issues Nullification Proclamation – December 10, 1832,” Miller Center (University of Virginia).  Referenced at: http://millercenter.org/president/events/12_10

Derek Sheriff, “Nullification: It’s Official,” The Tenth Amendment Center, Jan. 28, 2010.  Referenced at:  http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2010/01/28/nullification-its-official/