The Constitutional Rights of the Unborn
I once participated in a debate where I was asked to describe the constitutional rights afforded to the unborn. For me, the answer was easy because I've studied the Founders. For the other guy – who completely dodged the question – it was just another opportunity to spout some platform slogans about choice and women's rights.
Many people argue abortion based on what's fair, but our nation's laws are based not on the left's version of "fairness" any more than statutes (ought to) derive from government-mandated compassion. The supreme law of the land is the Constitution, and our Founding Fathers provide incontrovertible insight as to their understanding of the unalienable right to life.
The very first sentence of the Constitution declares that the document's central purpose includes the aim to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." As Glenn Beck notes, "[w]ho are our posterity, if not our unborn children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren?" To deny the Constitution's application to future generations is to erroneously deduce that the Founders intended their labor to last only a few years. Every constitutional provision that secures a human right was designed just as much for the protection of the rights of the unborn as for the rights of the born.
James Wilson, one of six men to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and a member of the first Supreme Court, lectured on constitutional law with Washington, Adams, and Jefferson in attendance – ostensibly endorsing his interpretations. As such, scholars typically concede that "Wilson, when speaking on the law, might be said to be speaking for the Founders generally."
During one such lecture, "Of the Natural Rights of Individuals," Wilson clarified: "In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger."
Wilson's explanation unequivocally guarantees the right to life for a fetus. "When the infant is first able to stir in the womb" refers to the "quickening," which Bouvier's Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia, Volume 3 (originally published in 1839) describes as "the sensation a mother has of the motion of the child she has conceived." This was the moment in which a mother of the 18th century would know for certain that she was pregnant.
There is significant debate about when quickening occurs, with many citing Bouvier's estimation of "usually about the sixteenth week from conception," concluding that abortion should thus be legalized before the four-month mark. But to close the book there would be a grave injustice. First note that when referring to the embryo at his initial stage of conception, Bouvier calls him "the child." What kind of child exactly, if not a human child?
Bouvier continues, "The child is, in truth, alive from the first moment of conception. ... As life, by law, is said to commence when a woman first becomes quick with child, so procuring an abortion after that period is a misdemeanor. ... Quick with child is having conceived."
Indeed, even if we subscribed to the notion that the baby's movement alone signified life, we must acknowledge that a baby may move without the mother's noticing. BabyCenter's entry for eighth-week fetal development offers the following: "Your baby has started moving around, though you won't feel movement yet." This is reiterated at weeks eleven and twelve, not noting the mother's ability to feel the infant's motion until week eighteen. The child's heart begins beating as early as week five. Remember that Wilson attributed life to the infant's ability to stir, independent of its mother's acknowledgment. Speaking purely physiologically, we should at least be able to recognize the child's right to life once his heart starts beating – and at five weeks, that's roughly when a mother would find out anyway.
Either way, a mother's recognition of her child is not what grants him life. God is. As John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration, once remarked, "[s]ome nations have given parents the power of life and death over their children. But here in America, we have denied the power of life and death to parents."
As quoted above, Wilson explained that the Constitution protects the unborn "from every degree of actual violence, and in some cases, from every degree of danger." This explains statutes like one in early Virginian law: "But if a woman be with child and any gives her a potion to destroy the child within her, this is murder. For it was not given to her to cure a disease but unlawfully to destroy the child within her."
This law echoes the words of William Blackstone, whom James Wilson cited. Says Blackstone, "For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise kills it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dies in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, ... remains a very heinous misdemeanor." The Founders drew from such legal observations.
But we're missing the point. Wilson was referring not to medicine, but to accountability, using a phrase his audience would recognize as the society's current understanding of fetal development. The implicit principle of his statement is that once you know, you are responsible. By constitutional law and medical testimony, the child is alive whether the mother knows it or not, and once she knows, she must take care of her child.
Some might argue that Wilson's designation is set, that the Constitution remains tethered to the 18th-century understanding of its writers. This is ludicrous. The Founders well knew that medicine and technology would advance. The 2nd Amendment applies not just to muskets any more than the freedom of the press applies only to movable type. Morse code and phone calls are protected under the 1st Amendment, as is the exercise of religious devotion to a church not around at the time of America's founding, such as Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Seventh-Day Adventists. The Constitution must not be maligned to include areas not intended in the document's writing, but it is clear that the Founders provided for advancements in those fields that are protected, however many years into the future.
As attested by historian David Barton, "[w]ith today's technology, it is now possible to know with a certainty that life is within the womb ... only a few days after conception. Regardless, whenever it is known that life was within, according to the documents penned by our Founding Fathers, at that point, unborn life was to be protected under the law."
The Founders undoubtedly crafted their revolutionary texts so as to secure the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the unborn.
So which constitutional rights do our future children enjoy? All of them. Read any quote from the Founding Fathers about your right to life, property, conscience, association, religious freedom, privacy, labor, and more, and smile knowing that your posterity has been endowed with the same rights by the same Creator. He is the one who gives life to the unborn, and we are not to take it away.
Richie Angel is the co-editor-in-chief of The New Guards. Learn more at thenewguards.net, on Facebook at The New Guards, and on Twitter @The_NewGuards.
uly 9, 2017
The left's war on Christianity and why it hates Trump
Do you remember the video that was played at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, “Government is the Only Thing We All Belong To”? The title of that video is the crux of the beliefs of the left, not just in the U.S., but everywhere. In contemporary America, Democrats have become congruent with the left, and the belief that the government owns us is a pervasive sentiment.
Why is this? Democrats, as a political party, have literally denounced religion, particularly Christianity. At that same Convention in 2012, the delegates filled the arena with loud booing during the attempt to reinstate the word “God” into the Democratic Party platform.
Persecution of Christians was practically Obama administration policy, including lawsuits of Christians refusing to subordinate their beliefs to government mandates. Even the Little Sisters of the Poor were made to suffer for refusing to be a party to forced distribution of contraceptives .
In her book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” Ann Coulter writes:
Liberalism is a comprehensive belief system denying the Christian belief in man’s immortal soul. Their religion holds that there is nothing sacred about human consciousness. It’s just an accident no more significant than our possession of opposable thumbs. They deny what we know about ourselves: that we are moral beings in God’s image.
In the absence of belief in a higher power, government naturally becomes the almighty deity. Without God, humans are soulless creatures no better than wild animals, and it stands to reason that they should not be trusted with personal freedoms. We must therefore belong to the government.
Then along came Donald Trump. He does not believe in big government. He dislikes politicians, regulations, and bureaucracy. The people he has hired in his administration have similar beliefs. The Republicans, who hold majorities in both houses of Congress, also believe in smaller government (for the most part).
Imagine, if you will, that your religion has been usurped by priests or ministers that do not share your beliefs. Imagine that Satan has been elected Pope. (No, I’m not comparing Pope Francis to Satan. But there are a lot of strange things happening at the Vatican lately). This is the gut-wrenching horror that the left is currently experiencing. Their god is slowly dying, trampled on by heretics and blasphemers.
President Trump is not your typical politician. His penchant for prolific Tweeting is decidedly not presidential, at least to the true believers in government. Trump is a heretic in the Church of State. He does not take his role as secular Pope of the nation with the proper solemnity.
Trump says that he is “modern day presidential”. As such, the modern day president has set up his own rules. If these new rules failed him, it would be painfully obvious to him and his administration. But they haven’t, at least not to this point.
His Tweets have successfully driven his sworn enemies, the left and the leftist media, absolutely crazy to the point of making them lose focus on their mission to “resist” and sabotage his agenda. Instead they have become obsessed with his impropriety as the leader of their government religion. As a consequence, he deserves secular excommunication, aka impeachment.
Trump’s strategy is winning. He needs to continue to use social media to isolate and completely cut the leftist media out of the loop.
The American left has shown itself to be dangerously unstable. For them, politics is not a trivial pursuit, it is a deadly serious bloodsport, and they play to win. On the other side, Trump is playing political “rope-a-dope”. Like Muhammad Ali bouncing against the ropes to dodge George Foreman’s powerful roundhouse blows in the “Rumble in the Jungle,” he is fending off the relentless attacks of the left with stealth and cleverness.
American politics can be distilled down to whether or not you believe in a higher power than government. “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….” Thus wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
Are human rights endowed by our Creator, or bestowed by government? That is the basic question and conflict in America. In order to resurrect their government god, the Dems must destroy our Creator. But first, they must destroy our President.
Andrew Thomas blogs at Dark Angel Politics
July 13, 2017