U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne in Richmond, Va., struck down the
state’s ban on what have become known as “partial birth” abortions.

In doing so, last Friday, the judge explained that the law imposed
“an undue burden on the right to an abortion.”

I don’t know Judge Payne personally. But I don’t think it’s necessary
to know much about him to conclude that this is an evil man, with either
no respect for the law or no knowledge of it.

For starters, there is no “right to an abortion.” Now don’t tell me
about Roe vs. Wade. No serious legal scholar believes it is a court case
based on precedent and the limitations of the Supreme Court in a
constitutional republic. It was, as any intelligent observer
understands, a super-legislative effort by an activist and
out-of-control court to impose its elitist will upon the people.

I’d like to hear Payne define the word “right.” In the American
tradition, rights descend not from government edict or judicial ruling.
They spring from a much higher authority. They are inalienable. They
cannot be abrogated by government, even through the will of the people.
They transcend temporal political considerations. They are universal.
Some of these rights, though not all, are enumerated in the U.S.
Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. But one thing is
certain: There can be no right to take the life of another innocent
person — not even by a mother, a doctor or a judge. Such a right would
be in stark contrast to other enumerated and well-established rights.

Earlier, on June 25, 1998, Payne blocked Virginia’s new partial-birth
abortion law from taking effect, claiming the language in the bill was
“imprecise.” His decision was overruled five days later. But notice the
pattern here. This judge is determined to overturn this law by any means
necessary. He’s grasping at any legal excuse or rationalization to throw
out the legislative action. The real reason? He doesn’t like it. And he
is one of those judges who believes his powers are virtually limitless.
He no doubt sees himself in a godlike role — way above the fray of
responsibility and accountability to ordinary people or the U.S.
Constitution.

Let’s be clear about exactly what partial-birth abortions are. I
could give you my definition. But given that this is a publication
designed for the whole family and because I know many people read this
column over breakfast, let me provide you with the definition offered by
the adamantly pro-abortion Washington Post: “A third-trimester procedure
in which the fetus is pulled out of the birth canal feet first and the
skull is partially collapsed so it can be brought through the cervix,
the narrowest part of the birth canal.”

It must be pointed out for the sake of accuracy and full disclosure
that this “procedure” can and often takes place days or even hours
before a fully term baby, not fetus, would normally be delivered.

The decision by Payne, who, as you can see is appropriately named,
immediately clears all legal obstacles to this barbaric practice in the
state of Virginia, where the people, through the legislative process,
have already made clear they consider it an abomination.

Yet, the law as it stood prior to Payne’s judicial capriciousness was
relatively toothless. Those convicted of carrying out this hideous crime
were not sentenced to death. They were unlikely even to be jailed. It
was a misdemeanor under the Virginia law to crush a fully developed
baby’s skull, carrying the unlikely possibility of one year in prison
and a $2,500 fine.

Payne attacked the law as a violation of the due process clause of
the 14th Amendment and then had the audacity to criticize the wording of
the Virginia statute as vague. I wonder if Payne has actually read the
14th Amendment. If he has, I’d be curious to know where he finds any
mention of, allusion to, or hint about partial-birth abortion or the
termination of babies’ lives in any way, shape or form.

But this is not a decision of concern only to Virginians. This is
part of a national trend by judicial tyrants like Payne. Virginia is one
of 28 states that have attempted to ban the procedure, but in 20 of
those states, the laws have been blocked or severely limited by courts.

Only Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South
Dakota, Tennessee and Utah have laws restricting this hideous procedure
in effect. Congress passed bans on the procedure in 1995 and again in
1997, but President Clinton vetoed both.

Do we live in a land governed by the people? Or have we become a
nation that will tolerate — even celebrate — any evil justified by a
handful of arrogant ruling elitists?

Nobody has the power to create new rights except God. Let me tell
you, I know God. And Clinton and Payne are no gods.

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