In 1973, when the Supreme Court created out of the “emanations” of the “penumbra” of the Constitution the right to kill the unborn, the judges weren’t sure when life began.
They should have been.
After all, the editors of Life magazine documented life in the womb in a 1965 cover story featuring a vivid and unforgettable photo display.
“Drama of Life Before Birth” was published eight years before the justices struggled with the concept of life’s beginnings.
The non-profit Liberty Counsel, which regularly defends the life of the unborn in court, pointed out the feature was “an unprecedented photographic feat for the 1960s” that documented “the stages of growth of an unborn baby from fertilization to 28 weeks.”
In the section detailing fertilization, the article states, “The birth of a human life really occurs at the moment the mother’s egg cell is fertilized by one of the father’s sperm cells.”
Science repeatedly has affirmed that statement.
Abortion has been in headlines recently because of New York’s adoption of a provision allowing it until the moment of birth.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, defending a similar bill in Virginia, acknowledged the legislation effectively allowed infanticide.
Liberty Counsel explained the Life article was accompanied by images created through special camera equipment, including a tiny flash beam at the end of a surgical scope.
“Despite Democrats’ recent horrendous push to pass legislation that broaden abortion laws, they once accepted the fact that life begins at conception. In 1994, the federal advisory board appointed by former President Bill Clinton, affirmed that ‘The preimplantation human embryo warrants serious moral consideration as a developing form of human life,'” Liberty Counsel said.
“The fact that human life begins at conception has also been confirmed by medical professionals for years. A 2014 research brief on the scientific view of when life begins, published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute stated: ‘Human embryos from the one-cell (zygote) stage forward show uniquely integrated, organismal behavior that is unlike the behavior of mere human cells. The zygote produces increasingly complex tissues, structures and organs that work together in a coordinated way. Importantly, the cells, tissues and organs produced during development do not somehow ‘generate’ the embryo (as if there were some unseen, mysterious ‘manufacturer’ directing this process), they are produced by the embryo as it directs its own development to more mature stages of human life. This organized, coordinated behavior of the embryo is the defining characteristic of a human organism.'”
The brief said: “The conclusion that human life begins at sperm-egg fusion is uncontested, objective, based on the universally accepted scientific method of distinguishing different cell types from each other and on ample scientific evidence (thousands of independent, peer-reviewed publications). Moreover, it is entirely independent of any specific ethical, moral, political, or religious view of human life or of human embryos.”
Then there was a 2017 report from the American College of Pediatricians that determined the “predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception – fertilization.”
“At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature.”
Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said that despite “how much politicians try to deny it, every human life begins at conception, and medical professionals, and even Life magazine in 1965, confirm this truth.”
“It should go without saying that every unborn and born baby has value, no matter the stage or circumstances. However, the womb, which should be the safest place on earth, has become the most dangerous,” he said.
A move in that direction already has begun in American courts.
Last year, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that an unborn baby is a “person” under the law. Consequently, the death of that person can be punished with execution following a conviction of murder.
Further, in a special concurrence, Justice Tom Parker called on the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade.
“I write specially to expound upon the principles presented in the main opinion and to note the continued legal anomaly and logical fallacy that is Roe v. Wade,” he said. “I urge the United States Supreme Court to overrule this increasingly isolated exception to the rights of unborn children.”
Parker affirmed the Alabama court’s rationale that “unborn children are persons entitled to the full and equal protection of the law.”
He asserted Roe is “without historical or constitutional support, carved out an exception to the rights of unborn children and prohibited states from recognizing an unborn child’s inalienable right to life when that right conflicts with a woman’s ‘right’ to abortion.”
“This judicially created exception of Roe is an aberration to the natural law … and common law of the states,” Parker said.
He noted the Alabama court’s opinion stated the “obvious truth that unborn children are people and thus entitled to the full protection of the law” in its decision to reject Jessie Phillips’ arguments “that the unborn child he murdered, Baby Doe, was not a ‘person’ under Alabama law.”
In the case, Phillips was charged with the murders of his wife and unborn child, and sentenced to be executed. The state Supreme Court affirmed the sentence, rejecting claims that Phillips could not be sentenced for the unborn child’s death because the child was not a “person.”
The fault in the Roe decision was cited by Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion.
He said the justices didn’t have the scientific evidence to determine if an unborn baby is a person, but “personhood” is the foundation of the case.
Blackmun wrote: “(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”
The Alabama ruling is not the only one to point out to the U.S. Supreme Court that Roe was wrongly decided.
In August, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Alabama law banning the gruesome, second-trimester abortion procedure in which limbs are removed from a baby’s body in the womb.
At the time, Chief Judge Ed Carnes lamented in his opinion that he was bound by U.S. Supreme Court precedent to rule against the state, writing that “dismemberment” is the best description of the procedure, which clinically is known as dilation and extraction.
“In our judicial system, there is only one Supreme Court, and we are not it,” he wrote, calling the high court’s history of abortion rulings an “aberration” of constitutional law.
And Judge Joel Dubina wrote separately to express his agreement with Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in Gonzales v. Carhart in which Thomas wrote, “I write separately to reiterate my view that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence,” including in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade, “has no basis in the Constitution.”
“The problem I have, as noted in the Chief Judge’s opinion, is that I am not on the Supreme Court, and as a federal appellate judge, I am bound by my oath to follow all of the Supreme Court’s precedents, whether I agree with them or not,” Dubina wrote.
The opinion had no use for the politically correct language of “choice” and “women’s rights.”
“This case involves a method of abortion that is clinically referred to as Dilation and Evacuation (D & E). Or dismemberment abortion, as the state less clinically calls it. That name is more accurate because the method involves tearing apart and extracting piece-by-piece from the uterus what was until then a living unborn child,” he wrote.