Time to Reverse Republican-Protected Abortion With the Life at Conception Act

The Roe v. Wade decision struck down dozens of state abortion laws when I was a college freshman. It was a 7-2 decision that prevailed only with the help of three Republicans appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon, including Chief Justice Warren Burger. Otherwise the Texas abortion statute would have been upheld by a 5-4 prolife decision, and the other states would have been allowed to make their own abortion laws instead of obeying the Supreme Court’s abortion law.

Roe’s guardians against reversal over the ensuing decades were two Justices (Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor) appointed by Ronald Reagan and one (David Souter) appointed by George H.W. Bush. Pro-abortion Democrats on the Court never broke a sweat.

I would have been thrilled to see the Constitution amended to protect unborn life, but it hasn’t happened in 44 years and that was more than 61 million dead babies ago. Are we willing to let another 61 million die before we end legalized baby-killing in America?

“We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins,” wrote Justice Harry Blackmun on behalf of his colleagues in the Court’s majority. And they didn’t. He wrote that “the judiciary, at this point [1973] in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

And yet they admitted elsewhere in the same decision that “if this suggestion of personhood is established, [Roe’s] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.” That is the Amendment that forbids states to deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Who can legally establish the personhood of unborn children, then, if not the Supreme Court? Well, Section 5 of the 14th Amendment says Congress has the “power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this [14th Amendment] article.” Those provisions include, in Section 1, the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws to “any person.”

The United States Congress, therefore, by a simple majority of both chambers, may establish the personhood of an unborn child. It’s not necessary to amend the Constitution. It’s not necessary to overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s only necessary to take the Roe majority at its word, and establish the personhood of unborn children – legislatively – from conception. Then enforce the 14th Amendment guarantees of due process and equal protection.

S. 231, the Life at Conception Act of 2017, was introduced in January by Sen. Rand Paul. It declares “that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual comes into being.”

If you have a Senator – Republican or Democrat – who claims to be prolife but isn’t on the list of 11 co-sponsors (Google it), you might have a fake pro-lifer on your hands. This is the time of year when they’re going home and meeting the folks. Ask them if they’re fake. Maybe they’re not, in which case – what are they waiting for?

The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Its Republican members include Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Jeff Flake of Arizona. None are co-sponsors of S. 231. What are their intentions?

Alexander Mooney (R-West Virginia) introduced an equivalent bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 681, “to implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.” It declares that the right to life is vested in each human being.

H.R. 681 defines “human person” and “human being” as “each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”

The House bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee, and from there to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is chairman of that subcommittee. Four other Republicans are members: Ron DeSantis of Florida, Trent Franks of Arizona, Karen Handel of Georgia and Louie Gohmert of Texas. King, Franks and Gohmert are listed as H.R. 681 co-sponsors. This is a solidly prolife subcommittee. When are we going to see some movement on H.R. 681?

I see my own Congressman’s name listed as an H.R. 681 co-sponsor. Now I wish he would have a talk with my two invisible prolife Senators.

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