Although it horrifies most people, can anyone really be surprised to learn that the abortion agenda of the Left includes unregulated late-term abortions through the ninth month of pregnancy (yes, think late-term abortionist and convicted murderer, Dr. Kermit Gosnell), using your tax dollars to pay for abortion on demand throughout those nine months of pregnancy (thank you Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for reminding us the Left wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment), and infanticide by allowing a baby to die even after he or she is born (thank you Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam)?
Through government action via the U.S. Supreme Court and its decision in Roe v. Wade, since 1973 more than 60 million abortions have been performed in the United States. That’s 60 million lives ended — an unimaginable loss of human potential. Many conveniently forget this, but Roe v. Wade recognizes that the state does have an interest in protecting the life of an unborn child at least as of the third trimester (later changed to the point of viability in Planned Parenthood v. Casey), and further, that the state has an interest in protecting the health of a mother throughout pregnancy.
Nonetheless, without further affirmative government laws or regulations to regulate abortion, the U.S. joins China, North Korea and Canada as one of only four countries whose laws allow unregulated abortion on demand through nine months of pregnancy. Compared to “progressive” countries like France and Sweden, where on demand abortion is legal only through 12 weeks and 18 weeks respectively, one can easily see how far the U.S. has moved to advance a culture of death.
Disregarding human life at any stage of pregnancy violates the most fundamental pillar upon which the founding of our nation is based as expressed 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.”
Once the Life pillar is disregarded, all else crumbles. If the fundamental and unalienable right to Life relied upon by the Founders is not absolute, then it is relative and disposable, dependent only upon the subjective intent of others who have some superior power over it.
Legalizing the abortion of an unborn child through all nine months only magnifies the core evil which is legalized abortion at any stage of pregnancy. If the law under the Constitution is understood to allow a woman to abort her unborn child for any reason, including for reasons of pressure by the father, inconvenience and gender selection, or to allow an unwanted child after he or she is born to be made comfortable but to die, what is to prevent our laws from allowing the euthanasia of frail elderly citizens, individuals born with genetic defects or those suffering with mental health issues?
The answer is “nothing,” except the subjective will of the people and their elected representatives. If you think I’m overstating my concern, consider that a generation ago, Democrats like President Bill Clinton called for abortion to be “safe, legal and rare.” Today, legislators in states such as New York and Virginia no longer concern themselves with making abortion “rare;” instead they advocate for new laws allowing abortions to be performed up until the moment of birth. Under these circumstances, the Culture of Death with its disregard for human life can only expand and prosper as it is becoming more and more evident in America.
The principles of the Declaration of Independence as expressed in the United States Constitution are designed to protect the unalienable rights of the people from their government. The Constitution is a limiting document constraining the exercise of government power; it is not a living document subject to the whims of a changing culture and ethos. To the extent the Constitution is susceptible to being interpreted and construed to allow the subjective taking of human life as expressed under Roe v. Wade and its progeny, it needs to be amended to make clear what was understood by the Founders and is stated in our founding documents: that the right to Life is unalienable and absolute, not subject to destruction under the law.
Every life is precious, unique and worth standing up for. It is long past time for our laws to reflect that basic truth.
Ovide Lamontagne is a former Republican nominee for governor and former General Counsel for Americans United for Life. Originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader.