Never lose hope for good things to come
Editorial by Bobby Tingle
Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. He has been confirmed to fill a vacancy created by the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly nearly a year ago.
My hope is for the Supreme Court to reverse one of its grossest errors in modern time. I was a mere sixteen years old when the court made its horrible mistake. They announced their error in judgment on January 22, 1973.
Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the majority opinion of the court for this decision He stated, the state of Texas passed a criminal abortion statute in 1854. With their decision seven concurring Supreme Court justices out of nine overturned it. The statute criminalized two things related to abortion of an unborn child. The acts of seeking an abortion or aiding others to procure an abortion were deemed illegal by the statute, with one exception. It allowed, where medical advice deemed it necessary to save the life of the mother, for a legal abortion.
One instance in which there is no hope for the survival of the mother or the child is an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is defined as an instance where the fertilized egg implants someplace other than the uterus. In 95 percent of these cases, the misplaced implantation occurs in the mother’s fallopian tube. If left unchecked, the mother and the child die. Only the mother will survive in this instance and only if the unborn child is aborted.
The majority opinion of the court, penned by Blackmun, determined the state of Texas statute violated the right to privacy established by the 14th amendment for those seeking to abort their unborn child.
Blackmun, in his opinion, detailed the flaw, which would cause their decision to collapse, in their decision to overturn the state of Texas statute. If an unborn child can be defined as a person, then their personhood causes this decision to collapse. Personhood, in his opinion, trumps privacy.
Blackmun cites the prevalence of more liberal allowances for abortion in the history of civilization as evidence supporting their decision. He also stresses the absence of legal precedent defining an unborn child as a person. If legal precedent defining an unborn child as a person exists then this decision implodes.
My son brought home a book, one day, which depicted a debate on the issue of abortion. The protagonist argued in favor of legal abortion. He cited all the issues involved on the pro-abortion side of the issue. He pointed out the mother’s right to confidentiality and privacy when dealing with medical issues. He pointed out the sensitive nature of the patient-doctor relationship. He pointed to horrible situations such as rape and incest resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. His antagonist agreed with him on every point. He did not deny the atrocity of rape, or the difficulty a mother will face if forced to carry a child to term, who, resulted from such a horrific set of circumstances. He agreed that the health of the mother was a compelling issue and her right to private consultation with her doctor should be protected. He agreed that the birth of a child is a life-changing event.
In every case, the fictional characters in this staged argument agreed the issues related to the health and well being of the mother are real and compelling.
But the antagonist, over and over, came back to the same question.
What if an unborn child is a person?
It is a basic, profound and compelling question. If an unborn child is a person, he is protected by the 14th amendment. If an unborn child is a person, then each abortion ends a human life.
If an unborn child is not a person, then where do person’s come from?
We should never lose hope, for good things to come.
Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.