Short weeks after receiving the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee, Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson apparently ran afoul of some in the pro-life movement, when, in an interview on Fox News Sunday, he revealed that he does not support a Human Life Amendment (HLA) to the U.S. Constitution.
Can one be pro-life and not in favor of a Constitutional Amendment which seeks a federal ban on abortion? The easy answer is that one can and probably should be both. But at this time in our history, the amendment process is, sadly, a pipe dream. Imagine trying to get two-thirds of both houses of our Democratic Congress to even propose such an amendment. Then further fantasize that three-fourths of the states would ratify it in the present political climate. This is an all-or-nothing approach that in all probability would save no lives.
Thompson correctly points out that working for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, then making the fight a state-by-state process, is a much more realistic and feasible goal. A states-rights argument should not only appeal to federalists, but ought to be seen as the best current solution by all who cherish life. I’m with the folks who say that abortion is murder, and in this country, murder and its consequences have always been defined by each individual state. And this is where the battle lines must be drawn.
One reason is that dealing with state legislators would be easier than battling their federal counterparts who are in the grips of lobbyists and other special interest groups; the locals are closer to the people they represent and therefore more accountable to them. Another, and probably more important, reason is that the pro-death faction fears this route the most.
They know that, should the question of abortion descend from the dark tower of judicial tyranny and land where it belongs, in the hands of the people, their “cause” is in trouble. Most believe that we are only one pro-life presidential Supreme Court nominee away from this. Planned Parenthood’s Laura Lambert called the Court’s recent decision to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Act (PBA) “a clear signal to those who seek to dismantle the 34-year-old decision that the court will be receptive to ever more intrusive efforts to limit access to abortion… This expansive approach to a state’s right to restrict and limit abortion is one of the most disturbing parts of the opinion.”
The next logical step is to roll back decades of indoctrination and convince people that abortion is indeed the murder of a human person. Why? The answer lies in the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. Justice Blackmun wrote, “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the (Fourteenth) Amendment.”
After the heinous murder of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, the U.S. Congress finally passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2004 which states, “the term ‘unborn child’…means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” Though this act only covers federal crimes, the wording is crucial as it is now codified in the U.S. Code.
Half of the states in America already recognize unborn children as victims of crime at any stage of pre-natal development, while another ten do so with limitations. And while it’s true that these laws have provisions excepting cases of abortion, the good news is that all legal challenges to the definition of unborn children as “persons” have thus far been defeated.
Someone wise once said that science is God’s way of explaining himself to us. If that is true, then the development of 4D ultrasound technology is a highly instructive and heaven-sent tool for protecting life. So much so, that there are presently ten states with “witness to womb” laws which require doctors to offer ultrasounds to women considering abortions, and another five states are considering similar measures.
Whether we fight to pass the HLA or localize the battle for the hearts and minds of the American people, one of the most important steps is to elect a president dedicated to the protection of innocent human life. For those who say that a president can have no impact on pro-life issues, remember who vetoed the PBA twice before it was signed by George W. Bush. The same president who, in May of this year, sent a letter to the Congressional Democratic leadership:
I am writing to make sure that there is no misunderstanding of my views on these important issues…I believe it is the most basic duty of Government to guard the innocent. With that in mind, I will veto any legislation that weakens current Federal policies and laws on abortion, or that encourages the destruction of human life at any stage.
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