It’s regrettable to see pro-life candidates falling for the same media trap all over again. The pro-abortion press presses in. “Do you favor overturning Roe v. Wade,” reporters ask earnestly.
And all too often, pro-life candidates say, yes, Roe should be overturned. That question has been poll-tested for decades. It is designed to make pro-lifers look like they are the radical ones, like they are in favor of upheaval, chaos. Just keep in mind any TV picture in front of any U.S. Embassy in the Mideast this week. That’s the picture the media wants to frame in voters’ minds when they talk about overturning.
Roe v. Wade is what is radical. The Supreme Court’s ruling was rightly called “raw judicial power” by John Kennedy appointee, Justice Byron White. The Supreme Court in 1973 overturned the abortion laws of all fifty states. Protective laws. Liberal laws. Laws that protected some unborn children and exposed others to lethal violence. Every one of those laws was overturned by the radical ruling of Roe v. Wade.
Since Jan. 22, 1973, the mainstream media has consistently misinformed Americans about what is in Roe. As a result, most Americans do not know that there are 1,200,000 unborn children killed each year, or that Planned Parenthood publicly claims to have killed 340,000 of these unborn children.
The mainstream media won’t even call them unborn children. Except if they are the unborn children of an English Duchess. Kate Middleton’s possible pregnancy has excited the tab press. There, it’s OK to talk about a “baby bump.” Or, if the unborn child is expected by a Hollywood starlet.
Babies bump out everywhere. Except in politics. Except in federal court briefs.
My favorite example of this curious avoidance of the truth that everyone knows was a report by the late Peter Jennings. The ABC News Anchor described breakthrough prenatal surgery. “The fetus was diagnosed with hydrocephaly, water on the brain. Doctors removed the fetus from the mother’s womb. They put a shunt into the back of the head of the unborn child. They returned the unborn child to the womb, where the mother carried the fetus safely to term.”
Did we follow Peter on that one? Fetus-unborn child-fetus. It all depended on where the human being happened to be located. Within the womb, it was a fetus, outside the womb–even temporarily, even preterm–it was an unborn child.
Sen. John Kerry spoke to the problem liberals have with “that thing in the womb.” In Senate debate on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, Kerry said we cannot simultaneously regard the fetus as a human being and preserve “a woman’s right to choose.” Kerry voted that the child in the womb is therefore not a human being. It is the same position that state Senator Barack Obama took in Illinois.
Not a human being? TIME Magazine’s liberal Joe Klein noted that ultra-sound has made it “impossible to deny that that thing in the womb is a human being.” Well, Joe, just watch Kerry and Obama deny it. They do it every day.
When the Supreme Court ruled on Roe and overturned fifty state laws on abortion, every one of those laws was to be found in the homicide code. Homicide is invariably defined as the killing of a human being.
Most of those laws were put on the books by elected lawmakers in the 1800s. Even then, legislators knew when human life began. Science had told them as early as 1859: Human life begins at conception. Conception occurs when sperm meets egg. There is no such thing as a “fertilized egg.” It is a zygote, a developing human being.
I encourage pro-life candidates to state clearly and honestly: Roe v. Wade needs to be corrected. And that answer will lead naturally to a discussion of what needs to be corrected. Parents should have a right to know if their minor daughters are contemplating abortion. Mothers must have a right to see their unborn child. (Surely, the abortionists will never give up ultrasound to target and kill unborn children!) Unless fathers are rapists, they should have a right to know. A host of questions can be brought forward to show that Roe is radical and was erroneously decided.
“It is not constitutional law,” said John Hart Ely, a respected dean of law, “and [the Roe ruling] shows no obligation to be constitutional law.” And Ely favored liberalized abortion!
Overturning is what we see daily on our TV screens. It powerfully suggests danger and disorder.
In 1786, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton traveled to Annapolis, Maryland, to argue for a correcting of the increasingly unwieldy and inadequate Articles of Confederation. They called for a Constitutional Convention to meet in Philadelphia the following year to discuss necessary amendments. If they had said that they favored overturning the Articles of Confederation, we would be living under them today.
Let’s urge our pro-life candidates to make a strong case for correcting the fatal errors and reversing the lethal logic of Roe v. Wade.
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LifeNews Note: Robert Morrison writes for the Family Research Council. Morrison was educated in New York Public schools and earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. He has also done graduate work in education at Hofstra University and in history and communications at the University of Washington. Since coming to Washington in 1984, Bob has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. He was the first full-time Washington, D.C. representative of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.