Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear during today’s hearing on a Mississippi pro-life law banning abortions at 15 weeks that there is no right to abortion in the Constitution.
Thomas questioned Wednesday where in the Constitution abortion is protected as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments over a Mississippi abortion law case that challenges Roe v. Wade.
“Would you specifically tell me, specifically state what the right is, is it specifically abortion? Is it a liberty? Is it liberty? Is it autonomy? Is it privacy?” Thomas asked.
He knew full well the Constitution affords no right to abortion, but wanted to see where the pro-abortion attorney would make it up.
“The right is grounded in the liberty component of the 14th Amendment, Justice Thomas. But I think that it promotes interest in autonomy, bodily integrity, liberty and equality. And I do think it is specifically the right to abortion here, the right of a woman to be able to control, without the state forcing her to continue a pregnancy, whether to carry that baby to term,” one of the lawyers challenging the Mississippi law said.
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Thomas pressed further knowing that the pro-abortion lawyer didn’t cite anything in the Constitution protecting a so-called right to kill babies in abortions.
“I understand we’re talking about abortion here,” Thomas said. “But what is confusing is that we, if we were talking about the Second Amendment, I know exactly what we’re talking about. If we’re talking about the Fourth Amendment I know what we’re talking about because it’s written there. What specifically is the right here that we’re talking about?”
“It’s the right of a woman prior to viability to control whether to continue with a pregnancy,” the lawyer replied, still without finding any Constitutional basis for abortion.
The irony is that the attorney used the 14th Amendment to justify abortion, but that’s the amendment that protects the right to life.
Unborn babies were recognized as “persons” under the law for more than 100 years before Roe v. Wade and their right to life should be restored, two prominent legal scholars argued in their briefs in the case.
Professor John Finnis at the University of Notre Dame Law School and Professor Robert P. George at Princeton University filed an amicus brief presenting a detailed history of American law that, according to their research, recognized unborn babies as persons under the Fourteenth Amendment up until Roe v. Wade in 1973.
Their argument is one of many that were filed with the Supreme Court this week as the justices prepare to hear a major abortion case out of Mississippi. At issue in the case is the question of “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.” It is based on a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
In their brief, Finnis and George refuted the idea that the U.S. Constitution is “silent” on the matter of whether an unborn baby is a legal “person” under the Fourteenth Amendment.
“Roe v. Wade conceded that if … ‘the fetus is a “person” within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment,’ the case for a constitutional right to abortion ‘collapses,’” they began.
The professors cited 19th century laws and court cases, statements from prominent medical groups and experts, and other evidence to show that an unborn baby was considered “a person” from conception under the law and “’to all intents and purposes a child, as much as if born.’”
According to Finnis, unborn children are properly understood as “persons” under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, and state-level homicide laws therefore cannot discriminate by protecting live people but not unborn people.