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Roe v. Wade leads to fewer rights

In affirming the ninth amendment right of a woman to choose to terminate the life of an unborn child, the court also affirmed the wrongness of its decision in this regard: The court affirmed that this choice lay within the powers left to reside within the people because it located that right within the person of Jane Roe.

Through their elected representatives, the people of the State of Texas had decided that they would allow the rights of the unborn child to life to be denied only to save the life of the mother.

Roe was ultimately decided on grounds of abridgement of the 14th amendment right to privacy of the woman to choose to terminate her unborn child. The court heard that an unborn child has no rights by virtue of not having yet exited the mother’s womb under this same amendment which also declared all persons born or naturalized in United States to be citizens of both the United States and the state wherein they reside.

Even though one of the justice’s commented that this was a definition of citizen and not person, he went on to conflate the meaning of the word person with the meaning of the word citizen. In so doing and then rendering its decision, the court violated the 14th amendment which declares all persons should have equal protection of the state under whose jurisdiction they are subject.

Thus, the court favored the lesser right of privacy over the greater right to life. A person is the embodiment of a human being; a human being is the progeny of two other human beings. A child, born or unborn, has always been understood, within the language of the people, to be a person; the law recognizes the property and tort rights of the unborn as persons given the protection of the constitution.

If an unborn individual is denied his or her rights to life, the woman’s right to choose is also endangered. An example illustrating this is found in the population policy of China, where it is forbidden not to have an abortion if the state orders it.   China is a country where individual rights are less important than the interests of the state.

Sarah Weddington’s argument to the court in favor of abortion included as compelling state interests the necessity to limit population voiced in the opinion issued in Abele v Markle that declared, “Unimpeachable studies have indicated the importance of slowing or halting population growth. And with the decline in mortality rates, high fertility is no longer necessary to societal survival. In short, population growth must be restricted, not enhanced and thus the state interest in pronatalist statutes such as these is limited.” She also cited the cost savings to welfare accredited to liberalization of New York’s abortion laws. Her argument for individual right to privacy was marred by her contradictory inclusions of state interest in population control as rationale, though none of the justices seemed to notice.

If we allow ourselves to continue to become a country where collective interests are allowed precedence over individual rights, it is inevitable that we will come full circle back to the involuntary sterilization laws of the last century that culminated with the final injustice performed by Oregon in 1981.

This will likely come about through a public health program, and though it may take some time, this time it will be combined with coerced abortion. The mechanism for delivery already exists within our recent health care legislation and the freeing of federal funds for abortion services.

Marty Ellerbe

Vidalia resident

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