Sunday, February 4, 2007
LEGAL RIGHTS OF THE UNBORN
I.. The fetus has been protected as any other human life by a majority of civilizations.
"Over a period of about two thousand years the state has built up a defense in behalf of children, born and unborn, against the aggressive and proprietary instincts of their progenitors.
Prior to the seventeenth century the prevailing doctrine has been that of the Aristotelian school. Aristotle taught that forty days after conception the fetus underwent a transformation that made it human. THIS NOTION WAS SUCCESSFULLY ATTACKED IN 1621 AS MEDICAL NONSENSE BY PAULO ZACCHIA in his Questiones Medico-Legales, 9.1. Therefore the medical profession gradually accepted the view that there was no valid line to be drawn within the womb and the law slowly but surely followed the medical lead." Dennis Horan, et al. "The Legal Case For The Unborn Child," Abortion and Social Justice (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1972) p. 107.
A. The Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion.
"Constitutional liberty is always a relative term, and, at most, means liberty regulated by just and impartial laws . . . a statute does not deprive a citizen of his liberty in the constitutional sense simply because it imposes burdens, abridges freedom of action, regulates occupations, or subjects individuals to restraints in matters which affect public interests of the rights of others." 16 American Jurist 2nd Constitutional Law, Section 60 p. 688-689.
B. The Declaration of Independence includes the unborn.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Declaration of Independence
C. The Charter of the United Nations pledges protection of human rights.
. . . It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law. Charter of the United nations
D. The United Nations Declaration of the rights of the Child guarantees protection to the unborn.
. . . "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth." United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, Ratified, 1959
E. Abortion is not a private matter.
Abortion is not a private matter. The destruction of human life, even "incipient" or developing life in the womb, can never be considered a private matter under our law. The contention that it is a private matter would be too ludicrous and absurd to even argue were it not so often put forth under such intellectually impeccable auspices. Would those civil libertarians who argue that abortion is a private matter argue that the exercise of civil rights is purely a private matter between the black man and the man that thwarts them? Certainly not. Just as the civil right to vote must be protected by law, so too the most fundamental and basic of all civil rights -- the Right to Life -- must be protected by law. Dennis Horan, et.al., "The Legal Case For The Unborn Child," Abortion and Social Justice (Sheed and Ward, New York, 1972) p. 105.
Nor is abortion merely a sectarian religious problem or one for the area of "private" morality. Abortion is nothing less than a question of civil rights: Does the unborn child have a civil right to live? If he or she does, is it not then the duty of all citizens in a pluralistic society regardless of religious faith or private moral sensitivities, to protect the unborn child's civil rights?
[From 'A Resource Manual', pages 38-39]
[To be continued]