How have we gotten to this point as a country where a truism like the right to life has even come into question? How is it, that even though every human being’s right to life is clearly spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, that abortion is still legal and prevalent? The unconstitutional and unprecedented decision of Roe v. Wade to render an unborn child a nonperson has resulted in the deaths of more than 50 million unborn children to this day. Euphemisms such as “choice” and “terminating the pregnancy” effectively “reduce the perceived gravity”, according to the US Catholic Bishops. In their pamphlet “Living the Gospel of Life“, the bishops challenge every American Catholic to realize this evil, and to fight it.
Roe v. Wade allows abortion in all 50 states during the first three months of pregnancy for any reason, during the second three months if it puts the health of the mother at risk (including psychologically), and during the last 3 months if the state permits it. The most effective and likely way to change this immediately is to pass a bill that would remove the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court from the issue of abortion (requiring a simple majority vote in Congress and the signature of the president). Ron Paul has been trying to push this bill through for years, but not even Newt Gingrich’s Republican majority could manage a majority vote.
The issue of abortion cannot be solved by a federal law alone. Look at the issue of civil rights. Slaves were “freed” in the 1800s and it wasn’t until the late 1900s that a majority of people finally started to abhor racism. It required a change in mindset, morals, and principles that can only be brought about by information and education. Once Roe v. Wade is overturned, we have to look to the states to legislate against abortion. We do not want the federal government to criminalize abortion for a few important reasons. Firstly, all violent crime is dealt with at a state level (murder, rape, battery, ect.). More importantly though, the federal government has an uncanny ability to mess up everything it gets involved in. Take the civil rights issue, for instance. Today, a deserving white male might not get a job because it is given to a less-qualified minority simply to fill a quota or to avoid discrimination lawsuits. This is all because the federal government decided to make unconstitutional laws to try and legislate morality. You can not legislate morality. We do not need anti-discrimination laws; the free market would punish, for example, a restaurant that refuses service to black people, because we would choose not to eat at that restaurant. Just like murder, criminalizing abortion needs to be a state initiative, because abortion is murder. All the federal government can do under the Constitution is guarantee our right to life. It is up to the states to punish violators of the right.
Once we have a country where the majority of people in every state see abortion for what it is and pass legislation to end it, we can say that we have accomplished what we set out to do. So it is our job to inform and to educate. We are obligated to set an example with our own actions firstly, but also to elect leaders who will fight for the right to life. With the Obama administration’s recent attack on the first amendment through the Health and Human Services mandate (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here), every pro-life American can easily rule Obama out when trying to decide who to vote for in the next election. As for the rest of the Republican candidates, read my post “Anti-Abortion ≠ Pro-Life” for my take on them.