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Scalia sees no abortion right in Constitution
Buffalo News ^ | 03/14/2002 | STEPHEN WATSON

Posted on 03/14/2002 5:50:19 AM PST by wwcc

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, during a luncheon in Buffalo on Wednesday, re-emphasized his view that women don't have a constitutional right to an abortion. His belief flies against the court's majority decision in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which found a constitutionally protected right of privacy that covers abortion.

"My votes in abortion cases have nothing to do with my pro-life views," Scalia said after his speech at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. "They have to do with the text of the Constitution. And there is nothing, nothing in the Constitution that guarantees the right to an abortion."

At times flashing a prickly wit, Scalia also criticized the process for selecting new Supreme Court justices as being highly political today.

And he defended the court's 5-4 decision in the 2000 presidential election that stopped ballot counting in Florida and handed victory to George W. Bush.

The recurring theme throughout Scalia's 40-minute speech, and in answers to audience questions, was the importance of a strict, limited interpretation of the Constitution.

"It says what it says, and it ought not to be twisted," he said.

Scalia, who is the foremost conservative member of the Supreme Court, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. .

Scalia devoted the bulk of his speech to the clauses in the First Amendment that ensure government may not restrict people's religious practices, nor impose religion on anyone.

Judicial rulings on those clauses - and the entire Constitution - must be based on their text, the authors' original intent or historical practice, he said.

In quoting George Bernard Shaw - using a phrase later appropriated by Robert F. Kennedy - Scalia said those who believe in judicial reshaping of the Constitution "dream things that never were."

The appropriate way to deal with an issue that demands updating judicial precedent or the Constitution is by legislative action or, where appropriate, a constitutional amendment.

"We have an enduring Constitution, not a living one," Scalia said.

After his prepared remarks, Scalia took questions and delved into several hot-button issues.

He dismissed the idea that abortion is a constitutionally protected right, but he also said the Constitution doesn't explicitly prohibit abortions, either. He indicated the issue ultimately should be decided by a constitutional amendment.

The fight over abortion rights already is heating up, as pro-choice groups dig in for a battle whenever Bush gets to make a Supreme Court appointment.

Picking up that theme, Scalia blamed the the bitter political fights over court nominations on the belief that judges are free to rethink the Constitution.

"Every time you're selecting a Supreme Court justice, you're conducting a mini-plebiscite on what the Constitution ought to mean," he said.

Scalia defended the court's decision in the 2000 balloting debacle, saying it properly returned authority in the matter to the Florida Legislature.

Organizers said 930 tickets were sold for the event, sponsored by the Chabad House of Western New York and the University at Buffalo Law School.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: abortion; sasu
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1 posted on 03/14/2002 5:50:19 AM PST by wwcc
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To: wwcc
"We have an enduring Constitution, not a living one," Scalia said.

Can we have this engraved in the facade of the Supreme Court building?

2 posted on 03/14/2002 5:55:00 AM PST by denydenydeny
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To: wwcc
Did he just finish reading The Constitution? Some of the recent Supreme Court decisions make me wonder.
3 posted on 03/14/2002 5:58:25 AM PST by FreePaul
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To: wwcc
He is right. There is NO Constitutional right to an abortion. There is also no Constitutional restriction or prohibition on abortion. It should not be a federal matter.

The legality of abortion should be limited to the states and their legislatures. State A should be allowed to make abortion legal in their state and State B should be allowed to ban abortion in their state.

Unless a Constitutional amendment legalizing or banning abortion is passed and ratified it should be a state matter.

4 posted on 03/14/2002 6:03:35 AM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: wwcc
He dismissed the idea that abortion is a constitutionally protected right, but he also said the Constitution doesn't explicitly prohibit abortions, either. He indicated the issue ultimately should be decided by a constitutional amendment.

An honest statement of the facts and a reasonable opinion on how the matter should be handled. But...

"Every time you're selecting a Supreme Court justice, you're conducting a mini-plebiscite on what the Constitution ought to mean," he said.

...a statement of the political realities which reveal that the Constitution is in fact a living document. Every time a political appointment is made the meaning of the document changes. Oliver Wendall Holmes recognized, and approved of, this more than 100 years ago. So did Chief Justice Marshall almost at the founding of the country.

5 posted on 03/14/2002 6:04:15 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: wwcc
No one with any reading comprehension skills find anything in the Constitution that supports a right to abortion. The Warren Court twisted and molded the Constitution to fit their own evil ideological agenda. In fact, abortion militates AGAINST the very principles on which this country was founded, namely the right to life. The right to life is not decided by a darwinian god in a black robe, it is God-given and unalienable. The evil-doers can make as many laws as they want, but their laws contravene God's laws, which makes them evil and unjust. Make no mistake - God will punish the wicked.
6 posted on 03/14/2002 6:06:59 AM PST by exmarine
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To: wwcc
I hope he can teach some of the other federal justices how to read. Their current literacy rate seams to average about 40%.
7 posted on 03/14/2002 6:10:16 AM PST by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: wwcc
And he defended the court's 5-4 decision in the 2000 presidential election that stopped ballot counting in Florida and handed victory to George W. Bush.

9-0, 7-2, 5-4, what's the diff? /sarcasm>

Repeat a lie often enough...

8 posted on 03/14/2002 6:10:31 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: liberallarry
...a statement of the political realities which reveal that the Constitution is in fact a living document.

At the root of this is the ultimate societal poison - moral relativism, i.e., There is no right and wrong - the powers that be decide what is right and what is wrong. This is a form of relativism.

The liberal relativists among us use the judiciary as their instrument of power to mold and shape the laws according to their twisted agenda. Ergo, it is no surprise that the Democrats so vehemently oppose any nomination to ANY court that is pro-life or pro-truth or a constitutionalist. It is quite plain that the godless liberals want to use the judiciary to illegally and tyrannically impose their will on the American people.

Moral relativism is not only evil, it's illogical and absolutely absurd, and it's easily refuted. Yes, 90% of Americans buy into this baloney because they are like gullible little sheep.

Either there will be a cultural and spiritual revolution in America, or America will end up on the trash heap of history in short order.

9 posted on 03/14/2002 6:14:49 AM PST by exmarine
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To: wwcc;*SASU; JMJ333; Tourist Guy; EODGUY; proud2bRC; abandon; Khepera; Dakmar; RichInOC...

To find all articles tagged or indexed using
Straight Americans Speaking up (SASU™),
click below:

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SASU

<<< click here

Master Bump List
(To view all FR Bump Lists, click here)

A Judge with eyes and brain intact... Amazing!

10 posted on 03/14/2002 6:16:47 AM PST by Khepera
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To: Ronaldus Magnus
No, those are unusually talented justices in that they can read things that are not there. The constitunal right to abortion only exist is somepeople's imagination.

They say faith is reliance on things unseen and faith is the basis for religion so therefore the government is trying get us to beleive in a kind of religion.

11 posted on 03/14/2002 6:17:52 AM PST by oyez
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To: Phantom Lord
I agree but we also must make our state reps more beholding to their constituency.
12 posted on 03/14/2002 6:20:32 AM PST by Khepera
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To: wwcc
In addition, there's no mention of a "right to privacy" or "right to a fair trial" in the Constitution even though the Supreme Court has also recognized those as constitutional principles.
13 posted on 03/14/2002 6:22:12 AM PST by gdani
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To: exmarine
Moral relativism is not only evil, it's illogical and absolutely absurd

Yes, as the postmodernists claim, there is no absolute truth -- except the absolute truth that there is no absoute truth.

14 posted on 03/14/2002 6:22:19 AM PST by gumbo
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To: exmarine
Amen.
15 posted on 03/14/2002 6:23:40 AM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: Phantom Lord
I concur. Truthfully I do not think we will ever be able to get abortion banned in this country. However, overturning Roe would be a good thing since it would leave it up to each state to decide whether abortion should be allowed in its borders. Which is what federalism is about after all. The way I see it is its not right for the pro-choice electorate in California to impose their wishes on the pro-life voters of Utah or South Carolina or vice versa and that's the rule I'd like to see in a democracy. It may not be pretty as liberals want but it would greatly reduce the conflict about where women could get an abortion. Now such variance in social rules on a state by state basis would really be living by a pro-choice creed!
16 posted on 03/14/2002 6:23:41 AM PST by goldstategop
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To: exmarine
No one with any reading comprehension skills find anything in the Constitution that supports a right to abortion. The Warren Court twisted and molded the Constitution to fit their own evil ideological agenda.

Earl Warren was long gone by the time of Roe v. Wade. The Burger Court is what you mean.

17 posted on 03/14/2002 6:26:53 AM PST by Lurking Libertarian
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To: wwcc
He dismissed the idea that abortion is a constitutionally protected right, but he also said the Constitution doesn't explicitly prohibit abortions, either. He indicated the issue ultimately should be decided by a constitutional amendment.

"...that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness....."

I think Scalia is partially correct. There is nothing in the Constitution regarding abortion and abortion rights. However, the Declaration of Independence, our "Founding Charter", if you will contains the above quote. By permitting the murder of a human being being in the womb, our courts have violated that foundation charter, as they are depriving people of a basic inalienable right, endowed by their Creator, i.e. the right to life.

18 posted on 03/14/2002 6:46:42 AM PST by ZULU
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To: wwcc
"And he defended the court's 5-4 decision in the 2000 presidential election that stopped ballot counting in Florida and handed victory to George W. Bush"

You usually don't need to read very far to find the biased distortions. It was 7-2 if I recall. And nobody "handed" anything to GWB. He won 271 electoral votes. Case closed.

19 posted on 03/14/2002 6:47:03 AM PST by wny
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To: Phantom Lord
Unless a Constitutional amendment legalizing or banning abortion is passed and ratified it should be a state matter.

Bears repeating. And it should be about abortion, not "choice" or "reproductive health" or any other euphamism that is designed to hide the subject of the debate rather than to inform.

Shalom.

20 posted on 03/14/2002 6:59:21 AM PST by ArGee
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To: Teacher317
And he defended the court's 5-4 decision in the 2000 presidential election that stopped ballot counting in Florida and handed victory to George W. Bush.

Yes, the lie continues to be repeated. The decision to stop the recounts was 7-2. The decision that the court not provide for any other action was 5-4.

But, hey, it's the news, right? We don't expect newsmen to tell the truth, right? They're supposed to be fair and unbiased, not truthful, right?

Shalom.

21 posted on 03/14/2002 7:01:33 AM PST by ArGee
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To: exmarine
Yes, 90% of Americans buy into this baloney because they are like gullible little sheep.

You forgot "with the attention span of gnats."

Shalom.

22 posted on 03/14/2002 7:02:40 AM PST by ArGee
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To: gdani
In addition, there's no mention of a "right to privacy" or "right to a fair trial" in the Constitution even though the Supreme Court has also recognized those as constitutional principles.

Hmmm. Right to privacy? You are correct. But there is a right to property which amounts to the same thing.

Right to a fair trial? What have you been smoking? Or don't you know what "without due process" means?

Shalom.

23 posted on 03/14/2002 7:04:05 AM PST by ArGee
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To: goldstategop
Truthfully I do not think we will ever be able to get abortion banned in this country.

Actually, truthfully is the only way to get infanticideabortion banned. It's the continuous lying about it that has kept it constitutional so far.

But we're doing the next best thing. We're pulling out all the stops to make sure the women who might have abortions know what they're getting. And we're making sure the doctors who might perform abortions know what they're doing. And the pro-aborts are noticing. That's why they're trying to shut down CPCs and declaring a national abortionist appreciation day. No abortions means no profits, don't you know.

Truth is the only weapon we have - and it's working.

Shalom.

24 posted on 03/14/2002 7:07:05 AM PST by ArGee
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To: ArGee
Truth usually wins out in the end... it's just a shame it takes so long to get there sometimes.
25 posted on 03/14/2002 7:11:00 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: ArGee
Hmmm. Right to privacy? You are correct. But there is a right to property which amounts to the same thing.

Right to a fair trial? What have you been smoking? Or don't you know what "without due process" means?

The right to privacy encompasses a lot more than just property. As well, "due process" mandates a process, but not necessarily a fair one. (I can send you some old Con Law textbooks, if you like)

26 posted on 03/14/2002 7:15:44 AM PST by gdani
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To: Teacher317
Truth usually wins out in the end... it's just a shame it takes so long to get there sometimes.

Amen! In this case it's not only a shame - it's a holocaust.

Shalom.

27 posted on 03/14/2002 7:19:30 AM PST by ArGee
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To: gdani
The right to privacy encompasses a lot more than just property. As well, "due process" mandates a process, but not necessarily a fair one. (I can send you some old Con Law textbooks, if you like)

Save the textbooks. What right to privacy do you have outside of your own property? What constitutional right? I remember someone who was masturbating in a public restroom complaining at the trial that his right to privacy had been infringed. What right?

The right to privacy isn't even guaranteed in the Bible. But the right to property is. That's the foundation.

As to the difference between due process and "fair due process" - that sounds like someone trying to create an issue. "Due" means "due" means according to law. And our laws mandate a fair trial.

Shalom.

28 posted on 03/14/2002 7:21:31 AM PST by ArGee
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To: Phantom Lord
If a law affects a person, then the term "person" should be well defined. Since the Constitution is a law which applies to all people in the U.S., then the term "person" should be determined at the national level.

Either fetuses are or are not persons. Since the Constitution is currently not clear on this, it should be made so.

I see no reason for a "person" to cease being so by moving (or being moved) from one state to the next.

We're not talking about whether or not certain actions are allowed by the Constitution in the case of abortion. We are talking about who is to be protected by the Constitution. The Constitution doesn't clearly say "who" they are talking about. However, historically we can be certain that they meant to include fetuses in the definition of person. This should be made clear by a simply worded amendment.

29 posted on 03/14/2002 7:23:24 AM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: wwcc
Did a word search in the Constitution for "abortion",
results came in: "Not Found".
31 posted on 03/14/2002 7:32:03 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: ArGee
What right to privacy do you have outside of your own property? What constitutional right?

Uh, that's my point. You won't find "right to privacy" in the Bill of Rights.

However, the legal understanding right to privacy does encompass more than mere property. The right to read books or view TV shows of your liking could be considered one. The right to keep your financial information private from prying government eyes. The right to innocently drive down the highway without being stopped at a ridiculous police checkpoint. The right to not have your e-mails read by the FBI's Carnivore system or your international phone calls tapped by Echelon. The right to attend the Super Bowl without having your face "scanned" by police.

Some of these tie in with First and Fourth Amendment rights. But any lawsuit that would challenge such practices do/would also charge a violation of the "right to privacy" - although, granted, such claims are not always successful.

Oh, and by the way, our legal system is not based on the Bible unless you believe that people should be put to death for adultery, that it should be illegal to approach a woman in a state of menstrual uncleanliness or eat shellfish, etc, etc

32 posted on 03/14/2002 7:38:32 AM PST by gdani
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To: Ronaldus Magnus
He's in the right town to teach constitutional rights to a federal judge who has stripped hundreds of pro-lifers of theirs including a Catholic priest serving 5 months in federal prison for silent prayer inside this judge's buffer zone that was called unconstitutional by the NY Court of Appeals.
33 posted on 03/14/2002 7:45:53 AM PST by victim soul
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To: wwcc
As usual, Scalia is absolutely right. Roe v. Wade was a legally absurd ruling that ignored the reality that state abortion prohibitions existed before, during, and after the enactment of the 14th amendment and for one hundred years no one ever questioned the constitutionality of those prohibitions. The continuing controversy over Roe is evidence that it was a bad decision. It removed the abortion issue from the democratic process where it might have been settled in a more satisfactory way. In communities that wanted abortion, it would have been legal. In communities that didn't want abortion, it would have been illegal.
34 posted on 03/14/2002 7:55:07 AM PST by irishjuggler
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To: wwcc
His belief flies against the court's majority decision in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which found a constitutionally protected right of privacy that covers abortion.

The court's majority decision in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade flies against the actual text of the Constitution, in which no "right to privacy" can be found, which forced the court to invent one by saying that they found "penumbras" in the Bill of Rights.

Hey Chief Justice Burger, is that a penumbra in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?...

35 posted on 03/14/2002 7:55:17 AM PST by Chief Inspector Clouseau
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To: exmarine
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That fact is life is more important than liberty and happiness. The sanctity of life is the cornerstone of liberty and happiness. So, when a life is taken there you will find death of liberty and happiness.

A man and women don't "Create" a child they simply put a live wire into the outlet, but that doesn't mean they invented electricity.

36 posted on 03/14/2002 7:58:44 AM PST by SQUID
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To: ZULU
No need to go to the Declaration of Independence to find a statement protecting the right to life. Just see Amendments 5 and 14 of the Constitution.
37 posted on 03/14/2002 7:59:51 AM PST by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Chief Inspector Clouseau
Don't blame poor old Burger for the penumbra. Justice William O. Douglas invented the penumbra for the Griswold (Connecticut birth control) case.
38 posted on 03/14/2002 8:01:21 AM PST by irishjuggler
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To: Phantom Lord
There is NO Constitutional right to an abortion. There is also no Constitutional restriction or prohibition on abortion. It should not be a federal matter.

I think a strong Constitutional argument could be made that the Constitution does protect the life of an unborn child. Roe v. Wade actually reinforced that argument in a perverse sort of way by developing the 1st trimester standard which later courts have since ignored. Abortion on demand past that date could easily be interperted as the taking of a life without due process.

39 posted on 03/14/2002 8:04:13 AM PST by Ditto
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To: gdani
However, the legal understanding right to privacy does encompass more than mere property.

Absolutely - legal understanding. Not all of our laws are in the constitution. But the underlying basis for all laws that seek to guarantee a right to privacy are based on the right to own property.

As for your other comment - our legal system is most certainly based on the Bible - but it is not a Biblical legal system. The Bible provides the foundation, not every brick.

Shalom.

40 posted on 03/14/2002 8:05:13 AM PST by ArGee
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To: gdani
Don't send them, just read them first!
41 posted on 03/14/2002 8:05:55 AM PST by Iron Eagle
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To: who_would_fardels_bear
Either fetuses are or are not persons.

Wrong question. The Constitution prohibits the government, whether federal (5th Amendment) or state (14th Amendment) from depriving a "person" of life (or property) without due process. But a murder (or theft) committed by a private person against another private person does not violate the constitution; murder is only a state-law crime. Many states permit killings (as self-defense) which would be murder in other states (see, for example, the wide differences among states as to whether or not you can legally kill an unarmed thief).

42 posted on 03/14/2002 8:08:46 AM PST by Lurking Libertarian
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To: irishjuggler
Don't blame poor old Burger for the penumbra. Justice William O. Douglas invented the penumbra for the Griswold (Connecticut birth control) case.

Thanks, just playing off the fact that it was the Burger Court that decided Roe. I actually knew Griswold was the Genesis of this line of "reasoning", but didn't know Douglas started it...learn something new every day.

Did Burger actually vote "no" on Roe? If so, I guess I deserve 20 lashes with a cat o' nine penumbras...

43 posted on 03/14/2002 8:08:48 AM PST by Chief Inspector Clouseau
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To: wwcc
And he defended the court's 5-4 decision in the 2000 presidential election that stopped ballot counting in Florida and handed victory to George W. Bush.

Grrrrrr...it was the 7-2 decision that branded what the Floriduh Supremes were doing as unconstitutional that sealed Gore's fate, not the 5-4 ruling stopping the selective hand counts.

44 posted on 03/14/2002 8:10:23 AM PST by krb
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To: exmarine
Either there will be a cultural and spiritual revolution in America, or America will end up on the trash heap of history in short order.

You really think so? I think we will wallow along a wandering line between the extremes...though the thought that a potential finality would occur...one way or the other is comforting...I grow weary of the debates at times.

45 posted on 03/14/2002 8:14:37 AM PST by antaresequity
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To: wwcc
I think that the question Reagan pondered really clarifys the insanity of abortion:

If a women is a joint benificiary with her unborn child to an estate, would aborting the child be murder for financial gain...

46 posted on 03/14/2002 8:17:09 AM PST by antaresequity
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To: ZULU
I agree with you 100%. Abortion is murder. Murder is illegal except in rare cases (self-defense, for example). Millions of innocent babies are being slaughtered every year in our country, more throughout the world, all in the name of "choice". We lost the marketing battle, the battle for words. We have to take it back, talk about what abortion IS and what abortion ISN'T ... as well as over-turning Roe v. Wade.

I don't think abortion will end overnight. This is a fight we've been waging not only since 1973. It's a fight that has been waged for 3,000 years. But, our goal ... the goal of every pro-lifer ... is to save the life of every baby we can save, pray for those we can't save, and work to change the hearts and minds of the American people. Through federal or state laws, the Constitution, the media, crisis pregnancy centers ... from telling the truth with love and honesty, we can reduce abortions. We can never let up. There will always be women who can kill their babies; there will always be men and women who will help them do it. Let's make it rare, let's make it a crime.

God bless everyone who works to end abortion, because reducing abortions saves lives.

47 posted on 03/14/2002 8:25:11 AM PST by Gophack
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To: Chief Inspector Clouseau
Burger was with Blackmun's majority on Roe. The only dissenters were Rehnquist and Byron White (JFK appointee, no less). Burger later admitted that Roe was a mistake, though, and sided with anti-Roe justices on several subsequent cases.
48 posted on 03/14/2002 8:26:47 AM PST by irishjuggler
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To: gdani
The "right to a fair trial" is in the due process clause of the 5th amendment.
49 posted on 03/14/2002 8:28:58 AM PST by jude24
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To: jude24
The "right to a fair trial" is in the due process clause of the 5th amendment

I would argue the Sixth (although the Sixth only says "speedy and public", not "fair").

I wasn't meaning to take the thread even slightly off topic (I have too much work to do) - just pointing out other explicit language that is nowhere to be found in the Constitution

50 posted on 03/14/2002 9:12:19 AM PST by gdani
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