Skip to comments.BOB WOODWARD IN THE NEWS The Abortion Papers by Bob Woodward (1989)
Posted on 06/02/2005 2:17:05 PM PDT by Liz
Copyright, The Washington Post, January 22, 1989
Ever since the Supreme Court issued its controversial abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, 16 years ago today, many legal scholars and millions of other critics have cried foul. They have argued that the court was legislating social policy and exceeding its authority as the interpreter, not the maker, of law.
New evidence has now surfaced that some of the justices who wrote and supported the opinion were doing precisely that, in at least part of the decision.
The opinion's author, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, said in one internal court memo that he was drawing "arbitrary" lines about the times during pregnancy when a woman could legally receive an abortion.
In another memo, Justice Potter Stewart, who joined the Blackmun opinion, said the determination in the opinion about these lines was "legislative."
The Roe v. Wade memos were found among the personal papers of the late Justice William O. Douglas, which became available to the public at the Library of Congress last year.
They provide an unusual window on the private deliberations among the justices as they debated one of the most controversial cases of the 20th century. And they provide a useful guide to some of the issues that are likely to arise this year when the court hears a Missouri case that tests Roe once more.
Critics of the 7-to-2 decision say the new memos support their arguments that the court was acting as a legislature in the abortion decision and that the ruling stands on shaky constitutional ground.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, said the documents are "like memos from members of a congressional committee drafting a bill. Just one more additional piece of evidence that Roe v. Wade represented social engineering by the court."
(Excerpt) Read more at swissnet.ai.mit.edu ...
A huge misconception about Roe v Wade: most people believe that the court decision was based on the viability of unborn life, and that the court examined all of the existing information, then decided there was no viability, so abortion should be legal. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I have had to force newspaper editors to retract editiorials on this aspect of the USSC decision.
The court based its decision on the fact that since religion and science could not decide (up to that time) when life begins, they didn't have to, either.
Roe author Justuce Harry Blackmun wrote: "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."
It appears the Roe Court (or some of them) actually believed that it wasn't possible to determine when the life of a human being begins. But, by not resolving this factual issue, the Court left unresolved the legal question regarding the rights of an unborn child. So, the need to provide an answer to that question is inescapable.
Cutting edge millenium technology offers proof positive that life begins at conception. The issue of when life begins is no longer a difficult question.
Scientific and medical evidence proves, without doubt, that human life begins at the moment of conception and that the child is a complete, separate, unique and irreplaceable human being from the moment of conception throughout gestation.
Since 1973, advances in technology have allowed us to obtain new information about human life on a molecular level. This information resolves all doubts that abortion is the act of killing a human being and that this tiny human experiences pain even during early gestation.
At the time of the Roe v Wade decision, abortion was completely illegal in 33 states except when necessary to save the life of the mother. The remaining 17 states allowed abortion in various circumstances. The most permissive, New York, allowed abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks, though New York did not allow third trimester abortions for "emotional health" as required by the Supreme Court.
In recent years, the abortion right has been extended to partial-birth abortions (sometimes termed infanticide) so that a perfectly viable child in the birth canal, in the process of being born, can be aborted in a most gruesome way, if the mother so chooses.
FemiiNazi idealogy is famously written into the USSC decision. Thanks to FemiNazis, the unborn child has literally no protection in the womb, and is considered fair game by any and all saline/suction-wielding abortionists. FemiNazis made sure that Roe v Wade made the "Right to Choose" paramount. The mother's rights over the womb are absolute.....up to and including the ninth month of pregnancy.
Another wrongheaded aspect of Roe v Wade might be remedied with legislation by the Congress certifying that the unborn are "persons."
The USSC decision specfically states that under the equal protection clause of 14th Amendment, the unborn child is not considered a "person" and therefore has no legal rights under US law (14th Excerpt: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof......").
Roe v Wade author Justice Blackmun wrote that "the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense" and are not entitled to constitutional protection until birth.
Here, Blackmun was informed by tenets of the Jewish faith, and other faiths, who teach that life begins at birth, not in the womb.
However, the official right-to-life position is that life begins at conception.
Pro aborts insist that US laws built on religious beliefs infringe on their constitutional right of freedom from religion, yet they rarely if ever mention that the Roe v Wade concept of life beginning at birth is a religious belief.
Ironically, a decision that was intended to wash religious beliefs from the law of the land is, in fact, based on someone's religious belief.
Strikingly similar to Justice Taney's reasoning in Dred Scott.
Precisely---Roe V Wade made the unborn mere chattel, to dispose of as the mother---and the mother alone---sees fit.
No faith that I know of holds that life begins at birth.
Judaism certainly acknowledges that the child is alive before birth.
A person is a human being. A human being who is brought under the protection of the State is a legal person. So is a corporation. The Court simply decided to exclude the unborn. Or rather they absolved the mother of the traditional duty of providing for her unborn child. Except they have no been consistent in this. She may kill her unborn child but not abuse his health.
"As you know not what is the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God, Who does all."
Ecclesiastes 11:5 (Amplified)
Who was it, again, that said that Judaism teaches that life begins at birth?
While there is no central authority in the Jewish faith, three of its four main offshoots---Conservative, Reformed and Reconstruction Judaism are decidely on the pro-abortion side.
And among the various Orthodox sects who are supposedly pro-life---when Bill Clinton pardoned four Hasidics including a Rabbi for looting Pell grants of millions of dollars, Hasidics voted en masse for radical pro-abortionist Hillary Clinton, and put her in office.
And those justices are proud of it. And supported by sHillary and her ilk. Gee, what a surprise. A real coup, circumventing their positions and the law, yet with so many supporters and 32 years of (bogus) 'precedent', how many are going to want to overturn it? And the sHillarys and Barbara Boxers and others will fight tooth and nail to keep this bogus travesty of justice.
Now I have a question for you.
You state, "Another wrongheaded aspect of Roe v Wade might be remedied with legislation by the Congress certifying that the unborn are "persons."
"The USSC decision specfically states that under the equal protection clause of 14th Amendment, the unborn child is not considered a "person" and therefore has no legal rights under US law (14th Excerpt: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof......")."
I believe Rep. Ron Paul has introduced legislation to certify an unborn as a person.
But I see a potential problem, since I am original meaning constitutionalist.
19th century medical technology declares they did not know when life began.
Subsequently, when the 14th amendment was written, it used the word "born."
Since no law can usurp or have superiority over the Constitution, it appears to me that the 14th amendment will need to be amended to certify an unborn as a "person."
What do you think?
The founders certainly never entertained the fact that the 14th would refer to the taking of innocent life---when in fact at the time of the writing there was near universal antipathy toward abortion---even doctors took the Hippocratic oath never to perform abortions---or that we would be quibbling over the word born, which would certainly rule out p/b abortions. That said, it remains to be seen how the legislation plays out.
One has to understand the thrust and intent of legalized abortion as crafted by its proponents----no one is ever allowed to interfere in the woman's decision to abort for any reason, at any time.
The Declaration of Independence says, "All men are CREATED equal." Not born equal which of course they aren't- equal or even all born anymore.