Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Taking Blackmun at his word

WorldNetDaily reports that Colorado is moving forward with a voter initiative to declare that the unborn are persons from fertilization onward. (H/T Dad29)

This takes advantage of Justice Harry Blackmun's observation in Roe v. Wade that, if the unborn is found to be a person, he or she would then have a right to life specifically guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. (Blackmun then used an argument from silence to conclude that the Fourteenth Amendment didn't cover the unborn.)

It must be said that it's about time. The pro-life movement has been on its heels on the core of the issue for far too long.

It must also be said, though, that there is no chance whatsoever of this passing. South Dakota, a far more conservative state than Colorado, couldn't get a less comprehensive abortion ban through its voters.

And note the reason that I call South Dakota's ban less comprehensive: by guaranteeing personhood at fertilization, the Colorado initiative bans not only abortion, but all embryonic stem cell research--public and private--as well. In the present political and cultural climate, once that fact is pointed out--and it will be--the measure is doomed.

It must further be said that I am acting much like Democrats were in the impeachment fiasco last week--I'd be far less supportive of this if I thought it actually had a chance of passing.

Why? Because it's too soon. If this did pass, it would be challenged in court. It would go to the US Supreme Court. And barring the 2008 election of a Republican president, a Republican Senate, and a quick retirement of one of the Court's liberal justices, what you would almost certainly see is the Court, by a 5-4 vote, offering a Dred Scott for abortion--closing Blackmun's Roe loophole, and definitively declaring that the unborn are not and cannot be persons.

That would effectively close off the courts. The Human Life Amendment would be the only arrow left in the pro-life movement's quiver--and that has no chance of passing while this generation is ascendant.

We're only going to get one shot at this. If we blow it, it'll be decades before we get this close again.



Dad29 said...

Let's see what happens.

This is a Federalism issue--if Co. passes the amendment(s) required, it's really none of the Feds' business.

That's the way SCOTUS should rule, anyway.

Shack said...

I have a hard time believing the Court would accept delegation of personhood as a power falling under the Tenth Amendment--and/or I could very easily see them claiming that with Blackmun's determination in Roe, that power has been reserved to the Feds.

(It also has to be said that when it comes to SCOTUS and abortion--the left wing of the Court, at any rate--how they should rule has very little relation to how they will rule.)