I discuss this topic in depth with a fellow Americas Tribune writer, J.D Edmonds, on my podcast. You can listen to The Patriot Edda on Spotify below.
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
-14th Amendment United States Constitution-
On January 22nd, 1973, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was invoked to strike down a Texas statue banning abortion in the State. A decision that essentially legalized abortion in the United States. That case law would be known as Roe vs Wade. According to planned parenthood, by 1880 all states had laws that restricted abortion. Many of these states also had exceptions regarding medical emergencies and the health of the mother. This would mean that many States had laws outlawing abortion prior to the ruling of Roe v Wade. So, what is Roe vs Wade?
In 1969, a 20-year-oldTexas woman by the name of Norma McCorvey sought to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Norma had previously given birth twice and placed the children up for adoption. In 1969 the only legal abortion option in the State of Texas was for medical emergencies and to protect the life of the mother. After multiple failed attempts to obtain an abortion illegally, Norma was referred to Linda Coffee and Sarah Wedding. Both Linda and Sarah were interested in challenging abortion laws, and they would file on Norma's behalf in 1970. Norma McCorvey would later become known as Jane Roe in court documents.
Norma McCorvey AKA Jane Roe
The 1970 case filed on behalf of Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe) was filed against then district attorney of Dallas County, Henry Wade. Henry Wade was widely known for prosecuting Jack Ruby, the man responsible for killing Lee Harvey Oswald,
In June of 1970 the Supreme court ruled in Roe vs Wade that the Texas abortion laws were illegal because it violated a constitutional right to privacy. Jane Roe would still go on to give birth to the child and put it up for adoption. However, on January 22nd, 1973, in a 7-2 Supreme Court ruling, the Texas law banning abortion was struck down. In the ruling, the Supreme Court divided pregnancy up into 3 categories, or three trimesters.
During the first trimester it was declared that it was solely up to the woman on whether to end a pregnancy or not. In the 2nd trimester the government could regulate but not ban abortion. In the 3rd trimester States could ban abortion if the child could be sustained outside of the womb except under medical emergencies that involved the health and welfare of the mother.
This idea that Roe v Wade confirmed a Constitutional right to abortion, comes from a place of ignorance and echo chambers. Nothing in Roe v Wade confirmed the right to an abortion. As the ruling states, it solely covers the right to privacy. The Supreme Court also has no Constitutional authority under Article 3 of the United States Constitution to legislate laws in any fashion. They only simply determine Constitutionality. It is also convenient that when Roe V Wade is mentioned, the summary is also not stated in terms of trimester restrictions. Before going into the fact that the federal government was never granted the authority to rule on State issues not delegated in the Constitution, the 14th Amendment needs to be addressed.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S Constitution does not discuss privacy at all. In fact, privacy is specifically covered under the 4th Amendment. The portion of the 14th Amendment referenced in Roe v Wade reads as follows: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
This has nothing to do with privacy. It simply states that no State shall make or enforce any law without due process of the law. Many people like to quote immunities and privileges in reference to privacy. However, you cannot privately kill your neighbor and hide them inside of your home. Assisted suicide is against the law in the United States as well and does not violate doctor/patient confidentiality nor privacy. Privacy under the United States Constitution also does not mean immunity.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
4th Amendment. United States Constitution
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Many people like to invoke the 4th Amendment when specifically talking about privacy but will also not continue the conversation in line with discussing warrants. Which can be issued upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place the be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Knowing that the Supreme Court divided pregnancy up into 3 categories, laws were written amongst the States regulating 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions. Violation of those laws, afforded under due process, means that the government can obtain a warrant under probable cause. Privacy is neither covered nor discussed in the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment has 4 sections. Section 1 covers jurisdiction and equal protection for only born or naturalized citizens. Section 2 covers enumeration of State Representation and Elections. Section 3 covers barring elected officials from civil and military service while in office and insurrection. Section 4 covers debt.
Roe vs Wade is poorly written and outside of the Constitutional authority of both the Supreme Court and Federal Government. Which is exactly why there are no ratified federal laws regarding abortion. Roe v Wade is not ratified law. The only correct interpretation of Roe v Wade by the supreme court, discusses the protection of unborn children. Unborn children are not covered by any constitutional protection, which many conservatives get wrong 100%. The 14th Amendment only offers jurisdictional protection of the Constitution to citizens who are born or naturalized.
The idea that Roe v Wade confirmed the right to have an abortion is simply misguided and wrong. Nothing in Roe v Wade confirmed your right to simply have an abortion anytime you saw fit. As already stated, it specifically talks about privacy while also invoking the wrong amendment to the Constitution. In fact, Roe v Wade confirmed that States still have more rights than the federal government. They also confirmed that the States had rights to regulate abortion in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. So, abortion rights are not absolute and even Roe v Wade regulated them.
When you turn to social media and have arguments based on preprogrammed automated responses, you are hardly having a constitutional discussion. Your opinion does not matter when it comes to jurisprudence only facts do. Many mainstream media outlets and liberal talking figures are still misquoting Roe vs Wade intentionally. Abortion is not 100% legal in the United States. And Roe v Wade gave the States the authority to regulate abortion outside of the 1st trimester. The State can regulate 2 of 3 trimesters during pregnancy when it comes to abortion. Absolute right is the intentional and incorrect interpretation of Roe v Wade.
Multiple liberal agencies and politicians have also quoted the 9th Amendment as an affirmation of abortion rights. Both on Facebook and Twitter, random users are invoking the 9th Amendment to support this claim as a result.
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
9th Amendment. United States Constitution.
The 9th Amendment simply states that the enumeration of the constitution cannot be used to infringe on or deny rights retained by the people. Many will have you believe that the 9th Amendment states that any rights not listed in Constitution fall to the people. This could not be further from the truth being the 10th Amendment and 9th Amendment go hand in hand with one another.
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
10th Amendment. United States Constitution.
The 10th Amendment strictly states that any powers not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution, are reserved to the States or to the people. The States having the first say in any powers not delegated to the Federal Government. This does not mean that because abortion is not listed in the U.S Constitution that the people have the absolute say in abortion on the federal level. In fact, the 10th Amendment makes it strictly a state issue which can vary by State. Representation through enumeration and elections.
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The idea that Roe v Wade is settled law is nefarious at best as well. First of all, from a jurisprudence standpoint, settled means the case was simply settled in court, not ratified legislation. There are plenty of examples of cases being overturned. More recently I discussed one of those while going over the 1st Amendment. You can check out the article below.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg also agreed that Roe v Wade was poorly written. Conservatives that want to simply ban abortion outright have also seriously misrepresented due process under the United States Constitution. Nothing in the Constitution grants protections for unborn children unfortunately. No matter how many times you quote "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", the Declaration of Independence is not ratified legislation in the United States. And the 14th Amendment strictly states that the Jurisdictional protection of the Constitution falls to born or naturalizes citizens. Emphasis on being born in the United States, born.
If you want to offer those protections to unborn children, utilize Article 5 of the U.S Constitution and amend the 14th Amendment to include protection for unborn children. Your definition of when life beings, is not settled science and theoretical at best. Therefore, your definition of when life begins, is an opinion and not supported by Constitutional jurisdiction nor proper jurisprudence. Children need to be protected, amending the 14th Amendment is the only way that will happen on a national level.
What about rape and incest? Less than 1% of all abortions involve rape and incest to begin with, according to planned parenthood. This is not about rape or incest because most States already make exceptions for such medical emergencies and have done so since prior to Roe v Wade. That argument is only made in an attempt to gaslight society into fully accepting any and all abortions. Based on the ideology of "my body, my choice" and bodily autonomy.
Bodily autonomy still exits with or without abortion laws. Because bodily autonomy begins in the bedroom. The main argument right now is that the government should not have a say in a woman's body. Well, many things can be said about this argument. Women still have a say in regard to who they sleep with and share their bed with. Your choice was never taken away from you to begin with. There is no law in the United States that forces a woman to engage in sexual acts nor forces a woman to get pregnant. Then again, according to one side of this. Men have absolutely no say on abortion. The same side that tells society that men can identify as women and women can identify as men. While also redefining women and birthing people and telling you that men can get pregnant as well. So, what is the definition of a man? This is also the same side still adamant about vaccinations on American citizens. If it saves just one life, right?
Many of these same people who want women to simply have 100% unregulated access to abortion. Also take no issue with men being held responsible financially for a child they do not want. However, when a woman does not want a child nor can they afford to care for it, they should have the right to kill it without any consent from the father. Although the sexual relationship was consensual.
The fact of the matter is that both sides get the abortion argument wrong. Because both sides are conditioned to yell through one another and neither take the time to present a valid constitutional argument.
You don't want to carry an unwanted child for 9 months? Then maybe fathers should not have to carry them financially for 18 years when you do want to carry them to term. And maybe women should be more responsible with who they share their bodies with. Because the victim in the end, is the unborn child. And the Constitution is not yours to manipulate.
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-The Patriot Edda-
Matthew S Simmons