This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue appeared January 24, 2011 on Townhall.com.
January 22nd was the 38th anniversary of the mother of all absurd Supreme Court rulings, Roe. v. Wade. Unsurprisingly, America’s most pro-abortion President even chose to celebrate Roe in a public statement while ignoring the atrocities uncovered in a Philadelphia abortion clinic a few days earlier.
The Philadelphia clinic isn’t one of those illegal “back-alley” clinics the pro-abortion crowd howls about whenever they’re trying to defeat a reasonable regulation of abortion. No. This “squalid” hell-hole was operated by a licensed medical doctor.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the owner, is charged with eight counts of murder of seven infants and a woman who died after a “late-term abortion.” The clinic hadn’t been inspected in more than 16 years despite the fact that Gosnell “had been sued at least 15 times for malpractice,” and “[t]wo women died while under his care,” according to Sabrina Tavernise writing for The New York Times.
Imagine how bad it is when even the pro-abortion Times covers the story. It was on page A-25, but there’s a photo of the three-story house of horrors.
The grand jury report expresses its opinion about why nothing was done to shut down Gosnell’s “Family Medical Society” for so long. The complete report is available online. According to the Times the report states, “We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color,” the report said, “and because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion.”
What the Times doesn’t mention–Gosnell is also a person “of color.” Did that factor into Obama’s silence? One can only guess what his statement might have been if the owner were a white guy who raked in millions exploiting minorities.
Even though Obama’s paper of record reported Gosnell’s atrocious crimes, Obama chose instead to issue his boilerplate sop to the abortion lobby on the anniversary of the day that launched the death knell for 52 million unborn children and counting. Obama said:
Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.
I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.
And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.
Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion in Roe, admitted: “The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy.” Nor does it mention a right to abortion.
Blackmun identified the critical issue that stood in the way of declaring abortion a constitutional right: “If this suggestion of personhood (fetus) is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed by the [14th] Amendment.”
Determined to reach a predetermined outcome, the Court erected a “constitutional” house of cards. Seven justices agreed that although they weren’t smart enough to figure out when life begins, it wasn’t going to stand in their way of deciding when it can be ended. After identifying the linchpin on which its decision would rest, the majority dismissed it out of hand.
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.
The majority ignored reams of medical and biological evidence in the record, and created their own “consensus” about when life begins by looking to philosophers and theologians to answer a medical question, which they wouldn’t be qualified to answer in a court of law.
Blackmun said there was no case that conferred “personhood” on the “fetus” and placed it under the protection of the 14th Amendment. Consider. This is the Court that has conferred legal “personhood” on non-human entities including corporations and ships. Although there was also no case that placed abortion under the protection of the Amendment, that didn’t stop Blackmun and the majority from creating one out of whole cloth.
Obama continues to perpetuate Roe’s mythical “constitutional right” to abortion, a “right” that caused Pennsylvania officials to turn a blind eye to Gosnell’s nightmare alley. It would still be operating if investigators hadn’t gone there to investigate a “drug-related complaint,” according to the New York Daily News.
It’s no wonder Obama ignored Gosnell to focus on Roe. A fleet of Teleprompters couldn’t help him square Gosnell’s “constitutionally” protected butcher shop with “protecting women’s health” or with any of the other platitudes expressed in his statement.
Since Obama “affirms the fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters,” somebody should also ask him how he squares that “principle” with the greatest of all government intrusions into “private family matters,” otherwise known as Obamacare?