By - January 31, 2012

Time to end Roe vs. Wade

Time to end Roe vs. Wade

As a Christian, I believe life is sacred.

As an economist, I know markets are created to meet human desire, regardless of whether the goods or services sold in the market are legal or ethical.

As a philosopher, I understand many humans, with the possible exception of my wife, seem to enjoy having a regular sex life.  In fact, human beings take pleasure in sex long before they can appreciate the long-term consequences of their actions.

Out of the blue, my college sweetheart recently told she had a procedure to remove an ectopic pregnancy shortly after we separated.  So much for conventional birth control.  She didn’t want to tell me prior to the procedure out of  concern I would talk her out it.  She said the embryo had a poor chance of surviving, if at all, and only if she spent seven months in bed-rest.  Out of her desire for a clean break, she did not want me to ask her to marry out of a sense of obligation.

Wasn’t sure why she would come forward to tell the story at such a late date – blame a mixture of alcohol, guilt, and late-night Face booking — but I marveled I could have been a father as a young man.  In some respects, she was wise not to tell me; I would have wanted to keep the baby, even if it meant staying together.

Of course, the idea of being a father isn’t frightening to me now, having been married and with a stable income, but there was a time it would have been terrifying.  At a young nineteen, legally an adult, but prior to starting college, I couldn’t image confessing to my folks I knew what sex was, much less that a child had been brought into this world by my lustful recklessness.

But now, through the mind of an adult, I realize my parents would not have loved me any less had I had a child at nineteen.  Or even fourteen.  And we would have found a way to make it work, whether it was putting the child up for adoption or going to college part-time.  Life is sacred.  There are ways to adapt and overcome.  You take care of family.  They taught me that.

Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.  The Court in Roe focused on the weighing of interests, with the implicit right to privacy weight against the viability of fetus.  The concept was again reaffirmed over twenty years ago in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1991).

As a pragmatist, I can understand the Court’s view.  Banning all abortion would lead to a black market where abortions were still performed under dangerous conditions.  There is an implied right to privacy in the Constitution.  At some point the fetus is viable and there is a strong public policy interest in protecting the unborn.  A weighing of interests.

At the same time, as a pragmatist, I can’t help but appreciate, even if Roe was decided correctly for the time, the changes in medicine since Roe v. Wade was decided have made it archaic.  New technologies mean preterm babies weighing less than a pound are now viable.   Surely, even the most liberal among us could appreciate how much more we now about human physiology and the viability of life.

As an adult, I realize there is still room in the world for everyone.  Fear of scarcity is unfounded.  Children are not just mouths to feed, but brains to create.  Builders of futures too great for current generations to imagine.

People sometimes ask me, as a libertarian, how can I support laws against abortion.  I note the legitimate role of state government is the police power to protect us from others.  The young and the unborn are the most vulnerable and deserving of protection.

As science continues to advance, we will be able to save babies at an earlier and earlier age.  A while back Nebraska passed a fetal pain bill barring abortions after 20 weeks because of the possibility that the fetus could feel pain.  It was a thoughtful move in the right direction.  A piece of legislation to be modeled in every state.

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Comments (2)


  1. Rachel Aylward says:

    Imagine some canidate in office that would like to aid and ebet in any way to entiquish life.

    What in the world are they thinking. Murder !!!!

    If any human being is destroyed what GOD has made will be haunted forever!!!

    Money and fame are more important then life itself? I cannot even believe that murder is a forum now.

    It is self-evident a major malfunction is wrong in any form of agreeing or preventing
    conception. When someone you love dies your impacted.
    Murder is not just a word it is an action.

  2. Magnificent website. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

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