Monday, May 14, 2007

Presidential Candidates, Huckabbee, And Why Abortion Is Important

Giuliani’s tip-toeing on abortion wasn’t working very well. He was saying that he hated abortion, but believed a woman had to have that choice. But, he said, he would appoint “strict constructionist” judges. Finally, he responded to a question asked of all the candidates at the Republican debate in California: "If Roe v. Wade were overturned, would that be a great day for America?” Down the line, the candidates answered, Yes,” “Absolutely,”…until they reached Giuliani, who flatly answered, “It’s be OK…It would also be OK if a strict constructionist judge decided to respect the precedent and not overturn it.” It’s difficult even, to digest Mitt Romney’s conversion to a pro-life position, which he accounts to the study of the stem cell research debate. Considering that we might “create life to destroy life,” Romney said he concluded that we’d “gone to far!...No. I’m pro-life.” Using days old frozen concepti of a few cells for medical research is “going too far,” but before that, aborting unborn children at any point of pregnancy, wasn’t? Does that sound a little strange to you, or is it just me?

I have to admit that I am not confident that John Roberts or Samuel Alito might not balk at striking down Roe v. Wade, citing precedence. But count me among those who have a huge problem squaring strict constructionism with blatant defiance of the central and essential constitutional right to life. The right to life is straightforward, plain, and essential in The Constitution, unlike the “right to choose” abortion that is supposedly lurking unseen in emanations of the penumbra of the implied right to privacy. Everyone (even good liberal lawyers – Ruth Bader Ginsberg has said as much) knows that the “right to choose” was a constitutional fabrication knit of whole cloth and birthed in a phony contrived case, devised specifically to provide a place for such a ruling. The inelegant means are justified by the prized end, which Giuliani obviously agrees with. But, it’s a stunning contortion to speak of that desired end in the context of “strict construction” of The Constitution. How long a precedent was there for the practice of slavery?

Now listen: I’m not going to try to slide by on the fact that any criminal sanctioning of a woman’s treatment of her own body is an unprecedented and difficult thing. It’s unprecedented because no one ever previously proposed supporting killing unborn children, which were always thought of as a blessing. People have changed. The underlying argument may largely hinge on whether you think that change is a good thing. It looks to be a direct consequence of the sexual revolution that came to a head in the late sixties. Men took advantage of it and had the option to abandon the consequences. Left with a pregnancy, women couldn’t do that. It just wasn’t fair! The answer was the demand for the approval of abortion. Roe v Wade presumes to legitimate abortion in every corner of America. This legitimacy cannot even be democratically determined. At least states were free to outlaw human slavery. Written and broadcast media informs America that abortion can be offered anywhere in the country, and of course, a cowed populace consigns itself to what it is told. I think that is a great part of the problem: if the public steadfastly opposed it, it wouldn’t be easy to maintain.

But, aside from those considerations, it is unfair for men to avail themselves of sexual freedom, even with no attempt at contraception, and take no responsibility for the consequence. But, rather than license and encourage killing unborn children, fathers should be vigorously traced, pursued, and compelled to take responsibility for their offspring, even if only financially, and by garnishing waged or even enforced servitude, if necessary. What 30+ years of “precedent” has accomplished is the degradation of the human spirit that embraces the acceptability of exterminating life in the womb. As I have often said, that degradation of spirit and conscience will manifest itself in myriad ways and diminish and ultimately destroy the basic civility of a culture.

Hey, I don’t even agree with Huckabee about calling for a US constitutional amendment, simply because I don’t think it is practicable. The federal government doesn’t and shouldn’t even prosecute outright undisputed murders. How can it enfoce an abortion ban? No more than we need a presumption of abortion rights for the whole country, do wee need a federal policing of abortion, as if we could realistically imagine it. What society needs is not an edict from “on high” (I don’t even really accept the superior significance of federal courts), we need our near societies tamed by the consensus of the community, reflected in local law, that abortion is not civilized behavior. That position disqualified me from writing for a national pro-life group, even though I strongly believe the pro-life disposition is literally vital to the survival of a civilized society. I would favor a constitutional amendment or even a congressional resolution that says that states that don’t recognize the respect of human life, are renegade from fundamental American principle. The question is whether we are prepared to evict those states from the union or engage another civil war. At the very least, I would set a time period for drawing their laws into line.

That’s all fantasy because a Republican Congress, president, and Supreme Court weren’t about to take anything like assertive action regarding abortion. There’s no point even dreaming about it when an overtly “pro-choice” Democratic party controls Congress. The 2008 election and subsequent Supreme Court selections could double the 30+ years of precedence, which may mean the United States would be decidedly over the hill as a civilized nation. I favor Mike Huckabee not because I feel like he impeccably speaks my mind, but because he is honest and sincerely cares for the best for American society. I think that means he is the best chance for Republican victory. And, if he won a landslide with coattails to restore a Republican Congress and the character and resolve to inspire it. And he had an opportunity to sign a pro-life constitutional amendment, I trust him to handle that situation in the best way that he can imagine.


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