|Roe v. Wade: A Modern Controversial Topic|
Roe v. Wade was a major Supreme Court case in 1973 in which “Jane Roe,” the assumed name of Norma McCorvey, sued her local district attorney in Dallas, Texas, Henry Wade,for refusing to permit her to have an abortion whenever she wanted. “Roe”claimed that she had this right by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The14th Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges…of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law….” “Liberty” does not necessarily imply privacy, as the Supreme Court understood it (liberty). Liberty, as they understood it meant that anyone could do anything he wanted to, and that if a woman wanted to be rid of the “inconvenience”of an extramarital or otherwise unwanted child, and she were not allowed to,that would be depriving her of her “liberty.” The definition of liberty as I,as a Catholic, understand it is doing what we wish while following the natural law. The Constitution actually says nothing whatever about privacy,but when the 14th Amendment guaranteed the idea of liberty,Justice Harry Blackmun, pro-abortion justice on the Supreme Court, said that that was “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy (Carroll, 419).”
The “right to privacy,” according to Janet Smith,originally meant simply the right “to have such things as one’s journal or conversations kept private (Adkins).” However, after that was established, the Supreme Court used the right to privacy as a “wild card that permits the courts to advance a very liberal…agenda (Adkins).” This means that, by the right to privacy, not only abortion, but also homosexuality and contraception are permissible. However, we are not at liberty, by the teachings of the Catholic Church, to commit these great evils.
A woman has just as much liberty to get an abortion as she has to murder someone, yet the government denies her that“right,” for the simple reason that murder is wrong and evil. The U.S.Government could just as well deny a woman the “right” by “liberty” to have an abortion as commit homicide, and if it could be proved to the Government that abortion truly is evil, then it might prohibit abortion completely and permanently.
It is known that the United States Constitution says that all men have the right to “Life and Liberty.” Therefore,if it can be proven that unborn babies are life, then they, by the same document whose 14th Amendment supposedly has the ability to sign away their lives, are protected and, if killed, born or unborn, are really civilly murdered.
The case of Roe v. Wade had some strikingly childish and ignorant arguments. For example: Texas, a state which was predominantly against Roe, said that life begins at the moment of conception and that therefore the unborn have as much right to legal protection as the born. The Supreme Court’s response was that that “ ʻdifficult questionʼneed not be resolved [and that man’s knowledge is not developed enough] to speculate the answer (Mayer).” This does not follow for two reasons. First,this is not a “difficult question.” The fact that life begins at the moment of conception had already been determined before 1973, and therefore, man’s knowledge was certainly “developed enough” to know this. Also, the principle by which men should really go is better safe than sorry. The example given in the above-cited article by Mr. Peter Kreeft is, if a hunter sees movements in the thicket, but is not sure if it is caused by another hunter or a deer,would it not be better not to shoot in case it is a hunter? By the same reasoning, if the
Supreme Court was right in saying that man does not know whether or not life begins at conception, would it not be advisable to preserve that unknown existence in the event that it is alive? However, that would be needless anyway because we today know for a science-proven fact that life absolutely does begin at the moment of conception (Mayer).
In addition to the above fact, the whole concept of “my body, my choice” can be easily disproved today by modern science. When unborn babies have been studied and examined, it has been shown that they have DNA, and, what is more, their own unique DNA. That makes them their own, separate, individual human beings with their own bodies. As well as this, pregnant women, as a general rule, do not have four arms, four legs, and two heads. So the pregnant woman cannot say“my body, my choice” because it is not her body!
Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional, according to the Catholic Church, because when the Supreme Court decided that it was perfectly permissible for “Roe” to have an abortion if she so wished, they were either 1) obeying the Constitution but denying that the unborn fetus was a human, or 2) admitting that the unborn baby was really a living human but denying it the rights granted it in the U.S. Constitution.
A little-known fact about the case was that McCorvey (“Roe”) did later become a devout Catholic, left her highly-paid job at an abortion clinic, and eventually became a great leader in the pro-life movement, which shows how even the most stained souls can be drawn back to faith by God’s grace (Mayer).
In conclusion, Roe v. Wade was unconstitutional because the United States Constitution gives all living men and women the right to Life and Liberty. One who denies a woman an abortion is not violating her right to liberty, because liberty is not just doing what we want to, but doing the will of God freely. Roe v. Wade violated the right to Life because we know, and even the secular world had known for over half a century, decades before Roe v. Wade,that all human beings, born or unborn, are Life, created in the Image of God.
Adkins, Annamarie. “Janet Smith on the Right to Privacy.” EWTN Global Catholic Network: Catholic TV, Catholic Radio, and Catholic News, 17 Oct. 2008, www.ewtn.com/library/ISSUES/zjansmithpriv.HTM.
Carroll, Anne. Christ and the Americas. TAN Books and Publishers, 1997.
Mayer, R. (2017, February 21). Seven Important Facts to Know About Roe v. Wade | Catholic Answers. Retrieved from https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/sevenimportant-facts-to-know-about-roe-v-wade.