Roe and the right to life

Whether the Supreme Court ends abortion or dramatically restricts its practice, or leaves Roe v. Wade unchanged, there is one certainty.  It is not a tough constitutional question.

It is, of course, the thorniest of political questions.  That cannot be denied.  But in terms of constitutional rights, it is — or at least it should be — an open and shut case.

There is no more important, no more fundamental right than the right to life.  Without life, none of the other rights has meaning.  Not freedom of speech or the freedom of association.

Obviously, dead people cannot invoke their rights to speech or any other rights, whether God-given or created by politicians.  Even privacy and autonomy, which are the linchpins for the "right to choose" crowd, become meaningless without life.  Death eliminates all other rights.

To claim a right to anything without first having the right to life is impossible, not just illogical.

While the current dog-and-pony show before the U.S. Supreme Court is awash in esoteric and often absurd back-and-forth banter concerning how previous Court rulings bind the Court or do not bind the Court, what really is at stake is whether to uphold the most basic and fundamental of all rights, the right upon which all other rights are based.

Believe this much: the incisive Q-and-A between justices and lawyers so closely and minutely analyzed by the press and commentators is just for show.  Not a single justice will change his vote based on answers they receive from lawyers and interested parties.  But it makes good political theater and serves as some mollification for the losing side afterward, giving the impression their arguments were seriously considered.

The reality is that these nine justices understand that the right to life is the overriding issue in the two abortion cases before the court.  Nevertheless, about half, maybe more, of the nine justices won't rule based on that undeniable truth.  Politics will prevail, whichever way the court rules.

We are a political people, who institute laws reflecting political values.  Those values, as history so painfully documents, don't always conform to truth or absolute rights.

You'll get no prediction on outcome from yours truly.  As a journalist, I've covered politics for half a century.  My confidence in political decisions is jaded, to say the least.

But my deepest desire is that abortion be outlawed in our land because it means the unquestioned denial of life to the baby murdered in his own mother's womb.

Any faux "right" that pretends to trump the right to life is just a bad lie, transparently so.  But in politics, bad lies have lives of their own.  They surface in legislative disgraces such as denying the humanity of people because of their skin color.  They impose mandates that override personal choice to force vaccination against people's will, despite known horrendous health effects including heart attacks, strokes, and death.

In our fallen world, attempting to get such decisions "right" almost always instead settles for getting more votes than the other side.  That's a purely political act.  And that's what will happen at the Supreme Court, where the majority swing votes will almost certainly be cast for political considerations.

That's because any nonpolitical decision is, as mentioned above, obviously an open and shut case.  No woman's secondary "right" to choose, or pretended "right" to privacy, or even genuine "right" to bodily autonomy can overrule another person's right to life.  The claim that "you must die because I demand such and such a 'right'" is barbaric on its face.

Anyone who says otherwise undermines the only indisputable truth: one must be alive to claim any rights; therefore, the right to life precedes and takes priority over all other claims to rights, real or imagined.

Mark Landsbaum knew instantly what evil he had committed when after arranging an abortion for his girlfriend half a century ago, he asked the nurse, "What was it?"  The instant she answered, "A boy," Landsbaum realized he had murdered his first son.  Today, Landsbaum is a Christian retired journalist, a husband, father, grandfather, and Dodgers fan.  He can be reached at

Image: Thomas Hawk.

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