By KEVIN MCCABE
“The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed. The legislature shall implement this section.” — Alaska Constitution.
The Alaska Constitution does not guarantee a single “person” the right to privacy; rather it guarantees the People, in aggregate, the right to privacy. It also says, “The legislature shall implement this section.”
In Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart asked pro-abortion attorney Sarah Weddington, “If it were established that an unborn fetus is a person within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, you would have an almost impossible case here, would you not?” Weddington replied, “I would have a very difficult case.” Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in the majority decision: “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.”
One group of Americans exists for which being human is not enough to be protected by law and the right to privacy: Pre-born children.
If the pre-born child was legally defined as a person, abortion would be a violation of the 14th Amendment:
“….No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
In United States v. Cruikshank, justices wrote: “The rights of life and personal liberty are natural rights of man. ‘To secure these rights,’ says the Declaration of Independence, ‘governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.’ The very highest duty of the States, when they entered into the Union under the Constitution, was to protect all persons within their boundaries in the enjoyment of these ‘unalienable rights with which they were endowed by their Creator.’ Sovereignty, for this purpose, rests alone with the States.”
Every person’s right to life must be protected by the State regardless of age, level of dependency, citizenship, or viability. The right to life is a natural right granted by the Creator and therefore unable to be alienated by laws of the state.
That this right is to be protected for “the people” within the state of Alaska indicates protection must not be denied to any human — even the pre-born.
Likewise, it would be unlawful to have a viability test to determine whether a person’s life is worthy of protection. The Alaska Constitution says every human’s right to life is to be protected, without exception.
In Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court wrote the unborn child is a living individual, separate and distinct from the mother. In this 2007 decision, the Court did not consider the preborn child as merely a part of the mother’s body.
In Bonbrest v. Kotz, Justice McGuire stated: “From the viewpoint of the civil law and the law of property, a child en ventre sa mere is not only regarded as human being, but as such from the moment of conception—which it is in fact.”
“En ventre sa mere” means “in the mother’s womb,” and is usually used while referring to that child’s rights.
In the Supreme Court case, Marbury vs. Madison, the court wrote: “The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws, whenever he receives an injury… The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws, and not of men. It will certainly cease to deserve this high appellation, if the laws furnish no remedy for the violation of a vested legal right.” That decision cemented the individuality of the pre-born child and guarantees him or her a civil right to claim protection under the law; this includes the right to privacy found in the Alaska Constitution.
In Reed v. Reed, the justices wrote: “The Equal Protection Clause of that amendment [referring to the 14th amendment] does, however, deny to states the power to legislate that different treatment be accorded to persons placed by a statute into different classes on the basis of criteria wholly unrelated to the objective of that statute. A classification must be reasonable, not arbitrary, and must rest upon some ground of difference having a fair and substantial relation to the object of the legislation, so that all persons similarly circumstanced shall be treated alike.”
Under the Constitution, the State doesn’t have authority to deny protection to a single class of individuals, such as preborn children. However, the Alaska Constitution and Alaska statutes grant full protection of the law to all children except those who are aborted. According to Reed v. Reed, this exception is a violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The medical community has long recognized the individual life of the unborn child. The science and experiments of Dr. Theodric Romeyn Beck, found in “Elements of Medical Jurisprudence,” written more than 100 years before Roe v. Wade, illustrate that the pre-born child is a separate human life from the moment of conception.
Scientist Keith Moore wrote, “[The Zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”(Moore, K.L., Ph.d. & T.V.N., The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 1998).
Dr. Horatio R. Storer wrote, “Allowing, then, as must be done, that the ovum does not originate in the uterus; that for a time, however slight, during its passage through the Fallopian tube, its connection with the mother is wholly broken; that its subsequent history after impregnation is one merely of development, its attachment merely for nutrition and shelter – it is not rational to suppose that its total independence, thus once established, becomes again merged into total identity, however temporary.” (Storer, M.D., LL.B., Horatio R., Criminal Abortion, 1868).
Storer’s conclusion is irrefutable: The life of the unborn human begins independent of the mother’s body. Follow the science, it is illogical to conclude that the life of the pre-born human being (which was previously independent of the mother) ceases to exist during the time that he/she is in the womb. In other words, the egg, and the sperm, which are now subdividing are an independent life and do not terminate just because they have attached to the mother for nurturing and support.
When a male sperm meets a female egg, both cease to exist independently, replaced by a living human in the earliest stage of development: conception. This life has separate DNA and is separate from the mother. Every major medical textbook on the subject teaches this.
Strengthening the scientific argument is the practice of in-vitro fertilization, in which a living human being is inserted into the womb for the support of development of the child, rather than for the purpose of obtaining life.
The independent life of the pre-born child is again proven by the fact the pre-born child initiates implantation into the womb. “The mother’s body is entirely passive in the implantation process. It merely responds to the actions taken by the unborn human being.” (Schauf, M.D., Adam, The Growth of the Placenta, American Gynecology, 1903).
Recent scientific and medical implantation of pre-born, and subsequent birth of children, who developed outside their biological mother’s womb, legitimizes the claim that the pre-born are independent lives. If being pregnant was only a function of the woman’s reproduction organs, then implanting, carrying to term, and successful birth would be impossible outside of the womb. That we can do this in surrogates demonstrates that the pre-born child is not just a product of the woman’s reproductive system, but is an independent, living human.
There is no such thing as “dark.” You cannot flip a switch and have dark. Instead, we flip a switch and have light; Dark is the absence of light.
Life is defined as the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter. We know that “life” includes the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change.
Much like “dark,” death is defined in many dictionaries as the absence of life. A fetus who dies in the womb, via a miscarriage or other means, would have to have been recognized to be alive, or a living person or human being, before it can actually “die” in the womb.
Finally, our Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Throughout the years, courts have set precedence that the word “men,” includes all of humanity: people of color, all races and nationalities, as well as both genders.
Isn’t it time we define “persons” for the purpose of our Constitution? It is time to follow the science, open our eyes and hearts and recognize the personhood of the pre-born. It is time to fix our Constitution and statutes.
Rep. Kevin McCabe serves in the House of Representatives for Big Lake.