Saving the most innocent

Don Norvell

When I first learned about abortion during my freshman year of high school, I became pro-choice to its greatest extreme without thinking. My senior year of high school, I learned about partial-birth abortion and began to re-examine my position. I was still pro-choice but favored restrictions during the third trimester.

On June 24, 2004, my first nephew was born. Ever since I held him for the first time, the idea that he could have been murdered without any legal recourse nearly gives me an ulcer. And so, I decided to read the Supreme Court’s opinion for Roe v. Wade to figure out what the hell the Court was thinking.

“When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus (as to when life begins), the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

As far as the Court could determine, the beginning of life was unknown; therefore, the Court defaulted to precedent. Since there was no precedent establishing that life begins prior to live birth, the Court ruled in Roe’s favor. Considering the Court consists of lawyers, not scientists, I must admit with greatest reluctance that this decision is reasonable.

However, by admitting its ruling is based upon incomplete knowledge, the Court reserves the authority to re-examine the issue. If future litigants prove life begins prior to birth, the Court has the power and the duty to overturn Roe, “for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the (Fourteenth) Amendment. The appellant (Roe) conceded as much on reargument.”

The missing information is that medicine is applied biology; therefore, the lack of consensus among doctors is superseded by the teachings of fundamental biology. Fundamental biology defines a living thing as any thing that experiences the processes of reproduction and metabolism.

Reproduction encompasses growth, i.e., reproduction of the constituent cells. To claim otherwise would mean that life does not begin until puberty.

In order to reproduce, the fetus must intake nutrients through the placenta, use those nutrients to replicate DNA and other components of the cells and expel waste products back through the placenta. That’s metabolism.

Since a fetus conceived by humans obviously has human DNA, the fetus is not only a living thing but a living person, and no person can be deprived “of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” (Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments).

It is the proper role of government to prevent arbitrary abortions. Children in the womb are entitled to due process protections to ensure that abortions only occur under such extreme situations as rape, incest, tubal pregnancies and other clear and present dangers to the mother.

Roe v. Wade has overturned itself!

Don Norvell is a physics graduate assistant and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].