Slavery and Abortion compared, part 2 – – Repost

[I stumbled across this post from Frank Turek a while back and thought it worth the repost. It’s not as involved as the comparisons I made in my other article comparing slavery and abortion. But this includes a comparison of the cases that helped justify slavery and abortion.]

“Slavery and Abortion: The Justifications Are the Same” by Frank Turek, 22 January 2011.

Today is the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, one the most famous cases in Supreme Court history. As we reflect on 52 million dead since the decision– and are reminded of the horrific reality of abortion by the discovery of the abortuary in Philadelphia (click here if you can stomach reading the grand jury report)– note that Roe has a number of parallels with another famous case, Dred Scott v. Sandford.

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

7 to 2

Slavery is legal

Blacks are not persons

Blacks are the property of their owners (masters)

Abolitionists should not impose morality on the slave owner

Roe v. Wade (1973)

7 to 2

Abortion is legal

Unborn are not persons

Unborn are the property of their owners (mothers)

Pro-lifers should not impose morality on the mother

The truth of the abortion matter is that everyone is seeking to impose morality. While pro-lifers want to impose continued pregnancy on the mother, pro-abortion people are imposing death on the baby whenever an abortion is chosen. Yes, a woman has a right to control her own body, but not if she kills an innocent human being unnecessarily in the process. And we know scientifically that there is a 100% genetic human being in a woman’s womb.

Unlike slavery, which took a war to end, it’s time we peacefully ended this abortion tragedy in America. The right to life is the right to all other rights– if you don’t have life you don’t have anything.

4 thoughts on “Slavery and Abortion compared, part 2 – – Repost

  1. I can find nothing in the Roe decision that calls the preborn property. The decision notes things like these state abortion laws are relatively new, abortion has been generally common and legal and even the Catholic church didn`t think life began at conception until the 1800`s. It finds the criminalization of abortion violates the privacy protection of the constitution.

    1. Fair enough, the “property” point is implied but not necessarily stated. It might be understood within the due process clause since the right to privacy would seem to extend to one’s material and personal property (including one’s household, my wife is “mine” and my pet is “mine” etc.), but that due-process clause would extend deeper in covering one’s own bodily property (i.e., to be in possession of one’s self, in distinction from slavery where someone else owns you).

      Your point is well taken though. I would do well to get a strong sense of property law so as not to leave my case looking judicially inept.

      As for your point about conception in the 1800’s, that point is medically revisable since they did not know when human life began until modern fetology and genetic theory arose. The relevant point about the views on abortion prior to the 1800’s is that they identified the morally relevant break, where human life should be protected, at it’s inception–which then was thought to be at the quickening. As soon as a human life has begun, one is responsible to protect it and avoid killing it or letting it be killed.

  2. Not, it is not implied, it is a terribly biased and flawed interpretation . The Supreme Court did not implicitly accept that the ownership of one human being by another was lawful, a hundred years after the 13 th amendment made this constitutionally illegal. I immediately thought it preposterous that they would, and confirmed that they didn’t in less than a minute. Did you even read the decision?

    1. I’ve been doing more research on Abortion in response to some of the points you raised. Among other things, I have read the Decision by Justice Blackmun. He really distorts the history of abortion, relying very heavily on a discredited source, Cyril Means. For one thing, Blackmun ignores important points in medical history underlying the legal history of abortion, namely, the “quickening” which is felt around the 16-18th week, was, for the ancients till about 1820, the best guess about when human life began. This was the common law view and represented a respect for human life from the moment they thought life began. That was not a pro-choice concession, but a pro-life stronghold. When medicine and science began to identify how sexual reproduction worked and the role of genetics in the mid-19th century, the international popular awareness shifted to a pre-quickening view of life, and the legal codes quickly followed (no pun intended). Thus the 19th century standard quickly became “pro-life,” just as the previous view was, but it just pushed the recognized relevant date back from 16wks to 1day old. Moreover, Means and (subsequently) Blackmun misleadingly represent abortion law as being primarily about the health of the mother over and above the concern for protecting the baby. This is so misrepresentative it had to have been deliberate. Cyril could not have thought that without intentionally cooking the numbers or intentionally ignoring the case history he was claiming to speak for. Meanwhile, Blackmun should have known better.

      With these two tenets of the RvW decision compromised, the conclusion cannot stand. There was already past precedent for treating preborns as having individual human rights, the right to privacy was nowhere explicitly given to the exclusion of another human beings right to life, and the historical case-study does not support but strongly opposes the decision of Roe v. Wade.

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