Pro-life doctor and Congressman Ron Paul recently spoke out on prenatal rights. His strong pro-life stance is due in part to a shocking personal experience: while a resident ob/gyn, he witnessed a failed abortion, and watched as the tiny newborn struggled to breathe. The child, who received no medical attention, didn’t stand a chance. (Jill Stanek, who was a nurse before becoming a famous pro-life blogger, has a similar testimony.)
I applaud Ron Paul for everything he has done for the right to life on a national level. Interestingly, however, he says that abortion should really be a state issue:
He also argues that he is against Roe v. Wade not because it legalized abortion per se but because it nationalized an issue that should be decided at the state level: “I consider it a state-level responsibility to restrain violence against any human being.”
In a way, this makes perfect sense. After all, laws against post-natal murder are enacted at the state level. There is generally no need for federal laws banning murder, assualt, rape, and other forms of violent crime.
The key difference, of course, is that there is no ideology, adopted by nearly half of Americans, which holds that assualt is a constitutional right. Assault is guaranteed to be illegal in every state by popular demand; abortion is not.
When Roe v. Wade is overturned, pro-life advocates are prepared to go to work to protect preborn life state by state. In some states, this will be easy. But other states– I’m thinking primarily of New York and California– are pro-abortion strongholds. This could lead to an unacceptable divide of “life states” and “choice states,” similar to the antebellum free state/slave state divide. History suggests that such variation in human rights from state to state will become untenable. There will be pressure for uniform federal protection of the right to life, perhaps in the form of a constitutional amendment.
What do you think?