The Lies and Fallacies Beneath Roe v. Wade

[Introductory note: Back in 2003, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies at Baylor University, wrote a full-on expose of the Supreme Court’s supremely flawed reasoning in Roe v. Wade, entitled, “The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Abortion Law.” After reading and notating the paper, I am offering a seven-part series outlining his main arguments with further commentary. I’m no law expert, but a simple course in logic (or understanding the basic logical fallacies) is all we need to see the lies beneath the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade.]

The Fear of the Lord and the Facts of Abortion

Long ago, the fear of the Lord and good sense told me that US abortion law was on shaky ground at best. Even middle schoolers – yes, twelve-year-olds – know it’s wrong to kill an unborn child. How is it that the grown-ups are so much smarter and get it wrong? Because we as a country no longer fear the Lord.

To prove the shaky ground is actually no ground at all (and illustrate the fact that our country no longer fears the Lord), Francis Beckwith has done us all a service. His 2003 paper, “The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and Abortion Law” is a logical expose of the Supreme Court’s fallacious, misleading logic and outright lies in interpreting constitutional law.

That alone is enough to read the entire 36-page essay, but here’s a taste of Beckwith’s darkness-exposing analysis:

The current law in the United States, except for in a few states, does not restrict a woman from procuring an abortion for practically any reason she deems fit during the entire nine months of pregnancy. That may come as quite a shock to many readers, but that is in fact the state of the current law (p.38).

Beckwith uses the same command of current and past abortion law to untangle several gnarled issues, outlined below:

I. What the Court Actually Concluded in Roe

In this section, Beckwith quotes the Roe decision extensively and exposes Justice Harry Blackmun’s argument piece by piece:

  • “Therefore, Roe does nothing to prevent a state from allowing unrestricted abortions for the entire nine months of pregnancy,” (p.39).
  • “Thus, reproductive liberty, according to this reading of Roe, should be seen as a limited freedom established within the nexus of three parties: the pregnant woman, the unborn, and the state. The woman’s liberty trumps both the value of the unborn and the interests of the state except when the unborn reaches viability,” (p.39).
  • “[Justice Blackmun’s] framework has resulted in abortion on demand,” (p.39).
  • “Blackmun’s choice of viability as the point at which the state has a compelling interest in protecting prenatal life is based on a fallacious argument,” (p.40).
  • “The Supreme Court so broadly defined health in  Roe’s companion decision, Doe v. Bolton (1973), that
    for all intents and purposes, Roe allows for abortion on demand. In Bolton, the Court ruled that health must be taken in its broadest possible medical context and must be defined ‘in light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial,  and  the  woman’s  age—relevant  to  the  well  being  of  the  patient’ because ‘[a]ll these factors relate to health,’ ” (p.40).
  • The 1983 U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee concluded the same, stating that that “no significant legal barriers of any kind whatsoever exist today in the  United States for a woman to obtain an abortion for any reason during any stage of her pregnancy,” (p.40).
  • Furthermore, the Court (as Gosnell and Planned Parenthood events have proven) left the interpretation of the viability of the fetus open to mean whatever “meaningful life” may mean, determined “exclusively by the pregnant woman,” (p.42).

In other words, because Blackmun did little to protect the rights of the unborn over against the rights of an abortion-hungry mother, his regime has (rather logically) resulted in abortion-on-demand as the modern status quo.

Next time, we’ll dive into part 2, “How the Court Found a Right to Abortion,” and it’s really more like they invented it.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

2 Responses to The Lies and Fallacies Beneath Roe v. Wade

  1. Pingback: Is the Unborn a 14th Amendment Person? | Your Cross on My Back

  2. Pingback: Legal Principles Have Universal Applications | Your Cross on My Back

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