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ESSAY: Democrats vote down denial of abortions after 20 weeks

By Dr. Harold Pease

Feb. 9, 2018
       To the question, "Do premature U.S. citizens have constitutional rights?", the Senate just voted no.
       The Pain-Capable Unborn Children Protection Act, which would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks, lost in the Senate in late January. A majority (51) of the 100 senators voted for it, but it needed 60 votes to pass.
       Only three Democrats - Sens. Robert P. Casey Jr. (Pa.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Joe Manchin III (W. Va.) - voted yes. but that may
Dr. Harold Pease
Courtesy photo
have been because President Trump won their states in 2016 and they are up for reelection this year.
       Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), voted no with the Democrats.
       There was no question where Trump came down on the issue. “Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence and that is the right to life,” Trump added. “We are protecting the sanctity of life and the family as the foundation of our society.”
       Prior to the vote he said, “There is no reason why this should be a partisan issue, … I hope that my Democratic colleagues will not obstruct the Senate from taking up this bill.”
       Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I'm pleased … to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain.” The Republican-majority House had passed the measure last October, 237 to 189, also on party lines.
       The time frame of 20 was chosen because of medical findings that a baby can survive outside the womb at that age. Most physicians feel that the human body inside does feel pain when aborted then. To some degree, this measure is already in place in 43 states.
       Trump's position on abortion is the strongest of any president since Ronald Reagan, who was the first to defend the unborn using the Declaration or Constitution. Reagan did so in his Proclamation of Personhood, January 14, 1988, when he wrote that the God-given right to life, identified in the Declaration of Independence as an inalienable right, extended to all humans whether born or not yet born, and that the “right to life belongs equally to babies in the womb, babies born handicapped, and the elderly or infirm.” He continued that the right to exist, once existing, is defended in the Constitution under both the 5th and 14th Amendments, each of which declares that “no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law.”
       Article II, Section 1, Clause 8 requires that the President swear an oath “to preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution, and this includes protecting all persons irrespective of their age.
       Reagan ended his proclamation with, “I will take care that the Constitution and laws of the United States are faithfully executed for the protection of America's unborn children. Upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.”
       Since Roe V. Wade, statistics show that we have aborted more than 60 million in the U.S. A review of abortion pictures on the Internet show tiny human body parts separated from the whole body, but these are depictions largely prior to 20 weeks of gestation when a scalpel was used to cut up the body, making it easier to expel.
       To be clear that we are intentionally killing premature humans, the law of the land regarding partial-birth abortion is 18 U.S. Code 1531 which reads: “The term 'partial-birth abortion' means an abortion in which the person performing the abortion-(A) deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother or, in the case of breech presentation any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and (B) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.”
       The breach method is favored as the baby is killed in the womb rather than outside, which feels too much like murder. Although small, it is clearly a human, not just tissue of an unfeeling fetus. And if it has constitutional rights five seconds after birth how could it not have them five seconds before?
       The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are supposed to apply to all including citizens almost born, and Reagan/Trump defining partial birth death as unconstitutional, even evil, is justified. When we finally get justices who use the Constitution as framed, we will protect even the babies. Then the darkness of killing those not fully born will be exposed and removed, and Planned Parenthood will not be secretly selling baby body parts for research.

       Dr. Pease is a specialist on the United States Constitution and its application to current events. He has taught history and political science for more than 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his articles, go to libertyunderfire.org.

(Opinion: General)

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