In an op-ed for the Daily Wire, theologian and philosopher Marcel Guarnizo addressed the pro-life movement’s apparent confusion over the meaning of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision, which overturned the longstanding Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions.
According to Guarnizo, while the Dobbs decision is “clearly good news and a sign of progress,” it did not confer the right to life for preborn human beings, nor did it halt persons in power from arbitrarily deciding who lives and who dies, as many pro-life leaders and Catholic Church officials have erroneously claimed. Guarnizo points out three key errors in the Dobbs decision, and also discusses the need for greater boldness among lawmakers who claim to be pro-life.
First, Guarnizo notes that despite claims by certain Catholic leaders, Dobbs did not confer any right to life upon the preborn. He writes:
The Dobbs decision states exactly the contrary: “Our opinion is not based on any view about if and when prenatal life is entitled to any of the rights enjoyed after birth.” Here the Court proclaimed that they are not affirming that babies in the womb have any rights, nor did they state when, if at all, they possess such rights or even that their rights are to be perceived from the decision to be equal to the rights enjoyed after being born.
He adds that “Alito and company do not affirm that a right to life exists or that the child in the womb has equal rights to any of us after birth. The decision makes no moral, philosophical or scientific claims about the child’s status or necessary legal protections.”
READ: The right to privacy does not include the right to kill other human beings
Guarnizo secondarily notes that the Dobbs decision actually reinforced the idea that government and/or elected officials may decide who lives and who dies, when it comes to preborn human beings, adding that there is no legitimate right that allows the homicide of certain humans (abortion). He writes (emphasis original) that the Court decision:
… repeatedly stated, “… the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives…” And yet again, promptly forgetting that there is no such thing as an abortion right, they falsely affirmed, “…the people of the various states may evaluate those interests differently. In some states, voters may believe that the abortion right should be even more extensive that the right that Roe and Casey recognized…”
This vacuous mantra of the Dobbs decision again affirms the lethal error that gave us Roe and Casey. The Alito reasoning incorrectly affirms that a rightful authority exists that can decide which innocent babies will live or die…
This, he says, “is contrary to a sound view of reality, a proper understanding of justice, and a sound pro-life creed which holds that no one has the right to sanction the death of the child in the womb – not the Courts, the states, or the people,” but adds that this realization “seems to escape a vast majority in the pro-life movement.”
In the same vein, Live Action News previously noted, “Preborn children deserve protection from homicide, not a passing of the buck from the Supreme Court to state legislators about who regulates which preborn humans are allowed to be murdered at what ages of gestation.”
The problem, Guarnizo describes, is that the pro-life movement has lost sight of its true mission, which should be to eradicate unjust laws that allow for such arbitrary killing. Instead, he says, certain political leaders are creating laws (such as 15-week restrictions) to regulate abortion rather than eliminate it altogether. A simple reading of the 14th Amendment (which states, “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”) disproves the idea that anyone should be regulating the killing of certain human beings, he notes, alluding to the idea that in too many cases, political expediency trumps true justice for preborn human beings.
Live Action News pointed out the same in a June article, writing:
The Court determined that the Constitution does not contain a right to abortion, but failed to state that the 14th Amendment actually prohibits states from denying “the equal protection of the laws” to “any person.” When the Amendment was adopted in 1868, the term “person” was synonymous with the term “human being.” The Amendment was meant to protect all human beings. This would include preborn human beings from the moment of fertilization.
… [Alito wrote]… Indeed, when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted, three-quarters of the States made abortion a crime at all stages of pregnancy.”
It is because of this that it is state laws allowing abortion that are unconstitutional. They deny equal protection to preborn humans and subject them to discriminatory treatment.
Thirdly, the right to life, Guarnizo says, cannot actually be regulated in any logical fashion. “[T]he right to life is metaphysically not like that, because there is no middle ground between life and death,” he writes. “‘Regulating the right to life’ produces the loss of the right for those not covered under the regulation.”
And this is clearly not justice.
Read Guarnizo’s full commentary at the Daily Wire.
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