The Constitution is a marvelous document. Not only are important rights recognized, they’re easy to locate. Free speech? It’s in the 1st Amendment. The right to bear arms? It’s in the 2nd. If you need to kill some time, try finding a right to abortion.
You’ll be looking a while.
Nowhere does the Constitution mention abortion. Oddly, that didn’t stop Justice Harry Blackmun from declaring it a right. In Roe v. Wade’s majority opinion, Blackmun said abortion was part of the larger “right of privacy.” There was just one problem: “The Constitution,” Blackmun admitted, “does not explicitly mention any right of privacy.” Blackmun still managed to find one, though. He just couldn’t say where.
Perhaps it was stashed “in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty.” Or maybe in “the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people.”
Yet despite not knowing exactly where to find it, Blackmun was certain this right was “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” He went on to mention the “detriment” a surprise baby can bring. I’ve gotta say, this looks pretty detrimental to me:
After the amniotic fluid is removed, the abortionist uses a sopher clamp — a grasping instrument with rows of sharp “teeth” — to grasp and pull the baby’s arms and legs, tearing the limbs from the child’s body.
The abortionist continues to grasp intestines, spine, heart, lungs, and any other limbs or body parts. The most difficult part of the procedure is usually finding, grasping and crushing the baby’s head.
After removing pieces of the child’s skull, the abortionist uses a curette to scrape the uterus and remove the placenta and any remaining parts of the baby.
Blackmun’s reasoning might feel a little arbitrary. If so, get used to that feeling. Because not only did the Supreme Court discover a right to abortion, but a federal judge just said you have a duty to pay for it.
Last week, Judge Robert Hinkle granted an injunction to Planned Parenthood (America’s largest abortion chain) preventing Florida from cutting its funding. Why? Because, “under the defunding provision, as a condition of receiving state or local funds for unrelated services, the plaintiffs must stop providing abortions that women are constitutionally entitled to obtain.”
Let’s think about this for a second. Nothing in the Constitution requires the state to subsidize those rights it actually articulates. After all, the 1st Amendment protects freedom of the press, but I’m not entitled to a free laptop. Yet Judge Hinkle thinks Florida has a duty to fund something the Constitution says nothing about. Further, it has to fund Planned Parenthood, an entity that has helped child rapists cover up their crimes.
Hinkle was appointed by President Bill Clinton, and if anything good has come out his ruling it’s a reminder of why judicial appointments matter. The Constitution is a marvelous document; we need judges who respect it.