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Issue 06 – Corpus Christi 2021


Abortion is Already Illegal

On the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.


Established wisdom tells us that even if the Supreme Court reversed course on abortion, each state would be allowed to decide whether or not it should be permitted. But is that really true? Does the Constitution really have nothing to say about whether the child in the womb should be protected? For the first time in more than a decade, that question is now squarely before the high court.

During initial arguments for Roe v. Wade, Texas urged that “the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.” That amendment begins: “No State shall . . . 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.” The Supreme Court rejected Texas’s argument and ruled “that the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.” But Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion, nevertheless made an important admission. If prenatal “personhood is established,” he wrote, the case for abortion “collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment.”

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About the author

Josh Craddock