I’ve taken some time to think through Dobbs, and this is where I’m at…
Positives and opportunities
I am heartened by the implication of overturning Roe vs. Wade. It will lead to fewer infanticides, a greater servile fear of the magistrate among the unregenerate, outward constraints against fornication, and so on.
I think that those celebrating Dobbs are doing so, on the whole, because they are truly relieved that
- infanticide is no longer considered a constitutional right, and,
some states will take measures against infanticide.
- It is a delight to see such happen, and places us in a better position than the one in which we were in.
Roe vs Wade has been a constant grief for many righteous folk. It is a modern day golden calf of the antichristian Left, and it is great to see it fall. I have no sympathy for those mourning its passing.
Christians seeking to be compassionate and sensitive ought to consider the children still under threat of being killed, rather than sympathizing with those seeking to kill such children.
The moral benefit from the Dobbs decision will come from state legislators outlawing infanticide, rather than from justices permitting states to choose to whether to do so.
Constitutional right to life
The Dobbs ruling has exposed the constitutional “case” for infanticide as extraordinarily weak. It was based on a right to privacy according to the 5th and 14th amendments.
However, the 9th Amendment also states:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.9th Amendment, U.S. Constitution
In other words, the Constitution acknowledges rights not explicitly set forth within it. The right to life is one such right and we see it introduced not only in the first paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.Declaration of Independence, 1776
But also in the very same amendments which Roe V. Wade’s justices used to justify infanticide.
The very same 14th Amendment used to support infanticide actually teaches against it. Section 1 states:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United 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.14th Amendment, Section 1, U.S. Constitution (emphasis added)
The right to live is the most basic right of the Second Table of God’s Law that a nation can reasonably protect. In utero infanticide, abortion, is a deprivation of the preborn person’s right to life and liberty without due process of law.
Simply put: The right to live trumps the right to privacy.
The 4th Amendment affirms the right of people to be secure in their persons and houses against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…4th Amendment, U.S. Constitution
Yet, in utero infanticide is an unreasonable seizure of a person, and deprives infants of their 4th Amendment right to be secure.
A victory, but injustice remains
When the Supreme Court turned abortion legislation over to the states, it withheld making the constitutional case for the universal rights of the unborn in the USA. Perhaps this was not within the scope of its decision; perhaps this kind of ruling could take place at another time. We can hope and pray that it will.
This said, it still appears grossly unjust that the rights of the unborn are at the whim of state legislators. An infant may be slaughtered in California, but spared in Oklahoma (maybe), and so on. If it is beyond the power of the Supreme Court to define when life begins, and judge accordingly, then we are faced with a very grave issue. The parallel with the one justice who would not define what a woman is, because she is not a biologist, seems hard to miss.
It ought to alarm us still, even in an anti-abortion state, a mother can simply take a flight to another state — paid for by her employer — to kill her child, and neither the woman nor the employer will face any consequences. Infanticide is still an option to those who can spare a weekend or time off work and a few inconveniences.
The Gospel is the answer
After the initial euphoria subsides (and contra the Gospel Coalition, this euphoria is not evil), let us press on with the goal of making Christ known, defending the innocent, and not forgetting that even those who murder their infants may find forgiveness in Christ, should they repent and believe the gospel.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.Isaiah 1:18 KJV