God Bless Alabama

By | 2019-05-20T17:56:26-07:00 May 20th, 2019|
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Each one of the more than 50 million abortions committed in the United States since the Supreme Court’s abysmal decision in Roe v. Wade (1973) has destroyed a unique human being. Your brother or sister, a potential spouse or best friend—every one of them was sacrificed for profit and pleasure. Those tiny human persons were, as the Declaration of Independence recognizes, “created equal” and endowed—just like you or me—with the inalienable right to life.

In other words, human beings, no matter how small, have the right to life simply because they are human. Period. This isn’t difficult, but people have all sorts of reasons to rationalize their sins.

We saw this 150 years ago, when a powerful faction vehemently insisted that a certain class of human beings didn’t have the same inalienable right to liberty as others do because of the color of their skin. They propped up and expanded a deeply unjust system of domination because it redounded to their private (economic) advantage.

Today, some crusade just as stridently to deny to others the most basic right of all, the right to life, because it benefits them. Whether wittingly or unwittingly, out of a sense of expediency or because of genuine conviction, many of our fellow Americans are fighting tooth and nail to prevent us from smashing to bits a nationwide mill of human death.

To have denied liberty to some was immoral then, and it’s immoral now to deny to some the right to life.

For decades, the pro-life movement has taken an incrementalist approach to achieve its goal of outlawing abortion, opting for mere peripheral attacks on the core holdings of Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)—which together teach that women have a constitutional “right” to abort their unborn children, a “right” that’s hidden somewhere, we’re told, in the 14th Amendment. (Did you know pigs can fly, too?)

The movement’s modus operandi up to now has been tepid at best: some hospital admitting privileges requirements here, other “health and safety” standards there, maybe a waiting period, too. And if lawmakers were feeling really bold, they’d make women wait 72 hours—rather than a mere 24—before they could contract with a hitman to kill their tiny, defenseless child.

What bravery!

This was an understandable posture given the composition of the Supreme Court pre-2018, before Brett Kavanaugh was elevated to replace the now-retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. But it’s important to be clear: Such legislative tinkering was not and never could be a true solution to a deeply rooted culture of death because it wasn’t a fundamental, root-and-branch, burn-it-down-and-salt-the-earth challenge to a deeply wicked system powered by a vision of human inequality.

Children have been slaughtered by the thousands on a daily basis, and for the past 40-odd years, the apex of legislative courage has been to accept as legitimate what are in reality ridiculous pro-abortion euphemisms like “reproductive rights” and “abortion is healthcare”—and then to require that Planned Parenthood death chambers’hallways be wide enough to accommodate a gurney.

Like fools, we’ve thrown tiny pebbles at Moloch and declared victory.

No more.

The pro-life movement has rightly decided that now’s the time to play for keeps. It’s been emboldened both by the most conservative Supreme Court in more than 80 years and the Trump Administration’s solid commitment to life—not to mention revolted by the ghoulish, rabidly pro-abortion legislation churned out by states like New York and Virginia, all in the Orwellian name of “women’s rights.”

It’s begun, at last, to take seriously the idea that no unborn child should be murdered in cold blood for no reason other than that their mothers don’t want them, backing up its belief in radical human moral equality with the force of law.

Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, and Missouri have all recently passed heartbeat bills, and Arkansas and Utah now ban abortion after 18 weeks (Iowa’s similar law was struck down by one of its state courts).

But Alabama has shown the most courage, and God bless ’em. On May 15, the legislature passed and Governor Kate Ivey signed the “Alabama Human Life Protection Act,” a law that makes it a felony to commit an abortion or attempt to do so from the moment of conception; abortionists who successfully execute an unborn child face 99 years in prison, and attempts carry a 10-year penalty. There are no exceptions for rape or incest—but the law does have exemptions “to avoid a serious health risk to the [. . .] mother,” if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly,” and if the woman has an ectopic pregnancy.

No more beating around the bush. No more defensive crouch. No more empty words.

Folks, this isn’t your parents’ pro-life movement, and we aren’t in Kansas anymore, either. Thank God.

Alabama teaches us how to take the Declaration and the Constitution seriously. The political branches were guided by natural law principles regarding human life and self-government, which is why they, not the courts, acted to rectify an injustice of mind-boggling scale—the legislature found that the number of children killed by abortions in the United States since 1973 was “more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined.”

Contrast that with what happened in Kansas a few weeks ago. There, the state supreme court, in an historically illiterate and philosophically sophomoric 6-1 opinion, held that section one of the Kansas Constitution protects a woman’s “right” to obtain an abortion throughout her entire pregnancy.

In Kansas, both the Declaration and Constitution were trampled underfoot: A handful of hubristic lawyers decided to give us Roe redux and play-act philosopher kings, continuing a long tradition of judicial supremacy that stems all the way back to Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).

Kansas is what America looks like when its philosophical and constitutional traditions and practices are spurned and despised. Alabama, conversely, is what America looks like when our founding is taken seriously.

I know where I want to live, and which state I want America to resemble. Godspeed, Alabama.

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About the Author:

Deion A. Kathawa
Deion A. Kathawa is a Mt. Vernon Fellow of the Center for American Greatness, a J.D. candidate at Notre Dame Law School, and a graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.