Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Roe vs. The Constitution

Cody Hughes

As Americans, we pride ourselves on protecting life, preserving liberty, and securing prosperity for the generations to come. How is this accomplished? It is a multi-faceted process which includes input from a judicial system that interprets laws in light of the U.S. Constitution. Only the most significant issues rise to the highest level of our courts and none has generated more controversy than the Roe vs. Wade United States Supreme Court decision. This court opinion, legalizing abortion, has impacted millions of lives and sparked numerous legal, ethical, medical and scientific debates regarding the definition of life and constitutional interpretation. Although 40 years have passed since Roe v. Wade, the decision still stands and yet, this conflict is far from resolved. In fact, it is a heated argument that grows with each passing year as new scientific discoveries cast additional doubt on the data presented in the original briefing considered by the Court. Because the medical and scientific information used by the justices to arrive at their opinions in Roe v. Wade is unfounded and outdated, legitimate arguments exist for challenging the Roe decision as constitutionally unsound. Current scientific evidence does not support a women's right to abortion on medical grounds. Consequently, the issue should be revisited based upon accurate and up to date medical and scientific evidence about the definition of life and when it begins. In order to establish my position, I will focus on three areas of scientific and medical evidence that debunk the assertions made in Row v. Wade: (1) age of viability; (2) pain threshold; and (3) genetic evidence.

Although the justices cited the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment as the basis of their decision, the majority opinion authored by Justice Harry Blackmun was based upon scientific and medical articles written at that time. In fact, almost half of Blackmun's opinion involved medical legal history. In his own words Blackmun stated, "Our task, of course, is to resolve the issue by constitutional measurement, free of emotion and of predilection. We seek earnestly to do this, and, because we do, we have inquired into, and in this opinion place some emphasis upon, medical and medical-legal history... ." Interestingly enough, the pro-choice advocates provided all nine medical articles (that have since been proven outdated) to the Court and the Court did not cross-examine any expert witnesses on this evidence. A significant portion of the legal opinion authored by the Court was based on these questionable reports which included information about the age of viability of the fetus.

The age of viability is the measuring system used in Row v. Wade to determine the time frame in which a pregnant women can decide to abort her fetus. Viability is used to verify when an infant can live independently outside the womb without life support systems. Blackmun and the pro-choice advocates denied that life begins at conception, but they did set their own standard of when "potential life" can begin. That standard was when a fetus reaches the age of viability. At the time of Roe v. Wade, physicians generally placed viability at 28 weeks gestation but noted this might occur as early as 24 weeks. We now know the age of viability is significantly lower than 28 weeks. According to Daniel G. Batton, MD, Clinical Report, a newborn at 22 weeks gestational age is considered a good candidate for resuscitation, meaning the infant is likely able to maintain life independent of life support. Blackmun's whole framework for non-intervention of the state was based upon his personal understanding of the age of viability, which we now know was based on evidence that has since been proven wrong. Problems with the Roe v. Wade position on viability were acknowledged as recently as 1992 by the U.S. Supreme Court during the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Although the Court came short of overturning Roe v. Wade, it did give more power to the states in regulating first trimester abortions and questioned the credibility of Roe v. Wade as well.
Another problem with the Roe v. Wade decision has to do with the fetus's pain threshold. Pain is an experience unique to living beings. Consequently, most experts would agree that if a fetus can feel pain, then it is living. Yet, this issue was not even addressed during Roe v. Wade. On the contrary, in the majority opinion, Blackmun actually stated, "... the word "person", as used in the 14th Amendment does not include the unborn," Yet evidence shows that fetuses can experience pain. The British Medical Journal put it this way: "Try sticking an infant with a pin and you know what happens. She opens her mouth to cry and also pulls away. Try sticking an 8-week-old human fetus in the palm of his hand. He opens his mouth and pulls his hand away. A more technical description would add that changes in heart rate and fetal movement also suggest that intrauterine manipulations are painful to the fetus." So not only does viability data require a reexamination of the evidence, new information on the pain threshold of a fetus demands it as well.

Changes in our understanding of the age of viability and the age at which a fetus feels pain are important factors in lowering the age at which a fetus can be considered alive, and yet a third piece of evidence moves that age even lower, all the way down to conception. Genetic findings give a considerable support for the pro-life standpoint, so much that it cannot be ignored. Substantial scientific evidence demonstrates that the embryo is genetically distinct from its mother from the moment of conception. This means the embryo is a separate, living entity, even when it is still in its mother's womb. When it comes to DNA testing, the results are astounding. Trained geneticists can easily distinguish a difference between an embryo and the sperm/egg DNA that created it. At the same

time, they cannot distinguish between the DNA of that embryo and the DNA of a fully grown human being. This clearly shows that the embryo, although small, is a living human being. This critical data

was not available at the time of Roe v. Wade and could have had a significant impact on the ruling, showing that life begins at conception, which is much sooner than the majority justices in Roe v. Wade conceded.

From all of this evidence, we see that medically and scientifically, the ruling on Roe v. Wade needs to be revisited and the holding needs to be reconsidered. The U.S. Constitution only played a minimal part in influencing the Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. It's ironic that the justices would use the 14th Amendment as their constitutional foothold when it can be argued that this amendment actually supports the pro-life view; especially, if one takes into consideration the new medical and scientific information that has been discussed related to viability, pain threshold, and genetics. So what is the 14th Amendment really talking about? The 14th Amendment secures constitutional rights for all citizens of the United States regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or creed. In the previous paragraphs, medical evidence has shown that a fetus is a living being. The 14th Amendment says citizens have the right to life, liberty, and ownership of property. This mirrors the Declaration of Independence which says all people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Is there a constitutional right to life? The answer is yes. Is there a constitutional right to take an innocent life? The answer is no. These unborn human beings have this right to life as well. It is our job to defend the defenseless and protect the unborn by heeding our country's founding documents as we rise up to nobly defend life. We can start by overturning Roe v. Wade. There is no constitutional right to abort a living being, a person with their own unique genetic code who can experience many things, including pain associated with a procedure designed to end their lif

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

HE is the reason (Christmas Poem)

It's approaching fast around the bend,
(An annual celebration that will never end)
It's Christmas time again. 

This year, let's take a poetic route,
(Interesting, no doubt)
To see what Christmas is truly about. 

Christmas is not about Santa or fancy lights. 
(Focus on what I am about to write)

We all sin, (Romans 3:23) everyone is bad. 
The penalty is death, (Romans 6:23) but don't be sad. 
This next rythme will make you extremely glad. 

God sent His son. 
(Cost Jesus a ton)
To earth from above. 

He suffered on a tree for you and for me. 
And He gives eternal life to all who believe. 
(JESUS is the key)

This is why the birth of Christ is so important. 
(Without Him there's no salvation)
So please do not ignore it. 

I'm not against tree's, reindeers,
(Or even lights)
I just want to keep the focus on Christ. 

So remember this as you finish reading,
Jesus IS and always will be
The reason for the season. 

By Cody Hughes

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gospel & Basketball

I enjoy the sport of basketball. it keeps you in shape and supplies a lot of fun. More importantly though, through basketball you can learn more about God, and ultimately salvation. Don't believe me? Read on.

Imagine there is a basketball goal on the moon. You and I both have a basketball and are going to try to make a basket on the moon from earth. Now, you might come closer to making a basket on the moon than I. Or vice verses. But the main point is we both would miss the mark. Both of us would miss the basket. This translates into the spiritual realm. The bible says in Romans 3:23: For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. The bible also says in Isaiah 64:6: But we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness's are like filthy rags. The bible says if a person breaks only one commandment, he is guilty of breaking all of them. Thus, all of us are guilty of breaking the law.

In basketball, are the referees always perfect? Of course not! Referee's make many mistakes because they don’t see everything. This translates to the spiritual realm too. God is not like a human referee. He is just which means he is fair. He isn't biased either. If someone breaks a commandment, he says the penalty is death. The bible says in Romans 6:28: For the wages of sin is death. Death is separation from God, and when we die, the eternal place of suffering is called Hell. That is eternal separation from God. The whole point in talking about people being sinners Is to demonstrate a need. We need a savior. We need someone to save us from our sin because we can't do that ourselves. God doesn't want us to go to hell – he wants us to go to heaven which brings me to my next point.
As you may know, God sent his perfect son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross. Why? To pay for our sins. The bible says in Hebrews 9:22: Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Because he was perfect, Jesus provided forgiveness because he shed his blood on the cross. Did we deserve for Christ to die on the cross for our sins? No. We don't deserve it, but the word is Love. He loved us so much that he died on the cross for us. A common question that comes up is can I earn my way to heaven? Can I help out Jesus with my works? Listen to these verses in the bible. It is my favorite two verses in the whole bible: Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. A couple key words here: First, it says salvation is a gift, not of ourselves, and not of works. We can't earn our way to heaven because all our righteousness's are like filthy rags. God did all the work on the cross for us. It is a free gift from him. At christmas time for your work for your presents? of course not. A gift cant be earned. Salvation is a gift. How do you accept this gift? It is accepted through faith in Christ alone as we see in Ephesians. Other words are trust, believe, rely on, have confidence in.

The best way to show or demonstrate that definition is the chair example. You are sitting in the chair. You trust the chair to hold you up. Here is the punch line though: What does the work? You or the chair? That is simple of course. The chair does the work of holding you up, and you just rest in that fact. The same is true with salvation. Jesus did the work on the cross. All you need to do is put you faith in that chair, or Jesus Christ. There are many other verses that repeat this faith process. Faith is used over 200 times in the new testament, and believe is used over 100 times in the new testament. Clearly, this is very important. So to have eternal life in heaven: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith alone in Christ alone for your salvation because of what he did on the cross. I will end with John 3:16: You can say it with me, but actually think about what that verse says. It goes over how God loved the world, how he sent his son to die for us, and how is we believe in him, we can have eternal life. So here it goes: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

That is the gospel plain and simple. It's not rocket science, but It's your choice whether to believe it or not.
- Posted By Cody Hughes Using Blog Press