North Dakota pits the right to choose against the right to vote
North Dakota is making strides toward protecting the unborn, as a state personhood amendment defining life as beginning at conception clears the first major hurdle to becoming law. Reuters reports:
The state senate passed the measure 26 to 21. If the Republican-majority House goes along, as expected, it will be placed on the ballot for consideration by North Dakota voters in November 2014. Proponents seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
“This amendment is intended to present a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” said state senator Margaret Sitte, a Bismarck Republican who is the bill’s sponsor, referring to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. “By passage of this amendment, the people of North Dakota are asking government to recognize what science already defined.”
Obviously, many stars would have to align before declaring victory, but victory would mark tremendous progress for the rights of our children, for the integrity of our Constitution, and for the right of the states and the people to self-govern rather than submit to the immutable whims of the judiciary.
Pro-lifers would naturally welcome states regaining their right to vote on abortion for themselves, though most of us see it as a temporary fix until we attain full federal protection for the unborn. That’s because we recognize that federalism (the division of federal and state authority) works only when those hurt by a law can escape it by moving somewhere more to their liking, which the unborn can’t.
Just as naturally, pro-aborts oppose the development because they don’t want to give up one ounce of power over the lives of their children. We’ve gone over why that is, and why it’s so freakishly wrong, ad nauseam. Ironically, though, because they recognize no helpless, immobile victim, they lack a comparably compelling basis for not leaving abortion a state matter.
Why can’t pro-aborts accept a system under which they fight for abortion “rights” at their states’ ballot boxes, and if they lose, those who absolutely insist on the choice to kill their babies move to a state that better reflects their values? Why do they insist on rigging the game with a judicially imposed buffer that honest scholars even on their own side can’t justify?
Indeed, conservatives have no problem accepting that federalism doesn’t always go their way. As much as we oppose ObamaCare, we’re not interested in forbidding state governments from experimenting with similar policies. Despite our distaste for drug legalization, there’s a growing consensus on the right that it’s not a federal issue and that state governments should be free to set their own drug laws. And for all our objections to excessive taxes and regulation, you don’t see any of us trying to override state judgment on such matters via Congress or the courts.
We understand Madison’s teaching that the “powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined,” while those “which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” We value the states’ role as laboratories of democracy, generally free to govern according to their particular values and experiences, their successes and failures an example to their neighbors. And again, we know that abortion trumps federalism only because the unborn child cannot protect his or her rights by changing states. The pregnant abortion-seeker can.
Pro-aborts have been hiding behind the Supreme Court’s robes for a long time, but it can’t hold forever. How about seeing what happens in a fair fight?