Ninth-grade winner, archdiocese’s pro-life essay contest - 2018
The Land of the Free
Today in America, we claim to be a free land. Yet, in 1973, our court handed down a decision that has deprived over 58 million innocent people of their most basic and fundamental freedom – the right to life. Roe v. Wade was meant to protect liberty, but it has only wreaked incredible havoc on our American freedom.
A mother’s right to abortion has been based on her right to privacy, implied by the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, there is no indication in the document of a right to abortion, and there was not meant to be.2 According to Professor John Hart Ely, the Dean of Sanford Law School, such a right “is not a constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be”3. Even those who support the decision in Roe v. Wade mostly agree that it is not certain if the abortion is a constitutional right.4
What is certain, however, is that everyone has a right to life. The Declaration of Independence states that “all men are ... endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”5 No matter the argument to the contrary, our founding fathers clearly indicated that everyone has the right to life. No one, regardless of religion, race, gender, or age, is exempt from the words of the Declaration. If we try to make an exception in the case of the unborn, it will be just as easy to exclude another group.6 Throughout history, injustice has thrived wherever some individuals were denied “personhood.” Slavery, the Trail of Tears, the Holocaust, the Japanese Internment, and many other dark pages in history testify to the fact that we cannot exclude one group of people from their rights without putting all of humanity at risk.
True freedom does not allow us to use our rights to deprive others of theirs. It does not allow us to harm or to kill. The men and women who founded our country gave us freedom for us to use for good, not to do whatever we like. We cannot do as Roe v. Wade has done, granting rights not stated in the Constitution at the expense of a right that is. Our country will never be free until our ancestors’ words are realized – all men are created equal, and all have a right to life.
1 Texas Right to Life. 2016. “Ghost Abortions: The Untold Cost of Abortions since Roe v. Wade.” Texas Right to Life, February 10. Accessed March 6, 2018. https://www.texasrightolife.com/ghost-abortions-theuntold-cost-ofabortio...
2 Stark, Paul. 2018. “How Roe v. Wade Subverted the Fourteenth Amendment to Impose Abortion on Demand.” MCCL, January 16. Accessed March 12, 2018 https://www.mccl.org/single-post/2018/01/16/How-Roe-v-Wade - subverted -the-Fourteenth-Amendment
3 Reagan, Ronald. 1983. “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.” Human Life Review. Accessed February 26, 2018. https:/ /www .humanlifereview .com/abortion-and-the-conscience-of-the-nation-ronald-reagan-the-1Othanniversaryof-the-supreme-court-decision-in-roe-v-wade-is-a-good-time-for-us-to-pause-and-reflect-ournationwidepolicy-for-abortion-of
4 Reagan, Ronald. 1983. “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.” Human Life Review.
5 Independence Hall Association. Copyright 1999-2018. “The Declaration of Independence.” US History.org. Accessed March 6, 2018. http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document
6 Reagan, Ronald. 1983. “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.” Human Life Review