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Brock Carlson, Fargo, Published April 03 2013

Letter: Fact, not emotion, should guide us

While reading the arguments against the recent anti-abortion bills passed in Bismarck, I have noticed a recurring trend.

Unsurprisingly, those opposed to these laws base their arguments on emotion rather than intellect. If the legality of these laws is mentioned at all, it is to say with great finality that they are unconstitutional, no questions asked. The legal arguments for abortion on demand, however, are more tenuous than we are often led to believe.

The 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade, and its companion decision Doe v. Bolton, was based on a newly discovered “right to privacy.” In his majority opinion, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote that the newly discovered right was found in the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, which was passed to ensure the rights of newly freed slaves. Blackmun then asserted that he believed that right to privacy encompassed the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

In 1992, the court ruled in Casey v. Planned Parenthood that the right to privacy was invalid, however Roe V. Wade was not overturned so as not to place an “undue burden” on citizens. Essentially the legal basis for abortion on demand and a woman’s “right to choose” is a completely arbitrary decision by seven justices and the fact that many have come to rely on abortion for birth control in place of more responsible means.

The truth is, state challenges of federal mandates are good and necessary to our free society. Without challenges on this issue, the horror of partial-birth abortion, among other methods, would still be legal. Proponents of abortion often say that it should be safe, legal and rare. In my opinion, these laws satisfy those conditions, and I applaud the governor and Legislature for passing them.