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Monday, June 17th, 2019Last Update: Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 11:03:32 AM

Roe v. Wade: Comply or Defy?

By: John Michener

January 22 marked forty-four years since the Supreme Court of the United States (the Court) published its infamous Roe v. Wade opinion, in which justices said that the unborn are merely “the potentiality of human life,” and that abortion is “primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician.” Were those justices in 1973 right or wrong? Is abortion healthcare, or is it a crime?

Over the next twenty years, six new justices were appointed by three different Republican Presidents, with the result that eight of the nine justices on the Court had been appointed by pro-life Republicans. In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the new justices had an opportunity to reverse Roe v. Wade, but instead they went even further into darkness by barring a State from placing “a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.” This opinion has led to the demise of hundreds of laws across the union which were designed to prevent certain abortions. Were those justices in 1992 right or wrong? Is abortion healthcare, or is it a crime?

How officials answer these questions should determine how they respond to those Court opinions. Now, for the record, the justices were absolutely, unequivocally, objectively, demonstrably WRONG, both morally and legally.

Scientifically, it is a fact that abortion kills a whole, unique, living member of the Homo sapiens community. No biology text disagrees, and even an atheist must admit these facts. Furthermore, these unborn victims are innocent, which makes the act of abortion morally wrong. Therefore, abortion is not medical care; it is murder.

The justices were legally wrong, as well. Abortion is clearly a civil law matter. Every State had criminalized abortion long before Roe v. Wade. For example, according to Oklahoma § 21-861, from early statehood, abortion is a “felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary.” The management and administration of civil (i.e. criminal) law was never granted to the federal government by the States in the enumerated powers of the Constitution of the United States, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution clarify and affirm this fact. In hearing Roe v. Wade, a State criminal case, the justices actually usurped authority by acting outside of their jurisdiction.

If that were not bad enough, the justices directly violated the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution: “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” Again, abortion is not medical care; it is murder.

So the justices of the Court were wrong. They nullified Oklahoma law, and they violated the Constitution of the United States.

Just before Thanksgiving, Oklahoma State Senators and Representatives filed their Loyalty Oaths with the Secretary of State. Every member swore: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America and the Constitution and the laws of the State of Oklahoma, and that I will faithfully discharge, according to the best of my ability, the duties of my office…”

These oaths are solemn promises to God and to the citizens of Oklahoma. If our officials were to be faithful to their oaths, they would seriously fight the Court’s obvious breach of Oklahoma law and the U.S. Constitution. They would not comply with the Court; they would defy the Court. Instead, while a majority of legislators say they believe the Court was wrong, they repeatedly act as if it were right.

Under Nazi rule, the German church was told it must exclude ethnically Jewish Christians from the church. Many church leaders at the time decided to go along with the decree, reasoning that they should put up with it for the sake of the weaker believers. One pastor argued to Dietrich Bonhoeffer that they should join the German Christians in order to work against them from within. Bonhoeffer answered, “If you board the wrong train it is no use running along the corridor in the opposite direction.”

Similarly, when it comes to stopping the evil of abortion, our executives and legislators have boarded the wrong train. Thus far, every official act taken by our state officials attempting to limit abortion has been an act of obeisance to the faulty opinions of justices, in agreement with their guidance that our State can only regulate medical care, not stop a crime. Every time the governor’s and legislature’s action or inaction agrees with the Court’s opinion on abortion, our officials prove that their swearing-in is the State’s largest organized exercise of mass perjury.

Our founders believed that if they separated governing power laterally among branches of government and vertically from States down to the feds, each jurisdiction would fight the others to jealously protect its own power, thereby protecting the people from tyranny. But something else happened instead. Each power structure settled into a balance with the others, which has allowed each official to shift blame to another office. In other words, each office holder has only two jobs: Job number one is to stay in power. Job number two is to exercise official duties, unless it conflicts with job number one.

Since justices are not elected or accountable to anyone, it is easy for legislators and executives to say to their constituents, I’m with you guys, but unfortunately, it’s all up to the courts, and we have to wait for them to change their minds. Or, it’s all up to the federal government; there is nothing we can do. By responding this way, State executives and legislators do not have to exercise their duties, which would put their power and reelection at risk.

I was recently at a luncheon when a former legislator told the whole table that our weekly OCPAC updates were “entertaining.” I know he meant well, but his statement is another indication that many officials take their duties too lightly. Most of our updates, especially one like this, are primarily instructive, truthful, and prophetic. Entertainment is sometimes a byproduct, but to view them as primarily entertaining is like viewing the Loyalty Oath of officials as nothing more than an archaic tradition, a mere formality to be filed and forgotten. It is time for us to take promises to God and each other seriously. Officials who violate their oaths are guilty, and they invite judgment upon themselves and their jurisdictions.

The people of Oklahoma are beginning to see through the lies and deceit of so many of our officials who call themselves pro-life. The Oklahoma Legislature itself is beginning to move in the right direction as more legislators understand the truth outlined here. At last, we are seeing resolutions and bills proposed that are principled. Some, at least, are beginning to act in accordance with their oaths. Perhaps one day soon we will see the bold leadership and exercise of duty which will treat abortion not as medical care, but murder.

John Michener is the Director of Oklahomans United for Life (OUL) and the President of Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC).

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