We Should Encourage Gov. Cuomo’s NY Abortion Rights Amendment

It’s amazing what happens when Republicans have all the levers of federal power in their hands. Blue states suddenly remember we have a Constitution that includes states’ rights and a 10th Amendment. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he plans to codify abortion rights into his state’s constitution.

The Democratic governor announced the plan at a rally supporting Planned Parenthood in Albany, saying that it was important to guarantee abortion rights in the state at a time when they seemed under threat at the federal level.

His proposal seeks to put an amendment on the ballot, which would take several years because two consecutive legislatures would have to approve it before putting the question to voters.

“Let the people decide,” said the governor, “because this is still a democracy and New Yorkers want to protect a woman’s right to choose.”

This signals that the abortion-loving left is scared President Trump may actually appoint enough conservative, originalist SCOTUS Justices during his term to finally overturn Roe v. Wade. It would take more than one Justice, who were unafraid to take on the sanctity of stare decisis in the high court.

I am pro-life. I understand that the emotional and knee-jerk response is to remind Cuomo how the U.S. Constitution supersedes state constitutions. Surely he already knows this.

But that’s not the correct response. The cure for Roe isn’t creating a right in the U.S. Constitution for the unborn to live–it would be nice to dream that, but cultural reality prohibits it. The cure to Roe is overturning the federal government’s right to regulate it in the first place.

As for the facts of abortion, Roe is in sad shape. Science is on the side of pro-lifers. Medicine is on the side of life–fetal pain, heartbeat, and bodily functions all point to the personhood of a fetus, which is nothing more than a word to describe a yet-to-be-born baby human.

Unfortunately for pro-lifers, these facts were discarded, legally-speaking, in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision.

The emphasis on the unborn child completely overlooks the fact that the Court’s rationale for the abortion “right” shifted dramatically in the 1992 Casey decision, where it became a sociological rationale that women need abortion as a backup to failed contraception. Facts about fetal development have no bearing on this sociological rationale.

To truly overturn Roe, the Court will need to find a compelling social reason to restrict abortion as a consequence of failed contraception. Culturally, that’s what it has become–a right to avoid a “mistake” (as former President Obama called it). The people’s right to characterize lifestyles and promote the life of one over another’s “mistake” is basic to democracy.

If New York wants to make convenience for women’s sexual promiscuity a higher moral imperative than the life of a baby, that’s their failing before God. But it only enhances the case that the federal government has no place dictating that right to all 50 states. I say let them do it.

I hope Gov. Cuomo succeeds and ensconces abortion into New York’s constitution. I hope that the SCOTUS then finds states have a right to regulate abortion according to their citizens’ wishes, and eliminates the “penumbras” and “emanations” of the 14th Amendment which the authors never meant to imply or embrace.

When this happens, we’ll find a whole lot of judicial errors requiring reversal and redemption. Eventually, even Obergefell v. Hodges might succumb to federalism.

If New York can codify a woman’s right to kill her baby in utero, then Georgia should be able to codify the right of that baby to live. Georgia (and other states) can also codify the natural and biological rights of people to live with the two chromosome-determined genders inherent in our DNA.

Let the Democrats, and Gov. Cuomo, proclaim federalism from the rooftops. Of course, the next time Democrats own the federal levers of power, they’ll change sides, but while the harvest is ready, we should help them make hay.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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