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Local laws and freedom(abortion)

    As in the case of slavery, the high court has refrained from committing itself on deciding the Constitutionality of abortion. They have dropped it back to the states. The same court which made this ruling also ruled that capitol punishment was unconstitutional because it was cruel and unusual. A more conservative Supreme Court, latter reversed this ruling, but for a while there, this country would allow the death of unborn children, but not the death of dangerous, convicted criminals. This is an example of liberalism at it's purest and most self satisfied. In many ways the abortion issue is disturbingly similar to what the slavery issue had been a century earlier. Both issues have had an extremely polarizing effect on the nation, both had been decided on a local rather than a national level, and both issues use the same arguments. As with the negro slaves of over a hundred years ago, it is being said that these unborn children are not children at all; they are not even human. As with the black slaves, a dehumanizing term has been coined to try to minimize sympathy for the victims. Blacks were, as we all know, referred to as niggers; an unborn baby is called a fetus. Where it might be difficult for us to condone the bondage and mistreatment of a fellow human being, it does not seem to be quite as bad to own a nigger. Where it might give people pangs of conscience to consider killing babies, it is simply a medical procedure to terminate a fetus. I do not mean for this to be an anti abortion piece (though I am anti abortion), but I do wish to show that once the high court drops the ball on important issues concerning the status of individuals, it is an invitation to disaster. We even have our own versions of John Brown, in the anti abortion bombers, and the killers of several abortionists.
    Unlike the black slaves, the unborn do not have the option of attempting escape, and local law offers no protection at all. In the states where partial birth abortion is illegal, it is a simple enough matter to have the procedure done elsewhere so that, as was the case with slavery after Dredd Scott, there is legitimacy conferred upon it throughout the nation, even where it is banned. It is clear that the ultimate answer to this problem will have to come on a national level, though this is exactly what the High Court decision has made impossible. As long as the court ruling stands, it would not be legal for there to be any federal laws against abortion. At the same time, there is nothing preventing the states from passing their own legislation against the practice. In this situation, abortion is neither banned nor sanctioned in the nation as a whole. What this means, for all practical purposes, is that abortion is legal to citizens of all states, since travel, and commerce between the states is not a problem. So the pro abortion people are in the same position as the pro slavery people of the nineteenth century in that, though they have not achieved legal sanction on a federal level, the ruling of the high court has made this point almost moot.
    Whatever anyone's personal belief on this matter might be, it should be apparent that this issue may only be solved at a national level. Either abortion is wrong, in which case it is improper to be able to flee the restrictions of state law in order to have the procedure done elsewhere, or it is right, in which case it is an injustice to allow individual states to deny their citizens this right. Preventing citizens from going to another state in order to bypass the laws of their own would be as big an invitation to disaster as any I can think of. The possibilities would then exist, as they did over a hundred years ago, for a block on the free transit from state to state, and even on a threat to the unity of the nation itself. There are. of course, many states and localities with differing laws in this nation. There is leagalized gambling in some states, speed limits vary from place to place, and local standards of behavior differ. What is special about issues like slavery and abortion, which make them national issues, is the permanancy and the definition of status. I may go to another state to gamble, and I may drive at 90mph in some states out west, but once I return home, local laws once again apply to me. In the case of abortion and slavery however, the situation is different. Going to another state to have an abortion performed is permanant; the situation does not revert back once the citizen returns to her home state. The same thing held true with slavery, where a slave was still a slave even in a free state because of the sanctity of private property.