Viable unborn children can live without their mothers — our Constitution protects them

Perhaps it is time for the United States Supreme Court to recognize and protect the humanity of another category of dehumanized individuals, as it did not long ago for blacks and women in America.
Re-humanization must take place for unborn humans, if not for everyone, then at least for those who no longer need their mother's body to feed themselves. Certainly, the same constitution that gave women the basic right to abort non-viable unborn children can guarantee viable people life and freedom in the womb.
Regardless of whether Congress passed the 1973 Roe v. Wade codified or expanded the bank of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett's affirmation will likely keep abortion, particularly subsequent abortion, on the High Court's radar. In 2016 she said:
"I don't think the core case, Roes Kern, is that women have the right to abortion, I don't think that would change. But I think the question of whether people can get abortions very late, you know, how many Restrictions that may apply to clinics will change in my opinion. "
Early or late abortions
Barrett is in sync with most Americans on this subject. The majority are in favor of a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy in the first few weeks of pregnancy, but the majority are opposed to elective later abortion, abortions performed on viable unborn babies for health reasons. However, many states, including New York, Maryland, and Maine, allow post-viability abortions with legally vague, undefined health exceptions.
Protesters on June 29, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
The number of abortions in unborn children at or near viability is not infinitesimal. According to reports, around 10,000 to 15,000 such abortions occur in the US after 20 weeks per year. The main known reasons for subsequent abortions are not fetal abnormalities or risks to the physical life of women. And some studies have found that live births are actually safer for women than subsequent abortions.
This undoubtedly applies to the youngest affected person, regardless of gestational age at the time of termination. Science shows that the life of the fetus is a biological human life and that older fetuses are able to live outside of the womb, separate from their mother, namely viable humans in the womb.
Supreme Court Candidate: Like Amy Coney Barrett, I am a professional woman criticized for my large Catholic family.
Yes, Roe established an almost unrestricted right for women to have abortions in front of viable fetuses under the due process clause of the Constitution, but this did not include termination of viable unborn children. Overturning Roe would not make any state law illegal allowing elective abortion after viability, and Roe's codification would not legalize it.
Rather, Roe allows states to ban abortions based on viability other than life and health. What constitutes the parameters of health exemptions becomes in the case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. V. Casey from 1992 and is narrowly written. But it's often easier to hide behind vague shadows than to be simple and honest, especially when catering to specific interests. Perhaps this is why state laws fail to clarify the specific health reasons women may end the lives of their viable fetuses.
Protection of the constitution for all life
How could the Supreme Court change US abortion law regarding very late abortions if the Senate upholds Judge Barrett? The Supreme Court has never recognized a constitutional right to life or liberty for an unborn child. However, a Supreme Court with Barrett on the bench could just acknowledge the simple text of the constitutional amendments and advance the science, as Senator Kamala Harris asked during recent confirmation hearings related to climate change.
With regard to the viable unborn child, only the rights to life and liberty under the 5th and 14th amendments could prevent Congress and any state from legally regulating their electoral destruction.
Barrett says she takes a textual, originalist approach to interpreting the Constitution, much like former Judge Antonin Scalia. "In English, that means that I interpret the Constitution as law, that I interpret its text as text, and that it has the meaning it had at the time people ratified it." Both the text and the original intent of the words of the 5th and 14th amendments support a right to life for a viable unborn human life, and perhaps even a viable unborn one.
Some scholars claim that the drafters of the constitution intended "to protect all living, individual members of humanity ... in certain core human rights, including the right to life and equal protection of the law". The pro-life feminist Frederica Mathewes-Green sums up the principle: "Any society that turns mother and child into enemies slows down suicide."
Amy Coney Barrett Nomination: Why the Senate Rightly Is Driving the Amy Coney Barrett Nomination
The deepest question is really whether our constitutional guarantees of life and liberty are so comprehensive that they encompass a most vulnerable minority in America today - womb children who can survive outside the body of women. In the words of M.K. Gandhi: "If we want to achieve real peace in the world, we have to start with the children."
Michele Sterlace is the Executive Director of Feminists Choosing Life in New York, and Catherine Glenn Foster is President and CEO of Americans United for Life.
You can read various opinions from our Board of Contributors and other authors on the Opinion home page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily opinion newsletter. To reply to a column, send a comment to letters@usatoday.com.
This article originally appeared in TODAY in the US: Amy Coney Barrett, Abortion: Viable Fetuses Are Legal

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