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Covid-19 Vaccinations Threaten Roe V Wade and Legal Abortion

Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. (John Stuart Mill, 1867)


There is a temptation to look on and do nothing when events beyond my influence or control transpire in the evening news. I cannot honestly flatter myself to think what I have to say will make much difference. This is not to complain or criticize the people who attend the church that I pastor, as if they do not matter. Far from it. I’m just recognizing that this blog is likely to be read by no more than a hundred to perhaps a few hundred folks and in the grand scheme of America and the world, that is a very tiny percentage. Even some of my better-known colleagues who steer at the helm of churches attended by a hundred times as many people as Calvary Chapel FourteenSix - where I am blessed to serve - will only find themselves able to whisper into the ears of a small fraction of America and the world. Knowing this, it seems so inconsequential to spend any time at all saying “aye, yes or no” about any event in the news. So, the temptation to say nothing, write nothing and just be content to preach a sermon on the weekend lingers.


Yet…if I say nothing, does not evil triumph without much protest?


Recently Texas passed a law restricting abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. A similar law was passed in Mississippi restricting abortions past fifteen weeks gestation. At least the Mississippi law is now scheduled to be argued in front of the Supreme Court soon and many abortion supporters fear that Roe vs. Wade may be overturned. Further howls of indignation and predictable protest roar across every form of media at this thought and some political hacks in congress are getting shrill with calls to pack the court to drown out the voice of conservatives.


What I find ironic is that so many of the same people screaming that abortion should be legal are the same folks hollering from the rooftops that Covid-19 vaccines should be federally mandated. It’s ironic because the entire basis of the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision that legally allowed for abortion in the first place is based – on a right to privacy! So – if advocates succeed in forcing Covid-19 vaccinations, they open the door for a legal precedent to overturn their precious Roe decision. If they succeed in demanding America must “follow the science” they further threaten their own legal Holy Grail supporting legal abortion, but I do not think some folks has stopped long enough to see why.


Let me explain…

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court published their 66-page opinion concerning the case of Ms. Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) versus Texas district attorney Henry Wade. The court found that women have a foundational right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy without excessive government restriction because of an implied right to privacy found in the fifth and fourteenth amendment’s due process sections. The majority justices, on page 154 of their brief explaining their decision, wrote…

We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation. [1]

The issues of when life begins, what is human life, what is a person or, in short, what is the “science” for or against abortion was not used as the basis for this ruling.


In other words, Roe v Wade was not about “following the science.”


In fact, the majority justices punted on even attempting to answer science or life questions. They wrote in the Roe v Wade majority opinion,

We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer. [2]

Clearly, the Supreme Court in deciding Roe vs Wade was interested in the citizen’s fundamental right to privacy – not the “science” for or against abortion. Their argument was that a medical decision such as abortion is constitutionally protected from Government intrusion because of the citizen’s implied right to privacy.


So – if American citizens have an implied right to privacy, and if private medical decisions are constitutionally protected, then how can the government be allowed to mandate vaccines? Roe v Wade says the government has no right to that power. If activists want to legally compel the medical procedure of vaccinations and violate the privacy of individuals by requiring vaccination documentation – they directly contradict the basis of Roe v Wade.


Do they really want to go there?


Now, Roe v Wade does include the caveat “that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.” The 66-page Roe v Wade decision, published by the Library of Congress, explains this caveat saying, in short, that states do have a “growing interest” as the fetus develops (ironic since they refused to be pinned down on whether a fetus is alive or only potentially alive). In other words, there comes a point in fetal development where the state’s compelling interest to protect life over-rides the right to privacy, so states can restrict late-term abortions or put restrictions on abortion procedures etc. In other words, the court recognizes there are higher and lower laws, so when a lower law (the right to privacy) contradicts a higher law (the right to life) the higher must prevail. This means, according to Roe v Wade, that the Texas and Mississippi laws restricting abortions are constitutional - if the state can show it has a compelling interest that requires those restrictions.


In the same way, some advocates demanding that Covid-19 vaccinations should be mandated by law argue that the state has a compelling interest in protecting the lives of others by requiring the vaccine. But the moment they make this argument, they undercut legal abortion. This is because the 1973 decision avoided deciding at what point in a pregnancy the state’s compelling interest in protecting life would kick in. This decision was left up to the states. By punting on any decision as to whether the growing fetus is life or only potential life, the Court again fell back to the point that the fundamental issues must be privacy.


Now, since 1973, science and the philosophy of science have determined a great deal more about what is life and what is not. If this question is explored, following the “science” and philosophy of science shows that human life is fully human from conception. This is so because we are a specific kind of organism with a specific life cycle; thus, from the moment we as an organism begin to exist, we are a specific kind of existence or kind of being. Human life is also fully alive at the moment of conception. Efforts to demarcate “viability” or “personhood” at some point PAST the genetic start of the human organism are arbitrary and do not stand up to rational scrutiny; thus, only from conception can any definition of “life” make any rational sense. If the court considers “following the science” then abortion is the destruction of a human life – but the right to privacy is still valid because it is separate from the question of “what is human life.” Even still, a right to privacy is, by the courts own finding, a LOWER law than the right to life.


So - this knife cuts both ways…


Therefore it follows, that since the state’s compelling interest is to protect “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” then restricting abortion from conception is both “following the science” and, ironically, in line with Roe v Wade’s conclusions.


So…if activists argue that vaccines must be mandated to support the state’s compelling interest in protecting life, then they must also concede that abortion should be restricted from conception.


But activists pushing for vaccine mandates could argue that Roe v Wade does not apply since abortion is a different medical procedure than vaccines. But Roe v Wade was not decided based on science or the medical procedure itself - so if activists make this argument, they admit that Roe v Wade is flawed because it allows for the caveat of the state’s growing compelling interest to protect life.


But what if they argue that the state has no compelling interest to defend “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in order to avoid answering the question about whether or not a fetus is alive or a person or a human life? Obviously going down this path argues against the constitution itself. If they follow this argument, they self-defeat again because the whole premise of the argument for both legal abortion and vaccine mandates is supposedly based on the constitution.


Clearly, right to privacy issues do apply to vaccine mandates and Roe v Wade makes the case…


For the record, I am not anti-vax…BUT…My own vaccination status is an issue of medical privacy. That’s my point.


And further for the record…I am pro-life. So why refer to Roe v Wade as an argument?


Well – Roe v Wade is not about abortion PER SE as I’ve shown here. It concludes that abortion is an issue of medical privacy and PRIVACY is the constitutional issue. Roe v Wade did not weigh in on the “science” of abortion or life or personhood at all. If THOSE issues are considered, then Roe v Wade will be found flawed enough to be overturned.


And I would agree – we should throw out Roe v Wade.


But even doing that does not negate the fifth and the fourteenth amendment’s due process implications of a fundamental right to privacy. That conclusion is sound in the Roe v Wade decision, and we can conclude – once again – that vaccine mandates are unconstitutional.


So, in the end, businesses that demand employees get vaccinations are violating the due process rights of Americans based on the fifth and fourteenth amendment’s due process clauses. Ironically, Roe vs Wade supports this conclusion. Any federal government mandate requiring vaccinations or requiring vaccine “passports” for travel in this country are unconstitutional based on Roe v Wade also. If activists want their cake, they won’t be able to eat it too unless they open the can of worms that will inevitably undermine Roe v Wade.


Since that is the case – I think everyone should quote Roe v Wade as opposition to vaccination mandates. This will bring scrutiny to Roe v Wade and as a pro-life advocate I welcome that outcome.



[1] Roe v Wade. Library of Congress. Opinion of the Supreme Court, p. 154. https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/ll/usrep/usrep410/usrep410113/usrep410113.pdf [2] Ibid., 159.