In a recent interview, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards said she didn’t know at what point a baby receives its constitutional rights. With that answer she moved the abortion argument back to where it should have been all along, babies and constitutional protection of inalienable rights.

Planned Parenthood prefers using clinical sounding terms like extraction to abortion, but it really doesn’t matter because whatever one calls them, these babies are people.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion is a woman’s right, they never ruled on the most important issue.  In Roe v Wade the court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the due process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting women’s health and protecting the human life. But the court forgot to add one more set of rights to its consideration set, rights that were explained in an earlier document, The Declaration of Independence.

I will acknowledge that I’m not an attorney nor do I play one on TV (although one of my undergraduate degrees is in acting and directing). And to be totally honest, my Jewish parents were a bit disappointed with my announcement that my other major, political science was not going to lead me to  law school. But a lack of a law degree does not  preclude me (or any other adult) from understanding our founding documents. And that if considered logically, those documents instruct us that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision ignored the very essence of the U.S. Constitution. While the court considered the rights of the mother and the rights of the states, it did not consider the inalienable rights of the baby. And it is the protection of those inalienable rights which made the U.S. Constitution what it is; a timeless guide to protecting our God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This question has nothing to do with viability, or when life begins (in Judaism we believe that life begins when the kids get married and we move to Boca Raton). The real question was not addressed by the court, when is child is eligible for constitutional rights. Or on the other hand does the court have the power to take away our constitutional rights.

As David Shestokas explained in his book Constitutional Sound Bites, the Constitution takes its lead from the Declaration of Independence in believing that our rights do not come from the government, they are inalienable rights:

For the first time in world history a country would be guided by a philosophy not based upon force, but upon a shared view of government’s purpose. The Declaration defined government’s purpose to secure our inalienable rights. The Constitution’s purpose is to secure the blessings of liberty. To understand the Declaration of Independence is to understand the Constitution.

As Mr.Shestokas explains, these inalienable rights (which Jefferson describes later in the Declaration as  “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”) cannot be taken away by the government.

(…) There exist in the world things that no government has the power to change. No government can repeal the Law of Gravity. No government can extinguish the desire of human beings to be free. These are natural laws.


The Law of Nature is observable in a scientific sense. The Law of Nature’s God is revealed to men in a spiritual sense. Whether scientific or spiritual, natural law comes to the same conclusion, that all men have inalienable rights. The Declaration of Independence relies upon this “self-evident” truth for the establishment of the United States.

Per the famous phrase written in 1776 those self-evident truths include, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” And the entire purpose of the Constitution is to protect those rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

Therefore the real constitutional question about abortion has nothing to do with viability outside of the womb, or when life begins, but when do humans acquire those inalienable rights.  Viability doesn’t matter. An adult human who is seconds from death because of a terminal disease still has those rights. When does life begin is a theological question not a legal question. From a Declaration of Independence/ Constitutional point of view the real question is when do those natural laws of God apply? Because based on the Constitution as soon as they apply, the court has no power to take them away.

This brings us to  CEO of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards because she doesn’t know at what point a baby receives constitutional rights to protect their inalienable rights.

According to a report in CNS News:

On Tuesday, Doug Wagner of WHO Newsradio in Iowa discussed Hillary Clinton’s view that constitutional rights for the unborn don’t exist. He then asked Richards her thoughts on the issue.


Wagner said, “At what point does that child – or that unborn person, fetus – whatever you want to call it – at what point does that baby get the constitutional rights?”


“Well, I don’t really, actually – I don’t know that there’s an exact answer for that,” Richards replied.


“Because what the point is (inaudible) that women have and there are, as you know, restrictions on women’s ability to terminate a pregnancy – and when they can, but until a pregnancy is viable they have the right to make that decision.”


“I think it really, honestly that’s not the problem we are facing in America,” Richards continued. “What we are facing in America is the fact that women in many states have fewer rights to access basic health care. And again, I think it’s really important that we be honest here about birth control.”

No Ms. Richards it has nothing to do with birth control and everything to do with at one point in their development are babies eligible for inalienable rights protected by our Constitution. Because based on our founding documents which rules the way our government works, those rights weren’t given to us by the government but were endowed by our creator. Therefore no court, no legislature, and no executive, has the power to take them away.

And if we don’t have the answer when those inalienable rights kick in, how can we take the life of a child?

Cecile Richards’ interview is below:


The cartoon at the top of this post was created by 2x Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Michael Ramirez. If you don’t read him at his site, or on Facebook you are doing yourself a great disservice!