image"Ignore Roe" signs at a rally for an abolition bill
On March 21st, State Representative Matt Shea (R-Spokane) introduced a bill that would end abortion in Washington State. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Vicki Kraft (R-Vancouver), Brad Klippert (R-Kennewick), and Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor).
The Abolition of Abortion in Washington Act (WA HB2154) would recognize the observable truth that human physical life begins at “the moment of fertilization upon the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum.” Mirroring the wording of the 14th amendment of the US Constitution, the bill establishes that all human beings, including the unborn, shall be “[p]rovide[d] the equal protection of the laws of this state.” Abortion would thus be classified as homicide.
Further, it makes legally null the attempts of any entity to prevent Washington from upholding the unalienable right to life.
Sec. 7. A new section is added to chapter 9.02 RCW to read as follows:(1) Any act, law, treaty, order, or regulation of the United States government that denies or prohibits protection of a human person’s inalienable right to life is null, void, and unenforceable in this state. (2) The courts of the United States have no jurisdiction to interfere with this state’s interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins. (3) Any court decision purporting to strike down or enjoin the provisions of this chapter or enjoin this state from protecting innocent human physical life from the moment of fertilization is nonauthoritative, void, and of no force.
Washington is the fifth state to introduce such a bill, following Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Idaho, Indiana, and Oklahoma efforts have been killed by Republican leadership and National Right to Life. The effort to abolish abortion in Texas is still alive, as TX HB896 is expected to receive a hearing on April 8th.
In the red states listed above, it’s Republican and pro-life leaders standing in the way of abortion’s abolition, but Washington abolitionists face a different challenge. State Democrats have a 29-20 advantage in the Senate, a 57-41 advantage in the House, and the Governorship.
Still, it is crucially important that the demand for abortion’s abolition be made. As Paul wrote in Galatians 3, the law is a teacher. And what has the legislative wing of the pro-life movement been teaching the culture? You shall not murder unless the victim is killed with a certain technique? You shall not murder unless the victim is incapable of pain? You shall not murder unless the victim doesn’t yet have a detectable heartbeat? The message the world needs to hear is “you shall not murder.”
Not only that, but incremental laws teach people that unconditional submission to the Supreme Court is required of them. This is not the case. An honest reading of Article VI of the US Constitution clearly contradicts the fiction of judicial supremacy. The Constitution is the authority and any federal action, including that of the Supreme Court, which is not pursuant to the Constitution is not binding on the other branches or the states. Thomas Jefferson addressed this exact topic in an 1820 letter written to Charles Jarvis.
“You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps…. Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”
There is no single tribunal given the authority of ultimate arbiter of the Constitution. To give that power to any entity would be an egregious violation of the separation of powers and, in Jefferson’s words, be the effection of despotism and oligarchy. The below graphic from Conservative Review splendidly depicts the situation.
The Abolition of Abortion in Washington Act is the type of bill that teaches people the right things about abortion – It’s murder and governments, state and federal, need to treat it as such. With roughly 17,000 murdered annually in Washington, pray that it will one day become law.
So this one kind of means something to me. Admittedly, not what it would have meant back in 2016 or 2017, but I have to say, it raises up some fleeting pangs of melancholy, as I remember what could ha …