Saturday, June 11, 2005

Roe v Wade

Since it appears that we may be sending at least one new Justice to the Supreme Court in the next two years and the big rallying cry on both sides will be the "litmus test", that is not admitted to exist. That being the position of the nominee on Roe v. Wade.

Perhaps it is time to fix that problem.

Can it be fixed? Yes!

Most Americans agree on some degree of abortion, so maybe all we need is for Congress to take the "Activism" out of the courts hands and into the place were it should be. In Congress.

Let's examine the real problems.

First there needs to be agreement on which abortions are acceptable and perhaps proper/moral to the majority of us. Lets go down the list of do's and don'ts:

1. Rape - Acceptable by most.
2. Life Threatening to Mother - Acceptable by most as Self Defense.
3. Incest - Acceptable by most.
4. Inconvenient - Not Acceptable by most.
5. Just Because - Not Acceptable by most.

Next, the Law that really needs to be passed by Congress is the Definition of When Death occurs. Armed with this we can then honestly speculate that the opposite is when life begins, and Congress could define it as well.

Then with definitions of when life and death occurs, the courts can make some judgments based upon something other than agendas. They could say something like "all legal abortions must occur prior to first indication of life." Or during the first Trimester. This would mean having defined when life begins. Is this possible? Maybe, read on.

Here is what the Supreme Court said in the Roe V. Wade Case about the concept of when life begins, which has everything to do with the unborn being granted protection under the 14th Amendment:

"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." Roe V. Wade - Wikipedia

So, does the medical community agree upon the definition of when death occurs? There appears to be agreement from what I can gather. Judge for yourself, I have provided a link that makes it clear it is not so simple to just say it is when the brain is dead. It must be more specific.

They agree that it occurs when there is irreversible brain death. All other functions of the body can be artificially sustained, but not brain activity.

With this understanding of when death occurs, we can then perhaps establish that life could very possibly occur at first brain activity. Here are four sources:

First from Canada: "A person is dead when an irreversible cessation of all that person’s brain functions has occurred." See:

And next from Britain: “Brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead." See: Britian

And Third, from a U.S court case: "The UDDA provides that "an individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brainstem, is dead." See:

And finally another opinion on the definition of death that recognizes there are too many definitions of what "Brain Dead" means in the U.S.A. See:

Therefore we must be more specific in our definition so as to prevent the pronouncement of death when a person is visibly still functioning so as to be intuitively and obviously alive. Such as in the Terri Schiavo case. She definatley had brain activity, all could see it in the videos and therefore she was not "brain dead."

It is very important to understand that "Brain Death" is not meant to be so simple as the definition from Britain, but rather more like Canada, where "an irreversible cessation" of all brain functions occur.

This means that the brain is unable to keep other vital organs such as the heart sustained on its own. It also must consider the brainstem.

Many Doctors seem to feel that the "brainstem" holds the true repository of the life force. As noted in the above case, (third source), a baby born with just a brain stem, can still keep a body functioning for a few days.

This means that the true definition of "Brain Dead" needs to be "When a person is truly dead, the brain cells don't generate nerve impulses or EEG signals for a sufficient time as to render it impossible to restore the needed oxygen to prevent sufficient deprivation as to cause an irreversible cessation of all brain functions."

Or the most acceptable definition "The Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA), adopted by most states, defines brain death as the "irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem." See:

With one of these two definitions, we may have a reasonable working definition.

I think it makes perfect sense to use the logic that life must therefore begin at first brain activity.

Destroying a baby that has Brain Activity seems pretty clear to me that it very well could be murder.

Some might want to continue to leave it open ended and just play politics and we will continue to have both sides claim that the other side's Judges are being Activists.

In the forth article, it is pointed out that making a legal definition of death may lead to too many different interpretations, but what do we have now?

There are some that believe that life begins at conception. They could be right. If so, then we would still be better off than keeping with the current rate that has produced over 45 million abortions.

Finally, since life comes from our Creator, and at death it returns to our Creator, it may very well be we were not meant to know the exact time when those events occur. If that is the case, I can live with that as well.

What do you think? Should we just leave it like it is?


At 2:42 PM, Blogger Ralph said...

Entirely too reasonable a proposal to ever see implementation. The Democrat party would have nothing to bind it together.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger prying1 said...

Interesting Snopes story on Cessation of life/Weight of the soul...

Inconclusive but it would be something FOR A Dr. or scientist to recreate the experiments and see what happens.

At 5:02 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I also think it would make an interesting test.

From my lone March Archive Blog..."There are 11 references in the Bible that have the following..."gave up the ghost and died." So, if death occurs when the "ghost" leaves the body, is it not logical to deduce that life begins when it enters?"

I think the spirit entering the body activates the brain, and when the spirit leaves the body, the brain activtiy stops. But, that definition will never fly in Congress


At 5:56 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

It's just too hot a subject. I believe that life starts at conception. I may be wrong, but I don't like the idea of abortion except in the case that it will threaten the life of the mother. The best abortion is not to get pregeant in the first place.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Your view is just as valid as mine. Neither of us knows for sure. I liked it better before Roe v. Wade, but now we have to take a position so we don't get run over....maybe?


At 12:54 PM, Blogger Possum said...

A SUPERBLY logical argument... that will never get in front of anyone beyond blogging.

I always take a moment to write that I have lived both sides of the abortion argument as a stupid teenager who paid for his girlfriend's abortion and as a parent who adopted a decade later... I know for a FACT that abortion is harder to do than adoption. I am reminded every day by the presence of my now 3 year old and absence of the one who would have been 12.

I appreciated your comments on my blog and thought I'd check yours out. Well written and informative, I'll be back!


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