A Day in the Senate with the Born-Alive Act, by Hadley Arkes

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*Image: The Massacre of the Innocents by Sano di Pietro, c. 1470 [The MET, New York]

By Hadley Arkes, The Catholic Thing, March 10, 2020

Hadley Arkes is the Ney Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Amherst College and the Founder/Director of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding. His most recent book is Constitutional Illusions & Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law. Volume II of his audio lectures from The Modern Scholar, First Principles and Natural Law is now available for download.


Hadley ArkesThe Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act finally came before the Senate in the last days of February. This was the sequel to the Act passed in 2002, the Act that sought to cast the protections of the law on babies who survived abortions.

As the readers of this column know by now, that bill sprang from a proposal I had written for the debating kit of George H.W Bush in 1988.  By the time it was put in legislative form, the penalties were dropped, in part to avoid a veto from President Clinton (in 2000), but in part also to make the bill a pure “teaching” bill.”

The bill would break out to the public news that most people would find jolting.  Most people did not know that under Roe v. Wade and its companion case of Doe v. Bolton, the right to abortion would extend through the entire length of the pregnancy – and even when a child survived the abortion.  ….

Read more here:   https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2020/03/10/a-day-in-the-senate-with-the-born-alive-act/