Dear Editor,

In the past few months, there has been a wave of Pro-Life abortion bills which have swept the US.

A Georgia bill was signed into law on May 7 which banned all abortions once a fetal heartbeat could be detected, with an exception for instances where the mother’s life is in danger. Exactly 8 days later, on May 15, Alabama governor Kim Ivey signed into law, a bill that bans abortion in the state at all points after conception, again, with an exception for instances where the life of the mother is in danger.

Just a day later, on May 16, the state of Missouri passed a law which would ban abortion after 8 weeks, with only an exception for medical emergencies, which is expected to be signed into law by Governor Mike Parson. This isn’t to mention the billed passed by Ohio, which is set to go into effect in July, and the bills passed by Kentucky and Mississippi, which were blocked by the supreme court of each state.

These states have passed these laws in the attempt to protect human life, as well as to possibly challenge the rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

It’s about time something like this has happened. A resident of Northern Virginia, it is my belief that life begins at conception, and that life should be protected. Furthermore, Roe v. Wade is an egregious ruling that should be overturned. In Roe, the court ruled that the right to privacy protects a woman’s right to abortion, but couldn’t even definitively state if that right comes from the 9th or 14th amendment. The reason they could not find where this right came from is that the right doesn’t exist.

It states nowhere in that constitution that the right to privacy supersedes the fetal right to live, or a state’s interest in protecting potential life. The court also refused to recognize a point at which life begins. To attempt to make up for this, they then decided to set the “Trimester Framework”, which barred states from restricting abortion before the beginning of the 2nd trimester. The best way to summarize the criticism of this case comes from Justice Byron White, who wrote the following dissent in the case: “I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court's judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the woman, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.” Another great way to describe the case comes from a 1973 Yale Law Journal article; written by John Hart Ely, which gives us this quote: “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”

The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

In effect, it means that we are bestowed our rights when we are created. When are we created? Well, conception of course. At conception, a new living cell is created. It has its own unique DNA, as well as the ability to grow and organize into a more complex human being. It’s quite obvious a new organism is created at conception. This life should have its unalienable right to life protected.

As I mentioned before, I am a resident of Northern Virginia. I’m very upset to say that my state has some of the loosest abortion laws in the country.

In Virginia, abortion is unrestricted in the first trimester, allowed at licensed hospitals in the 2nd trimester, and allowed during any point in the 3rd trimester where a doctor just says it warranted for any health reason, including mental health. Virginia is not a state that values the lives of the unborn.

I hereby call for the Republican-controlled Virginia General Assembly to protect life. It’s very unlikely that the state will outlaw abortion at conception, but I do believe it’s possible to pass a heartbeat bill similar to the ones in Georgia and Missouri. I expect at least a few key points in the bill. First, abortion should be banned after a heartbeat can be protected, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, and possibly in cases of rape or incest. Second, women should not be prosecuted for having an abortion, but instead, abortion doctors should be for performing them. Finally, the bill should either recognize human life as beginning at either the heartbeat, or at conception. Even if the bill not signed into law by our Democrat Governor, I believe it’s time for Virginia to send a message that it stands with life, and more importantly, the human right to live. Throughout history, Virginia has been on the wrong side of human and civil rights many times. Our state seceded from the Union, and fought for slavery in the Civil war. Our state was notoriously bad when it voted against equal rights for African Americans, and for segregation. Our state was even the origin of one of the most famous Supreme Court cases in US history, Virginia v. Loving, where the court struck down a Virginia law that prohibited interracial marriage. This track record must stop. A Pro-Life wave is sweeping the nation. Not only would it be moral and the right thing to do, passing a Pro-Life bill would put us on the right side of history.

99% of abortions are purely elective, which means they are not in cases of rape, incest, or the mother’s life being in danger. This is a complete waste of human life. Since Roe v. Wade, there have been 61 million abortions, which is around 20% of the current US population. Since 1980, there have been 1.5 billion abortions worldwide, which is again about 20% of the world population. If we could eliminate 99% of these deaths, I believe that would be great. The equivalent of 20% of the world and US population shouldn’t be dead just because of a choice. Time after time, the US has neglected to recognize the rights of people who were different; blacks, women and gays. To me, abortion is just as bad as slavery, as you’re depriving a human of a basic right.

I’d like to reiterate my point once again.

My name is Alex Skelley. I’m a 17-year-old male high school student in Clifton. I’m an American citizen, who believes in our basic human rights. I’m a Pro-Lifer, and I hereby call for the state of Virginia to stand up for life with me.

Alex Skelley

Clifton

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