To the editor:
It is, after all, the people’s Constitution.
West Virginia has joined with a number of states in preventing the termination of a fetus after 20 weeks.
The issue centers on Article IX: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Based on Old English Common Law, the fetus could not be terminated after the “quickening,” the movement of the fetus in the womb. This idea is expressed by a number of the Founders in written documents, including James Wilson, the Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress. It is believed by earlier groups such as the Puritans of New England as well.
“So certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” When you understand that the Bible served as the foundation of law, the question begs, when does this take place? The people’s rights – do they include the fetus of 19 weeks, six days, 23 hours and 59 seconds?
Just thinking out loud, I remain a student of James Madison’s Constitution.