Overrule Roe v. Wade

Oct 19, 2018

Today, in a fetal-homicide case decided by the Alabama Supreme Court, Justice Tom Parker urged the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion decision as it is a “constitutional aberration” that hinders ‘the states’ ability to protect the God-given respect and dignity of unborn human life.”

In Jessie Phillips v. State of Alabama, the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the death penalty sentence for Jessie Phillips, a man convicted of capital murder for killing his wife and their unborn child, Baby Doe. Phillips had argued that he should not get the death penalty for killing his unborn child because he said the child was not a “person” under Alabama law. The Court rejected Phillips’ arguments and held that, under Alabama law, Baby Doe was a full “person” and that “the value of the life of an unborn child is no less than the value of the lives of other persons.”

Referring to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision in Roe v. Wade, Justice Parker in his special concurrence wrote, “I urge the United States Supreme Court to overrule this increasingly isolated exception to the rights of unborn children.”

Justice Parker wrote separately to emphasize how broadly and consistently the law and judicial decisions in Alabama and around the country protect the rights of unborn children. This, Justice Parker said, contrasts with “the continued legal anomaly and logical fallacy that is Roe v. Wade.”

In his opinion, Justice Parker calls on the Supreme Court to act: “It is my hope and prayer that the United States Supreme Court will take note of the crescendoing chorus of the laws of the states in which unborn children are given full legal protection and allow the states to recognize and defend the inalienable right to life possessed by every unborn child, even when that right must trump the ‘right’ of a woman to obtain an abortion.” By ensuring broad legal protections for unborn children, including under Alabama’s capital murder statutes, Justice Parker writes that “we affirm once again that unborn children are persons with value and dignity equal to that of all persons.”

Recently, the federal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit similarly criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion decisions. On August 22, 2018, in West Alabama Women’s Center v. Williamson, the federal appeals court began its decision with these words: “Some Supreme Court Justices have been of the view that there is constitutional law and then there is the aberration of constitutional law relating to abortion.” In that case, federal Judge Dubina, also wrote separately to emphasize that the U.S. Supreme Court’s “abortion jurisprudence … has no basis in the Constitution.”

 “There is a growing chorus of voices urging the Supreme Court to overrule its abortion decisions,” said Mat Staver. “We applaud Justice Tom Parker in calling on the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and once again protect precious children, women, and families.”

Liberty Counsel represented Justice Parker when an Alabama federal district court entered a permanent injunction in his favor and against the Judicial Inquiry Commission barring the use of judicial ethics canons to censor judges’ public comments. The JIC has been ordered to pay $100,000.00 compensation to Liberty Counsel for legal fees.

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