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tioned in the Constitution or its amendments, but is only found in the "penumbra" of those articles. Rights, the provision of which is only implied or deduced, must inevitably fall in conflict with the express provisions of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law. The difference between this case and Griswold is clearly apparent, for here there is an embryo or fetus incapable of protecting itself. There, the only lives were those of two competent adults.
Without going into all of the myriad of cases and texts that deal with various aspects of this problem, the question resolves itself into whether or not the state has a legitimate interest to legislate for the purpose of affording an embryonic or fetal organism an opportunity to survive. We think it has and on balance it is superior to the claimed right of a pregnant woman or anyone else to destroy the fetus except when necessary to preserve her own life.
One of the great puzzles of the law is why its practitioners blithely argue their cases and make their decision in total disregard, if not ignorance, of the laws of nature. Automobile collision cases, for example, are often decided on the basis of facts which are completely impossible under the physical laws of motion and mechanics. So in this area, those decisions which strike down state abortion statutes by equating contraception and abortion pay no attention to the facts of biology.
The evidence offered by the defendants in this case shows clearly, conclusively, and in detail that neither the human ovum or spermatozoon are alive, or capable of independent life, in the accepted meaning of that word. One dictionary definition of the word "life" is
that quality or character [that] distinguishes an animal or a plant from inorganic or dead organic bodies and which is especially manifested by metabolism, growth, reproduction and internal powers of adaptation to the environment. Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language (2nd ed. 1934).
Biologically, when the spermatozoon penetrates and fertilizes the ovum, the result is the creation of a new organism which conforms to the definition of life just given. Although this is a definite beginning, there is no assurance in any particular case as to how long the life thus begun will continue. It may endure only a few hours or days, or it may continue in excess of a century, so far as human life is concerned. In other life forms it may continue for many measurable centuries, or even for an immeasurable and endless period. Thus when a new life comes into being with the union of human egg and sperm cells, it may terminate, or be terminated, at any moment after it commences, and before, at, or after the particular developmental process called "birth" takes place. Such terms as "quick" or "viable," which are frequently en
countered in legal discussion, are scientifically imprecise and without recognized medical meaning, and hence irrelevant to the problem here presented. As scientific knowledge of prenatal physiological processes increases, medical intervention will have a greater chance of avoiding premature termination of lives of children, both before and after birth.
Thus contraception, which is dealt with in Griswold, is concerned with preventing the creation of a new and independent life. The right and power of a man or a woman to determine whether or not to participate in this process of creation is clearly a private and personal one with which the law cannot and should not interfere.
It seems clear, however, that the legal conclusions in Griswold as to the rights of individuals to determine without governmental interference whether or not to enter into the processes of procreation cannot be extended to cover those situations wherein, voluntarily or involuntarily, the preliminaries have ended, and a new life has begun. Once human life has commenced, the constitutional protections found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments impose upon the state the duty of safeguarding it.
Obviously, of course, there are limits to the protection which the state can and must extend to human life, but these are clear and wellmarked in the law, and have been for centuries, essentially on the basis that "self-preservation is the first law of nature." Thus throughout the development of our law,
self-defense has always been recognized as a justification for homicide. Hence the provision in the statute here in question that abortion is noncriminal when it is necessary, or declared by two physicians to be necessary, to preserve the life of the mother. One human life may legally be terminated when doing so is necessary to preserve or protect another or others.
There is authority for the proposition that human life commences at the moment of conception.
Biologically speaking, the life of a human being begins at the moment of conception in the mother's womb. 42 Am. Jr. 2d, Infants $2 at p. 9 (1968).
From the viewpoint of the civil law and the law of property, a child en ventre sa mere is not only regarded as a human being. but as such from the moment of conception... which it is in fact. Bonbrest v. Kotz, 65 F. Supp. 138, 140 (D.D.C. 1946).
... medical authority has recognized long since that the child is in existence from the moment of conception... W. Prosser, The Law of Torts, §56 at 355 (3rd ed. 1964).
In this connection it should be noted that Ohio never did follow Mr. Justice Holmes's opinion in Dietrich v. Northampton, 138 Mass. 14, 52 Am. Rep. 242 (1884), which for more than half a century fouled up the tort law with respect to prenatal injuries, but is now pretty well abandoned by all courts except those
which, once having made a mistake, cannot admit it, but expect the legislature to rescue the public from the consequences of their error. The courts of Ohio have never hesitated to protect a child merely because it was unborn at the time of injury.
If the law is in accord with science for the purpose of protecting property rights, how can it possibly not be in accord with science for the purpose of protecting life itself, without which no property right has any worth or value whatsoever?
It should perhaps be mentioned that the implication, or sometimes the express statement, found in arguments of persons in the position of the plaintiffs in this case, which equates the necessity of giving birth to a child with the necessity of rearing the child, has no foundation in law or fact. The law may take permanently from its natural parents a child who is neglected by them, and the frequent pusillanimity of courts and social agencies in this regard does not change the legal situation. The statutes of practically all states provide for the voluntary surrender of children. When the statutes are complied with, the child is legally and practically as dead to its natural parents as if it had been aborted, stillborn, aborted, stillborn, or had died in infancy. The valid ity and effectiveness of surrender statutes have been upheld in every case in which they have been questioned. There is no need for parents to terminate an undesired pregnancy by killing the unborn child physically, when with less risk to
themselves its legal death can so easily be procured.
It is our conclusion that Section 2901.16 Ohio Rev. Code is a valid and proper exercise of the power of the state.
The plaintiffs' contention that the abortion statute is in violation of the equal protection the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires little consideration. This statute, $2901.16 Ohio Rev. Code is clearly nondiscriminatory upon its face. There is nothing in the evidence before the Court to show any official discrimination to the application of the statute, or in commencing prosecutions under it.
Assuming, arguendo, that the contentions of the plaintiffs that wealthy persons can shop for more complaisant physicians, or can travel to remote places where abortion is legal, while poor people cannot, have a sound basis in fact, the situation is not inherent in the language of the statute. Neither is it caused, not could it be cured, by either action or inaction on the part of the government, either state or national. The equal protection clause is not designed to prevent that inequality which is often found in life and in nature, nor could any law be framed to do so. So far as this case is concerned, on the evidence adduced, the social and economic conditions alleged by plaintiffs as a basis for their equal protection argument do not affect any of the actual parties, and hence the classes they represent. In seeking a temporary restraining order the plaintiffs appeared to contend that only the force of the law
stood in the way of plaintiff Mary Doe undergoing the abortion she desired, and the other plaintiffs desired her, to have. It was not
claimed that her economic or social situation would prevent her from getting an abortion.
We do not find that §2901.16 Ohio Rev. Code is in any way violative of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The contention that the Ohio abortion statute contravenes the Eighth Amendment proscription of cruel and unusual punishment is unworthy of serious consideration. It may seem cruel to a hedonist society that "those who dance must pay the piper," but it is hardly unusual, and the language of the amendment is in the conjunctive, not the disjunctive. In the complexities of human life it is not always possible to foretell with exactitude the entire consequences of even the simplest or most innocent action. But if it is known generally that an act has possible consequences that the actor does not desire to incur, he has al-. ways the choice between refraining from the act, or taking his chance of incurring the undesirable consequences. There are no other alternatives. This is peculiarly true with respect to the bearing of children. If one gambles and loses, it is
neither statute nor constitution that determines the price, or how it shall be paid. The result is not punishment, but merely the quid pro quo.
The controversial problems of the plaintiffs should be addressed to the state's legislature and not the courts for solution. The courts ought not to be expected to provide a remedy for all of the ailments afflicting society.
For the foregoing reasons, the plaintiffs are not entitled to a declaratory judgment invalidating Ohio's abortion statute, Section 2901.16 Ohio Rev. Code.
This opinion is adopted as findings of fact and conclusions of law. Judgment will be entered in favor of the defendants dismissing the amended complaint.
(1) Ohio's abortion statute provides:
No person shall prescribe or administer a medicine, drug, or substance, or use an instrument or other means with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman, unless such miscarriage is necessary to preserve her life, or is advised by two physicians to be necessary for that purpose.
Whoever violates this section, if the woman either miscarries or dies in consequence thereof, shall be imprisoned not less than one nor more than seven years. This statute or one very similar to it has been in effect since at least 1834. Section 1 of the Act of February 7, 1834, S & C Stat. 440. Wilson v. State, 2 Ohio St. 319 (1853). There have been many prosecutions under it but until the present case, so far as we have been able to ascertain, no one has ever challenged its constitutionality.
Steinberg, et al., v. Rhodes and Schroeder, No. C 70-289, U.S. Dist. Ct., No. Dist. Ohio, West. Div., Dec. 18, 1970
[From the Uncertified Human, vol. 2, No. 2, July 1974]
MICHAEL LITCHFIELD DISCOVERS
A few years ago, the Lane Committee was appointed by the British government to study the effects of abortion on demand in Britain.
The final report of the Committee appeared, even to a usually pro-abortion press, hardly adequate as reform.
For one, the Committee, like the polite bureaucracy that it is, always issued "notice" to the nortorious British abortion factories before paying them a visit-which is a bit like giving “notice" to the Mafia before making a bust. Consequently, it took a gutsy independent journalist, Michael Litchfield, to show up the appalling situations at some of these enterprises where, indeed, one doctor is negotiating with cosmetic firms to have the "really fat babies" he aborts made into cosmetic soap.
Mr. Litchfield was awarded the Pulitzer prize in 1967 for exposing the Mafia in the Bahamas.
Litchfield avoided giving the abortion mills adequate notice during his investigation. What he uncovered is so horrendous as to be unbelievable, were it not for the fact that every bit of it is on tape.
Litchfield's findings were listed in two News of the World articles. We are quoting some of them here from the text of his address at the April 28 pro life rally sponsored by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
"The Lane Committee took three years to look into the workings of the Abortion Act in Britain. . . . Their brief was to investigate the workings of the Abortion Act.
"They could not have uncovered the gravy in a steak and kidney pie. "They took three years to say that every thing in the garden is rosy.
"I, with another journalist, took three months to prove beyond doubt that everything in the abortion backyard is overrun with corruption. We two journalists, trained to investigate, began with utterly open minds. . . no preconceived notions . . . not prejudices. And, our tape-recordings are imperishable testimonies to the organized corruption and prostitution of the medical profession, from the very top to the very bottom of the abortion trade.
"To hell with the Lane Committee. As investigators, they are a bunch of amateurs. They gave everyone . . . advance notice of their impending arrival when they were to visit them.
"I told no one of my activities in advance. Whom do you believe discovered the truth?
"The lunatic fringe has tried to label anti-abortionists as fascists. However, let me tell you about two Harley Street surgeons. They are not small fry. They are very big fish. Big cars, big cigars, big abortion clinics and big bank balances. Both these gentlemen confided to me: "The great thing about the Abortion Act is that it has given us the opportunity to perpetuate Hitler's progressive thinking.' I have that on tape.
"Which side sounds fascist?
"If I had heard some of the things that I am going to tell you a few months back I would have thought they were scare stories put about by hysterics. But the fact is that they were said to me: they were said to me in all seriousness and I have them on tape.
"One surgeon, who owns his own abortion clinics, is trying to sell the bodies of aborted babies to factories for use in making cosmetic soap.
"Animal fat is a very valuable commodity,' he said. 'I get some really fat babies. It seems a shame to drop them into an incinerator when they could be out to such good use, and also make me an extra bob or two on the side. "All that is tape-recorded.
"The Lane Committee recommends that the time limit for an abortion should be reduced from 28 to 24 weeks. What a bunch of jokers they are! They could reduce the time limit to two weeks and there would still be the same number of abortions. One woman-the head of a pregnancy advisory service told us: 'It doesn't matter about how far gone a girl is-we can just fiddle the dates. Who's to dispute the figures once the child is in the incinerator.' That, too, is all tape-recorded.
"Mr. Michael Grylls MP has threatened us with an amending bill in the 'light of recommendations put forward by the Lane Committee'-so we can all imagine how much use that would be. His great contribution to British