Law & the Courts

Alabama Justice Urges Supreme Court to Address ‘Logical Fallacy’ in Roe v. Wade

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

In upholding a lower court’s fetal-homicide ruling, Alabama Supreme Court justice Tom Parker urged the U.S. Supreme Court to address the “logical fallacy” he believes is inherent in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established a constitutional right to abortion.

Jessie Livell Phillips, who was sentenced to death after being found guilty of a double homicide for killing his pregnant girlfriend, appealed the decision, arguing that the fetus was not legally a separate person, and that he should thus have been charged with one count of homicide instead of two.

The Court, however, rejected Phillips’s appeal, finding that he was indeed guilty of killing “two or more persons” per a 2006 Alabama law that extended personhood to children in utero.

As part of his concurring opinion, Parker wrote that it is a “logical fallacy” for the state to treat a fetus as a separate person subject to equal protection for the purposes of charging Phillips with a double homicide, while making an exception in the case of a woman seeking an abortion.

“I urge the Supreme Court of the United States to reconsider the Roe exception and to overrule this constitutional aberration. Return the power to the states to fully protect the most vulnerable among us,” Parker wrote.

Parker goes on to cite cases in which the court held that fetuses can be considered legal parties to estate settlements and trusts, which are often adjudicated after a legal guardian has been appointed to represent the interests of the fetus. He made a similar argument in 2013 while writing the court’s opinion upholding the state’s right to prosecute pregnant women who use drugs for endangering their unborn children.

“Today, the only major area in which unborn children are denied legal protection is abortion,” Parker argued in 2013, “and that denial is only because of the dictates of Roe.”

Most Popular

Film & TV

Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit. Reviews of American Factory, a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Capital versus Tucker Carlson

Advertisers do not advertise on Tucker Carlson’s show to endorse the views of Tucker Carlson. They advertise on his show for the same reason they advertise elsewhere: a captive audience — in Tucker’s case, the second-largest one in cable news — might spare thirty seconds of attention that will, they hope, ... Read More
Natural Law

Are Your Sexual Preferences Transphobic?

Last year, a study exploring “transgender exclusion from the world of dating” was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Of nearly 1,000 participants, the overwhelming majority, 87.5 percent, irrespective of their sexual preference, said they would not consider dating a trans person, ... Read More