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  • Micah Coate

Kamala, McCorvey, and the Constitution

Updated: Apr 27

In January of 1973, the Supreme Court voted in a 7–2 decision in favor of Norma McCorvey’s (Jane Roe) prerogative for the United States to legalize the abortion of her prenatal daughter. Since then, 64 million innocent lives have been legally snuffed out in the United States of America under the pretense of being a constitutional right.

In what would’ve been a 50th-year celebration of that iconic judicial decision, no thanks to the Dobbs ruling last year, Vice-President Kamala Harris spoke in Tallahassee, Florida, on Sunday (January 22) in support of abortion. Harris passionately cited portions of the Declaration of Independence to bolster her argument. But what she purposely left out or simply forgot is not surprising, but is revealing:

“We collectively believe and know America is a promise … It is a promise of freedom and liberty, … Not just for some, but for all… A promise we made in the Declaration of Independence, that we are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Be clear, these rights were not bestowed upon us; they belong to us as Americans.”1

There are three things we should note in how Kamala misquoted and misinterpreted America’s founding document to propagate something it was never meant to.

  1. When quoting the most famous part of the Declaration’s three unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Harris conveniently left out the first and most important of the three: life. Since the explicit purpose of abortion is the ending of one’s life, I can see why Harris would only want her audience to be reminded of the second and third rights — for there can only be a chance of liberty and the pursuit of happiness when there is first and foremost life.

  2. Harris omitted another key word in the great truths of who actually gives or bestows these unalienable rights. She simply stated that “we are each endowed with the right….” without quoting that it is the “Creator” who gives the right. This distinction is paramount because if a government gives its people certain rights, then that same government can surely take them away. In other words, if a king grants peasants the right to eat from his property, then he can just as easily revoke that right for no reason. But if God grants all people, in all places, for all times, the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then no king, government, or dictator can deny them for any reason without coming under the judgment of God.

  3. Lastly, Harris wanted us to be clear about whom these rights actually belong to. She emphatically declared, “Be clear, these rights were not bestowed upon us; they belong to us as Americans.” Unfortunately, Harris is wrong. Although America is exceptional, almost entirely due to its founding documents, the authors of the Declaration were not just writing for themselves and their cause. As the Declaration states, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another….”2 The “one people” here is a reference to and beacon for any and all people — in any circumstance or “human event.” The fact that the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are endowed by a Creator intrinsically mean that they were meant for the benefit of all people from all nations.

In promoting abortion, Vice President Harris had no choice but to leave out God and life, the very two foundations in the most consequential political document ever written. Without a Creator God there is no meaningful life — just highly evolved animals only granted rights as their earthly rulers seem necessary.

The very truth that God creates life and therefore gives all people the inherit rights as life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, is what makes every life sacred. The great Christian doctrine of the imago dei — that humans are created with unique abilities and characteristics “absent in all other creatures of the earth, that mirror the divine nature of God”3 cannot be taken out of the Declaration of Independence without the whole document coming undone.

But what does this have to do with Norma McCorvey? Well, because Roe V. Wade took three years of trials before reaching the Supreme Court, the daughter Norma wanted to abort when she first filed her case in 1969, thankfully, did not happen. The baby girl was born on June 2, 1970, and given up for adoption. This daughter of Norma, later named Shelley Lynn Thornton, was nearly 3 years old by the time Roe V. Wade was decided.

Interestingly, the fifty-four-year-old resident of Tucson reflected in a recent interview, "When someone's pregnant with a baby, and they don't want that baby, that person develops knowing they're not wanted.”4

While not knowing Shelley, I can honestly say that I am glad she did not become a statistic of abortion and that she is and will always be wanted, if not by her biological mother, then by myself and many others — but namely her Creator, the author of all life.

In the end, my hope is that Kamala’s misinterpretation of the Constitution is seen for what it is and not used as political support for those women like McCorvey tempted to end a life that God created.

But what do you think?

Micah Coate, President and Host of Salvation and Stuff 




  4. The Roe Family: An American Story by Joshua Prager, W. W. Norton & Company, September 14, 2021, page 116.


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