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Protection of Human Life in Its Early Stage

Intellectual Foundations and Legal Means


Edited By Alexander Stepkowski

The book consists of thirteen studies examining different aspects of human life protection in the early stage of its development. The contributions are arranged in three parts. Part I focuses on theoretical problems and examines the main issues of contemporary jurisprudence. The foundation of human rights, different approaches to sovereignty, the relation between law and science, the legitimacy of judicial power, and the nature of legal authority are discussed. Part II presents the issues within the national contexts of the USA, Germany, Austria and Poland. In a wider perspective, Part III examines the issue of the protection of human life in the prenatal phase on three different levels: within the EU, within the European Court of Human Rights case law and the UN system.
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Judicial Interference in the Protection of Human Life – A Perspective from the United States


William L. Saunders*


Any system of “rights” built upon the denial of the very cornerstone of the entire concept of “human rights” – that is, the right to life of each human being simply because that being is in existence – is built upon a basic falsehood about the human person and about the nature of society. Such a system, in its very roots, denies the possibility of achieving the common good, which is the primary, legitimate aim of political/legal authority. Hence, when political authority fails in its obligation to protect life and, thereby, to create an essential condition for achieving the common good, all of society is imperiled. The unraveling of the rule of law and the undermining of mutual respect among citizens unfolds in myriad ways, some obvious and some subtle.

In this paper, I shall examine these general propositions in the situation in the United States by focusing on rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States in their social and bioethical context.

Political/legal system of the United States

I have three essential points to make and three conclusions to draw from those points. The first is this: to understand the experience in the United States, one must recognize that abortion was imposed upon the country by our Supreme Court. I used the word “imposed” intentionally to indicate that it was all but ultra vires manner in which it did so. I will demonstrate this...

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