Hippocrates, Aristotle, Natural Law, SCOTUS

by | Jul 16, 2023 | Commentary


Michael Ozga


“First, Do No Harm” is the basic premise and underlying principle of health care. This was spoken some 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates and should still hold true to this day. Unfortunately, we’ve transgressed as a society if we’ve moved from “First, Do No Harm” to the radical abortion bill in Maine, LD 1619. With callous indifference, LD 1619 does as much harm as possible as quickly as possible by aborting a precious life minutes before delivery.

Natural law is predicated upon an objective order to the universe that intrinsically binds people morally. This applies whether or not it is viewed through the lenses of religion as even the most irredeemable person can perceive this order. Yes, the doctrine of natural law is found in the Bible but also exists within the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, &c. Natural law allows us as rational beings to discern between right and wrong, honesty and villainy. Natural law tells us one thing is good, and the other is detestable.

As noted in the Supreme Court decision of Dobbs in 2022, abortion was never a part of our history or traditions. American law followed common law throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. By the time the 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868, 75% of our states had laws on the books that made abortion a crime at any point during the pregnancy. That consensus endured until the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. By a vote of 7-2, the court conferred a broad right to obtain an abortion invoking the “right to privacy” and “due process” language within the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments.

In other words, the 1973 court inferred a right that does not exist within The Constitution, but they claimed is, nevertheless, protected by the Bill of Rights. The logic is absurd on its face. In 1992, the court upheld Roe by a 5-4 majority invoking “stare decisis.” In 2022, by a vote of 5-1-3, the 1973 Roe case and 1992 Casey decision was overturned. The Supreme Court in Dobbs Held: The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. The three justices that argued to uphold both Roe and Casey made no substantive argument, they relied simply on “stare decisis” which is Latin for, “to let things stand.”

Stare decisis, however, is not an inexorable command. It is a principle of policy. Otherwise, both Dred Scott (1857) and Plessy (1896) would still be law. Thank God they are not, as the Dred court ruled that slaves were, indeed property, and the Plessy decision upheld segregation laws. Stare decisis has been invoked when it fits the courts ideology and ignored when it does not. This is judicial activism not progress.

Eugenics, forced sterilization laws, legalized abortion, late term abortions and now abortion on demand. All this under the euphemisms of “progress,” “reproductive rights” and “choice.” Can we look at ourselves in the mirror and honestly consider this “progress” or “the way life should be?” As a Constitutional Republic, we are a self-governing society. With self-governance comes freedom, with freedom comes responsibility. The concepts of freedom and responsibility are mutually inclusive. One cannot exist without the other.

However, when it comes to abortion the left is vociferous about their “freedom” to choose yet want total abdication from any responsibility of that choice. This is the behavior of children not free adults. This should be viewed through the prism of life not ideologies. That would indeed, be progress and most certainly, the way life should be! “First, Do No Harm” is as relevant today as it was over two thousand years ago. If the very issue of life itself cannot transcend ideology, we are truly lost as a society.

Whether we abide by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Hippocrates, the doctrine of natural law, or the history and traditions of American and common law, all are mutually incompatible with LD 1619. The very slogan of this state proclaims, “Maine, the Way Life Should Be.” This alone is mutually incompatible with a radical abortion bill. The fact that we have “progressed” as a civilization to such callous indifference to life is truly volitional darkness.

Aristotle wrote of our internal monitor that guides us to behave the right way. In other words, a law that is written on our hearts. Aristotle also wrote…

“At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.”

“It is our choice of good or evil that determines our character, not our opinion about good or evil.”



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