I would like to put into layman’s easy-to-understand language what the issue of abortion is about. Millions of Americans vehemently argue that women have a constitutional right to abortion and a constitutional right to control their own bodies. They take this authority from two amendments to the Constitution: the 14th Amendment and the Fourth Amendment. Let us look at each.

The 14th Amendment says the “state” shall “not deprive any person of life, liberty, or property.” People supporting the constitutional right to abortion assert that the operative word here is “liberty.” Women have the liberty, that is, the right, to abortion at any time. This is to argue that a woman could abort a fetus or even a fully developed child up to the day before the baby is due. The framers of the Constitution surely would not have accepted this definition of “liberty.”

Now let’s look at the key portion of the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” The end of this amendment focuses on “the persons or things to be seized.”

Some believe that this amendment supports “the right to privacy.” But the amendment focuses on private possessions, on things. A police officer, for example, cannot without permission or probable cause search, say, the trunk of my car and seize possessions in it. I doubt that the framers asserted that such possessions or things included a fetus or fully developed child still in the womb.