Earlier this week, on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, NBC News published a poll on abortion declaring "seven in 10 respondents oppose Roe v. Wade being overturned." But NBC got that result by misrepresenting the nature of Roe. The network said Roe guaranteed the right to abortion only in the first three months -- in truth, Roe protects abortion even at full gestation.
This misrepresentation was a fitting 40th birthday present for Roe and the cause of legal abortion -- a cause built on a foundation of lies.
The first falsehood underlying today's pro-choice cause is Roe v. Wade itself. It is simply a bad decision. The majority divined from the "penumbras" of the Constitution a nebulous "right to privacy," which somehow included the right to abort your unborn child up until the moment of delivery. That's legislating, not interpreting.
Legions of pro-choice judges and legal scholars have admitted that Roe was bad jurisprudence.
"One of the most curious things about Roe," wrote liberal Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe "is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found."
Alan Dershowitz, another legendary liberal Harvard Law professor, called Roe "judicial activism" lacking "clear governing constitutional principles."
Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg called Roe "Heavy-handed judicial intervention" that "was difficult to justify."
"As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible," wrote Ed Lazarus, an Obama administration appointee and avowed pro-choicer who clerked for the decision's author, Justice Harry Blackmun.
There are plenty more like this. Pro-choice Yale and Harvard Law professor John Hart Ely wrote that Roe "is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be."
In short, the Supreme Court's majority decided that abortion should be protected, and so they invented a constitutional justification to do so. That is dishonest, and it corrodes the separation of powers, thus undermining democracy, our republican system, and the rule of law.
From this corrupt seed sprung the modern pro-choice movement and 54 million abortions in the U.S. since 1973. The lion's share of those children were aborted by Planned Parenthood, which, in one of the other foundational lies of the cause, disguises its true identity.
Planned Parenthood is an abortion business and an abortion lobby.
Planned Parenthood and its allies in politics and the media throw around the claim that only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services are abortions. How do they calculate that? What constitutes one "service"? Why is that a relevant way of counting?
Here are some more relevant numbers: 15 percent of Planned Parenthood's revenue comes from abortions, according to liberal website Media Matters. Pro-life group LiveAction calculates that 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's health center revenue is from abortion.
Planned Parenthood estimates it aborts 300,000 babies a year, while serving 3 million people. That means 10 percent of its customers get abortions. Planned Parenthood doesn't offer mammograms, offers almost no prenatal care, and almost never refers pregnant women for adoption. If you are pregnant, almost the only service Planned Parenthood provides you involves forceps or a scalpel. It is an abortion business.
It is also an abortion lobby. Planned Parenthood has its own lobbying shop in downtown D.C., plus it retains some top-shelf K Street lobbying firms, like any other business. At the Glover Park Group, revolving-door former congressional aides, including Obamacare authors Elizabeth Engel and John Myers, do Planned Parenthood's bidding on Capitol Hill, such as seeking federal subsidies.
The ultimate lie undergirding the pro-choice cause is the denial of a simple scientific fact: that a person is a person, even when she is very small and fully dependent on her mother.
In the context of abortion, media and politicians will talk about "terminating pregnancies" and speak as if the only issue at stake is a woman's body. The premise here is that there is no second person involved.
But we know that there is a second person. Look online at the cutting-edge ultrasounds, and you can see a face, and arms, and legs and a beating heart in the first trimester. That's a baby.
You wouldn't ask your pregnant friend whether she feels the "fetus" kick.
Pro-choicers use impersonal terminology to obscure the objective truth: performing an abortion is deliberately taking an innocent human life.
Pro-lifers, as they march through Friday's wintry gloom, may feel despondent. Under the most abortion-friendly president in history, Roe is safe for the time being. The media is proclaiming a pro-choice popular majority.
But a cause built on lies cannot win in the long run.
Timothy P.Carney, The Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears Monday and Thursday, and his stories and blog posts appear on washingtonexaminer.com.