The Radical Left Presses for Abortion on Federal Lands
New York magazine published an article on July 4 by Alissa Walker which encapsulates
the frenzied efforts of the Left to pressure the federal government to provide for
abortion. This in spite of the recent Supreme Court Dobbs opinion which turned back to
the states the right to make their own decisions.
The leftist plan would be to construct abortion clinics inside national parks and other
federal lands, out-of-reach of states that would ban abortions. “Federal properties where
states lack jurisdiction to prosecute,” two law professors suggest. And President Biden
could act immediately.
As one can easily predict, constitutionally-challenged public figures such as Elizabeth
Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush want President Biden to declare a
“medical emergency” so as to act quickly. The two law professors mentioned above,
David S. Cohen, from Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law and Rachel
Rebouche, the interim dean of Temple University School of Law, have supported these
A draft paper authored by Cohen and Rebouche cites Article IV, section 3, clause 2 of
the Constitution which gives the federal government “power to dispose of and make all
needful Rules and Regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the
United States.” In this way, argue Cohen and Rebouce, the state and local governments
are prevented from asserting jurisdiction over federal land and the proposed cherished
There is plenty wrong with this suggestion, constitutional and otherwise. Let’s look at it.
First, the Left continually deceives itself by concealing what abortion actually is.
Abortion is the extermination of human life, period. This is medical science. As long as
radicals whitewash infanticide as “women’s rights” or “right to choose,” little clear
thinking can occur. Would Democrats favor placing gas chambers for the elderly or
disabled on federal properties so as to shield these chambers from the several states’
Second, the Constitution at Article 4.3.2 states explicitly that CONGRESS has the
power to dispose of and make all regulations pertaining to territory belonging to the
United States. Professors Cohen and Rebouche, attorney’s though they may be, are
apparently so blinded by pro-abortion activism that they expressly propose to violate
what the Constitution actually says—CONGRESS—by substituting “Joe Biden.” This
brings up another related point:
Third, the Constitutional article in question (4.3.2) relates to the creation of new states,
not indefinitely held federal lands. “Under this power Congress has erected Territories
out of the public domain, provided for the government of them … until they were ready
for statehood, and admitted them to the Union upon their presenting satisfactory
constitutions for a republican form of government.” 1 Article IV is entirely devoted to the
creation of new states on an “equal footing” with the other states.
This is why Original Intent is so important—what did the Founders intend when they
wrote the clauses in the Constitution? Phrases and clauses, explained by the founding
generation itself, cannot be conscripted into service for just any purpose whatsoever.
The clauses referenced by the professors refers to temporarily held properties as states
created their governments and were admitted into the Union—not to continually held
gigantic tracts of land. This leads to the next point.
Fourth, there is no Constitutional authority for the holding of vast tracts of land by the
federal government. Not that the Constitution is given much heed these days, but Article
1, section 8, clause 17 provides the right to Congress to exercise authority over public
lands purchased within the various states. And these properties—purchased from the
various states—were solely for purpose of “forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and
other needful buildings, etc.”
This is the entirety of the federal holdings, constitutionally speaking. Yet, the United
States government now owns about 75% of the entire western states. What happened?
When the territories of the western states came into the Union, Congress refused to sell
the vast tracts of those lands as provided by law, but instead retained them. Between
wilderness areas, national forests, national parks and other federally managed
properties—the lion’s share of the entire western United States now belongs to the
No one loves the great outdoors of wilderness areas more than I do. It is not a question
of loving the land and its assets or preserving them for future generations. But
constitutionally speaking, federal retention of these properties is unconstitutional. By
default this gives the federal government vast powers the founders never imagined. And
now, the hedonist lefties among us wish to exploit this power and federal holdings to
harbor abortion clinics. One transgression of the law leads to others.