Political and practical questions in an America without a constitutional right to abortion.
I was always ambivalent towards abortion when I was younger. I know I would've been the type of guy that stuck around no matter what, so the bailout lever never meant much to me. As a father of three young children, my stance went from ambivalence to pro restriction. Not banning, but as with all things the left tries to be flip about, it was swinging too far towards disgusting. We had governors in blue states advocating for what was basically infanticide: abortion right up until delivery. They pushed it too far. The pendulum swung, once again, too far. Now we have both extremes in place in various states, with a roughly zero percent chance at rational compromise.
First trimester, I get it. Most people do. Beyond that was always a bridge too far imho.
I am pro abortion, but Roe v. Wade was one of the worse decisions rendered by Supreme Court in last 60 years. Instead of letting Congress do its work and legislate this issue, Supreme Court took active role of legislating by judicial activism of unelected judges that are there to interpret laws, not make them.
If this was done trough Congress, it would probably lasted several years longer, but the result would be the same and we would have legal abortion, as it happened in European countries. And this topic would be settled and regulated on state level.
Due to overreach of Supreme Court with Roe v. Wade, we ended up with such a polarizing discussion that has lasted for over 50 years now. And will continue to tear up US society for many more years to come.
There is nothing worse than activist judges, their zeal to legislate from the bench is one of the most anti-democratic things imaginable that tears fabric of our justice system. I you want to make laws and legislate, then take of judge's robe put the suit on and run for congress, don't do judistical activism.
To keep the thing short, this was great decision by Supreme Court, correction of Roe v. Wade was long overdue, sadly damage that this decision caused will follow US for decades to come.
I'm in the anti-Roe, pro choice camp. The SCOTUS decision was inevitable, and it pointed out a failure of the legislative branch, which should have passed a clean bill legalizing abortion with terms more reasonable than allowing the equivalent of, imho, infanticide.
The problem with the pro choice movement, similar to the second amendment issues, is that both movements are in the hands of fanatics. I believe the majority of the citizens support a right to choose, but with something similar to the European laws. I also believe that most people support the second amendment, short of bazookas, while respecting an owners rights. I, personally don't support red flag laws as they are ripe for abuse by activist states.
Anyway, Congress is the common problem as they are owned by lobbyists who represent the fanatics, and the elected officials are incapable of pursuing reasonable legislation.
“We know that it’s chic these days to write off virtues like civility and decency and humility and grace. We believe those things are the only way forward. That the only alternative to violence is persuasion and argument.
We hope that in some small way Common Sense is able to facilitate that exchange, to provide a forum for good-faith argument, to make it easier for people of varying backgrounds and opinions to forge a greater understanding, not with an eye toward papering over our many differences or the profound moral and medical and political implications of yesterday’s ruling, but with the hope that that might make living together more possible.”
I had to get off of social media yesterday because it worse than I had imagined it would be in the wake of this decision. The above quote is a reminder that panicked vitriol will continue to get us nowhere.
With the number of abortions performed each year, it is clear it has become a method of birth control instead of just an emergency remedy for rape and incest.
I would like the screaming, violent women to take a deep breath and remember that pregnancy is not a tumor that just mysteriously forms in their uteri. They had sex with some guy. They need to use one of the many options available to prevent conception. How difficult is that? Not doing so makes them appear indifferent to the consequences, and if killing a little baby is necessary, no big deal. I find that unacceptable, even cruel.
Feminism was supposed to make women strong and independent, and yes, that meant no more waiting til marriage for sex. Fine. Have all the sex you want. But bear the responsibility of prevention.
I also think it is time the abortion process came out of the closet. Along with the “Jenny gets her period” movie we got in 5th grade, let’s have a “Jenny considers an abortion” movie. Let’s see what’s involved—-pills that cause serious cramps, bleeding, and passing a lump you flush down the toilet, or worse, an operation in which tiny limbs are sucked out. Maybe young women would be motivated to get and take that BC pill religiously if they knew what they were risking.
This country was founded on the idea of states as independent laboratories. We got away from that by allowing too much power in DC. I am happy to see that change a bit. State like CA, NY, IL will become abortion profit centers. Some will allow 9mo abortions. If that’s what their citizens want, so be it. But other states’ citizens find abortion has become all too common and easy.
There are tests now that detect pregnancy at 2 or 3 weeks. Women who have unprotected sex should take these tests regularly. If positive, use the pills as soon as possible. Women have miscarriages pretty often early in pregnancy, so I could rationalize aborting these early pregnancies as a miscarriage. But letting them go til you need that horrific surgical abortion—-which I wouldn’t do on puppies—- is just unacceptable.
When will we get back to valuing life? I look at those death cultish, screaming women with their bloody baby dolls and signs that say, “Fetus=good snack” and recoil in disgust. They sure don’t help their cause.
I came of age in the late 70's, early 80's. The right to abortion was taken for granted in the circles in which I ran. The whole sexual revolution was a given. As a woman I thought this was all good and right and I didn't question it. It was only as I moved into my 20's that the cracks began to show in my own life. I won't bore you with the details but over the years (decades actually) I changed my mind about abortion. Philosophically I reasoned that it wasn't ok for a larger more powerful person to take the life of a small powerless person. (With the advent of high tech ultra-sound it was no longer possible to deny the humanity of the fetus in the womb.) On a practical level, I know both from my own life and from reading various studies (I am too lazy to provide links but they are out there) that the sexual revolution has made both men and women less happy- and unlimited abortion is the backstop to the sexual revolution. Casual sex without attachment has infantilized men and objectified women's sexuality more than ever. Our dignity, both men's and women's, has been sacrificed on the altar of sexual permissiveness. None of us are better for it. I do not want to criminalize abortion. I was fortunate to never have one but here's something ironic for you- the friends I knew who had abortions all had the same sentiment, "I felt I had no choice." I find it strange that "pro-choice" people often target pregnancy centers for their criticism. Is not the desire to raise a child from an unplanned pregnancy a "choice?" I am almost 60. I want to help create a culture for life. I want human beings to embrace their dignity. I want abortion to be unthinkable. I want men and women to flourish and I want every newly conceived life to be embraced with wonder and awe. Human beings are selfish- none more than me so I know this is a tall order but it is one I am willing to work for. Peace to all regardless of where you fall on this issue.
Fortunate for me has been my decision to keep minimal social media accounts and to frequent them only once a day. The exception is participation in thoughtful comment sections on thoughtful blogs. This being one such of a few.
Admittedly, I did bristle at the first line referring to “constitutional right to abortion.” I have always thought that was a wrong characterization. It is not the SC’s role to make law and there is nothing in the constitution that I can find that creates a right to abortion, so there is nothing in the constitution for SCOTUS to affirm.
I think we will do well to thoroughly read both Justice Alito’s and Justice Thomas’s explanations. I do sincerely trust that they have not justified the decision merely on personal religious or ideological grounds but on grounds relating directly to what are the role and responsibility of the Supreme Court in deciding ANY case.
What's this nonsense about a Texas woman driving to New Mexico for an abortion "being extradited" back to Texas. Stop with the frivolous hysteria that only throws fuel on the fire. Anyone wanting an abortion will be able to do do.......just like anyone of color wanting to vote (as in Georgia) will be free to do so. By the way, Gavin Newsom has announced that California will provide free abortions to out-of-state women. I wonder if birthing men will also be allowed free abortions in California?
I think the heart of the abortion debate comes down to whether or not you recognize the humanity of an unborn child or not.
The pro-choice side makes very convincing arguments... if you believe the unborn child is just a “cluster of cells” or a “parasite”.
For me, I simply haven’t heard any arguments to convince me that an unborn child is not an unborn child.
Abortion is not illegal in 13 states (though it may soon be in Missouri, at least for now). The Supreme Court decided it is not an enumerated right of the Federal government to decide such matters (the Supreme Court) under the Constitution, meaning the states shall decide. If a state decides abortion is illegal, then it will be illegal within the borders of that state. If a state decides it is legal up to or during delivery at 9 months, then it will be legal.
The Roe decision was wrong and Ruth Bader Ginsburg said so much. The case is based upon “substantive due process” which is a foggy interpretation of the 4th and 14th Amendment that sweeps up rights and obligations that are not in the Constitution and protects or creates these from state or federal law. The problem with “substantive due process” is just that, it is substantive and can serve both right and left. It goes both ways.
Abortion is a decision that must be made by each state under a Federal system. The same is true for gay marriage and other rights to “privacy.” It may take time and may lead to twists and turns, but in the end society supports and grows to accept the codification of such changes. You, Bari Weiss, are not an emotionalist. You may support abortion anytime or anyplace, but you also must support a government of laws and a Constitution that is not written to solve all contingencies at the Federal level.
The states get to decide all that is not an enumerated power in the Constitution, unless you want to do away with state and local government. But think first before you jump all the way. There are bigger issues here. One Federal government - all powerful - carries risks of authoritarianism. Take your pick: Have uniform abortion in all 50 states and risk centralized, authoritarian power, or let the states decide. Trust “we the people”, they and their state legislatures will eventually arrive at legislative solutions that are best. 9 people sitting on a court in Washington too often get it wrong, struggling for decades to unwind what they have done (see slavery and Jim Crow). Better to read the Constitution and the Declaration in the clear language with which they were written.
With our political leaders hurling invective with such ease I don’t know that they’ll be able to come together with reasonable, common sense federal legislation on the issue of abortion. Hatred is the order of the day, and hatred sells. I pray they’ll drop the hyperbole and get to work on on federal laws that both sides can live with, but I fear that these attention seeking overgrown children will intentionally spike legislation with absurdities to prevent a compromise and keep the issue unsettled for political purposes.
Ya know for me bottom line - this decision is now back in the hands of the people. As most decisions should be with the exception of protecting our borders and ensuring our military is well funded to fight off enemies foreign and domestic. That is the purpose of the federal government. Its too bad the decisions in the hands of the people led to the destruction of small business and the destruction of the psyche of many children across America the last two years. Because the decisions of the people sometimes suck for some people. But thats how it rolls in a Republic - states rights govern and those of the elected officials in those states. And that right there my friends is why I #walkedaway from the Democratic party and will NEVER go back to those cretins. Because they want the decisions in the hands of a few crazy federal bureaucrats. NO THANK YOU.
This is the one issue that is extremely difficult to find common ground. In my old age I have come to understand both sides of the argument. Particularly after I educated myself on Roe, which I suspect 90% of the people do not bother to do. I am optimistic that logic and reason can light the way.
My view: it should be legal to murder unborn babies in the first 15 weeks. Let’s just cut the semantics and call it what it is. Stop trying to make ourselves feel better by using words like “healthcare”. Then we can have a reasoned and logical discussion. Abortions have a lot of societal benefits and not everyone wants or is ready to have a baby. I’d vote to allow abortions and also to provide free services for all women. That said , given there is a second life involved , I do understand why some people, societies, or jurisdictions might view things differently not want to allow it. I don’t think that killing an unborn baby can be an unalienable right.
So, yes I am pro choice, but I will not sacrifice logic and reason. The Roe decision was flawed and the court made the right call which is why the dissent is completely void of any fact or legal argument (par for the course for the Left). That said , I hope all 50 states or even the Federal government pass laws allowing abortion.
For this greatest nation to survive, we need to get back to unemotional and unpolitical discourse. The Left has no ability to apply logic and reason, only to force their will.
As a libertarian leaning Canadian male, my opinion on US abortion is probably not very relevant.
I’m personally a “you do you and I’ll do me” sort of person. I suspect I fall in a majority view that after the first trimester, I feel abortion should be restricted to rare health issues, but up to that point it should be a woman’s personal decision what she does.
I do think the decision is likely the proper one legally. The Democrats had numerous opportunities in the last 50 years to attempt to craft a national law to ensure some measure of abortion rights, yet I can’t help but feel they didn’t because the specter of Roe v Wade being overturned helped keep a percentage of their base highly engaged and contributing.
I do agree that the pandemic highlighted the importance of states’ rights, in a way I wish we had in Canada, to provide a counterweight to an omniscient federal leviathan bent on taking away individual choices in the name of the greater good.
And perhaps this issue is part of the price to pay to maintain that counterweight. If you don’t like your state’s abortion law, and that’s an important issue to you, move to one you do like.
"And cultural ones: How did we wind up with a feminist movement that is policing our ability to say the word woman, but has been unable to safeguard second-wave feminism’s most important victory?" Outstanding column Bari, as usual. Unfortunately the trans movement has preempted the feminist movement, and ultimately will erase many of its gains. The recent proposed changes to Title IX, for example, will in the long term destroy women's sports. Other things are being lost for women and girls, like the simple right to modesty and privacy in dressing rooms and showers.
The case before the court, Dobbs v. Jackson, would have put the US in a point of consistency with 90% of Western Europe. It is hard for me to see that as Draconian when so much admiration has been heaped on our European brothers and sisters. One has to wonder whether we couldn’t have navigated this fraught issue without the demands that abortion be legal up until delivery.
For this reason, I was so dismayed when Senator Schumer promised that right immediately upon the leak of the draft opinion. Surely that is not a position supported by anything close to a majority of Americans. That is why our nation is pulling its eyes out. We have no ability to compromise, no ability to recognize that we will never agree on all issues. And, yet, we march forward with these strident positions: open border, wall the border, gender is self-determined and a choice for minors, it never ends.
Thank goodness for Merrick Garland encouraging nonviolence yesterday. What I heard from our POTUS was simply dividing the country at the time of raw disappointment to so many, calling this simply a decision of Trump justices, and further gouging our divisions and turning what should be our most sacred branch into a political tool.
We must stop partisan behavior in ourselves or men like Trump become attractive as wrecking balls. The most difficult political position to occupy is dead-center. If we are not willing to impose that discipline on ourselves, and choose strict right or left options, we will abort this democracy.