Democrats Overreached Again, This Time on Abortion
There is an expression, “The perfect is the enemy of the good” which encapsulates the danger of overreaching.
We can fiddle with things incessantly, trying to move from a good outcome to a perfect one, and in the process destroy what we are trying to fix or create. Sometimes taking a par, rather than trying for birdie and ending up in the water, is the best course of action, on the golf course, and in life.
Democrats learned this the hard way on abortion, as they have on other issues. Overtaxing and overregulating Americans into economic malaise of inflation and recession generally leads to a shift in political power in Washington D.C., driving the tax-and-spend party, typically Democrats, into the electoral wilderness as history has shown and as may repeat later this year.
Abortion is the latest example of overreach, not quitting at the good, but pushing for the perfect, at least in their minds, and watching their house of cards come tumbling down. I speak of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Roe was decided incorrectly, as even liberal former SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained: "Doctrinal limbs too swiftly shaped...may prove unstable." She was prophetic given the recent SCOTUS overturning of Roe.
The liberal bloc of justices in 1973 somehow found a right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution under a “penumbra of privacy,” something that doesn’t exist in the Constitution, which is the point Ginsburg was making.
After the Roe decision, there were no calls to expand the Supreme Court or eliminate the filibuster for Senate judicial appointments. But leave it to the Democrats and their overreach, as that is exactly what they are pushing for.
Since Roe, abortion was legal in America, although with some stipulation as Roe didn’t grant carte blanche to abortion. There were limits, unlike what some current state laws allow, including my state of Colorado, where unrestricted abortion is permitted up to the time of birth.
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For those bemoaning Roe’s overturning, the language of Roe stated that states could prohibit or regulate abortion after fetal viability. In 1973, this was the last trimester, but 50 years later, a 24-week-old fetus can survive, joining the human race, rather than visiting some organ and tissue procurement facility. States following the Roe decision could prohibit abortion after 24 weeks. Now states can do as they please, removing any and all limits.
Democrats would have been wise to quit while they were ahead. They could have parroted Bill Clinton, a fellow liberal traveler, who proclaimed that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Democrats got what they wanted through Roe, abortion on demand, with willing providers and Planned Parenthood clinics easily accessible and with insurance coverage as the icing on the cake. If they left well enough alone, SCOTUS may have never taken a second look at Roe. But they overreached.
Democrats kept banging the abortion drum. They wanted to expand Roe to resemble the Colorado law, and were quite vocal and militant about it. Democrat candidates had to be right on this issue if they were to have a home in the Democrat party, enjoying the campaign contribution largess of every left-leaning political organization.
It also became a litmus test for SCOTUS nominees, with Catholic pro-abortion U.S. Senators, without any sense of hypocrisy, grilling SCOTUS nominees from a Republican president on their abortion stance, personally and judicially.
This made a mockery of Supreme Court nomination hearings where accomplished jurists and decent human beings were accused of participating in “rape trains” in high school, by flaky witnesses and lawyers.
Keeping Roe in place was the holy grail for the left, yet when Democrats held a veto proof majority in Congress and owned the White House during Obama’s first term, they failed to codify abortion into law. They could have simply tacked abortion legalization on to Obamacare and the recent SCOTUS decision would have been unnecessary.
Despite their pro-abortion stance, in the 50 years since Roe, Democrats made no serious effort to codify abortion through legislation or a constitutional amendment.
Then there were the protests. Remember the “pink pussy hats” worn by those so worried that a Trump presidency might curtail their ability to have an abortion? How ironic that Roe was overturned during the Biden presidency, not the Trump presidency.
Remember Joe Biden’s one time stance on abortion? Biden first entered the U.S. Senate a few weeks before the Roe decision, of which he noted, “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.” You would have thought Biden was a Republican. But he too overreached as his stance “evolved.”
Some state governors, such as Ralph Northam of Virginia, also couldn’t leave well enough alone. Regarding born-alive late term abortions, Northam, a pediatric neurologist, stated, “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.” Most would call killing a newborn baby murder, not simply an extension to “a woman’s right to choose.”
There was also overreaching Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran who voiced support for legislation allowing abortion at the time of labor and delivery.
Overreaching, Democrats celebrated each and every abortion. Television shows like “Scandal” glorified main character Olivia Pope’s abortion of the U.S. president’s love child. Every election cycle featured women dressed in “Handmaid’s Tale” outfits bemoaning any potential restriction on abortion.
Interestingly only seven countries, including the U.S., permit elective abortion past 20 weeks.
Yet this wasn’t good enough for Democrats.
Now that Roe was overturned, it’s the end of the world for the pro-abortion, anti-life crowd, when in fact the recent SCOTUS was not even about abortion per se but on how it was incorrectly decided on constitutional grounds.
Per the Tenth Amendment, rights not enumerated in the U.S. Constitution are left to the states to decide. This means that residents of the states, through either a ballot referendum or their elected state representatives, make the rules. States like Colorado, New York, California, and others will place no limits on abortion, whereas others may severely restrict or even prohibit abortion, except for rare circumstances like the health of the mother.
If SCOTUS, in 1973, simply followed the U.S. Constitution and made a ruling similar to that of the current SCOTUS, the issue would have been decided by the people, or their elected representatives, as opposed to unelected justices in black robes. If that occurred, it is likely that abortion would not have been such a contentious and divisive issue for the past 50 years.
This is how most countries handled abortion and, in these countries, it is hardly the hot button issue that it is in America. The Democrats and the left have only themselves to blame, unless that was the goal along, to make abortion a perpetual campaign issue to raise money and get out the vote.
But states’ rights and the Tenth Amendment are now fair game and expect SCOTUS to rule with this in mind for the foreseeable future, and perhaps overturn other incorrectly decided non-constitutional issues. All because of Democrat overreach, making the perfect the enemy of the good.
Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., is a physician and writer. Follow him on Twitter @retinaldoctor ; on Truth Social @BrianJoondeph and at LinkedIn @Brian Joondeph