Roe didn't settle anything

On Saturday, the Dallas Morning News ran an editorial about the new Texas abortion law.  It basically said the new law won't change hearts and minds.  It may not change hearts, but it may keep a few beating.

Back in my college days, a professor said something comparing the U.S. Supreme Court to an umpire or referee.  In other words, the idea is that judicial opinions were meant to settle the issue.  Roe v. Wade did not settle a thing because you can't settle something by forcing one side to accept someone else's views on abortion.

Once again, we see how the root of the problem is Roe, a horrific opinion written 48 years ago, when all we knew about pregnancy is that a woman's tummy got bigger and bigger.

We couldn't hear back then a beating heart inside the womb.

We knew back then that there was something moving inside the mother.  I remember hearing stories of pregnant moms talking about movements and so on.  Today, we know the baby's sex and put photos of the baby on refrigerators.

What would have happened if the Supreme Court had simply punted in 1973 and sent the issue back to the states with a note about reading the 10th Amendment?  My guess is that most people would have understood, and legislatures would have started working on abortion solutions.

What would abortion look like today without Roe?

First, the issue would have never been politicized and turned into a weapon to destroy judicial nominees.  "Borking" is the word, I think.

Second, the U.S. Senate would have been spared the ugliness that we saw with Mr. Kavanaugh, or, as David Brooks wrote in 2005 about the treatment of Mr. Alito:

The fact is, the entire country is trapped. Harry Blackmun and his colleagues suppressed that democratic abortion debate the nation needs to have. 

The poisons have been building ever since. 

You can complain about the incivility of politics, but you can't stop the escalation of conflict in the middle. You have to kill it at the root. 

Unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, politics will never get better.

That's correct.  We are trapped, and people don't like to be trapped.

Let's hope five justices send the issue back to the states when the Mississippi law comes before the Court next year.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).

Image via Max Pixel.

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