Leftists aren’t merely callous when they talk about the economics of abortion

On MSNBC, Ali Velshi had an illuminating conversation with Sheelah Kolhatkar, a writer from The New Yorker, about the Supreme Court’s draft decision striking down Roe v. Wade. Both agreed that the Constitution was irrelevant to the issue and that the real point should be the economic effects of reversing the case. This was not mere callous utilitarianism. Instead, this is another building block in positioning abortion so that, when Congress passes a law striking down all state restrictions on abortion, that law passes constitutional muster.

NewsBusters reported on the dialogue that MSNBC’s Velshi had with Sheelah Kolhatkar during his Saturday show. Both, of course, were opposed to returning the question of abortion to the states, in place of the present system, which reads an entirely specious right to abortion into the Constitution. But rather than argue the issue on legal grounds (an impossibility, I admit, but they might have tried), they cut to the chase: Limiting abortion has economic consequences.

VELSHI: Sheelah, I mean, I get where Tim Scott was coming from, talking about abortion in terms of labor force participation for women. Lot of things in economics seem callous to put it way.

But I thought Janet Yellen made the argument that may seem callous to you but it’s an element of what we have taken as freedom for this country. That a woman gets to, sort of, decide when she starts the career, when she ends the career, and how her career advances. That's not callous, that’s—that’s—just fact.

SHEELAH KOLHATKAR: Well, as the economist interviewed said, the data is the data. And, of course, you can have moral differences about abortion. We all understand that, but the justices who signed this draft opinion and obviously some members of Congress did not even consider or acknowledge the data that reveals how this will affect women.

And the data is really disturbing. You know, they spend 98 pages of their draft opinion talking about the Constitution, they talk about conception, and the right to life but there's almost nothing about what this will look like in society other than a very cursory throwaway line about how there is widespread access to childcare, contraception, and paid family leave.

The discussion shows, of course, that leftists have no interest in or respect for the Constitution that underlies and limits the American government. It also shows that, typically for leftists, they’re absolutely obsessed with money. There’s a reason that every leftist dictator is a millionaire or billionaire. The only metric by which leftists value things is monetary.

Collage by Andrea Widburg using Baby crawling (edited) by Racool_studio.

But there’s more going on here than the leftist money fetish. If the Supreme Court does indeed return abortion to the states, that means that the federal government loses jurisdiction over abortion. If that’s the case, it has no power to enact any laws governing abortion and, especially, it has no power to control state policies regarding abortion.

The “Women's Health Protection Act of 2022” that Sen. Joe Manchin (D. WV) blocked from passing would instantly have been a nullity if the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade. And of course, should Democrats again try to pass a similar act, it too will be a nullity.

However, the one authority that the federal government has in abundance, thanks to a long line of Supreme Court cases, comes through the Commerce Clause:

Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 3: The Congress shall have power...To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes....

If Democrats can successfully argue that abortion is a matter of such enormous economic consequence that it affects commerce among the several states, then they can claim the right to enact a statute ending any limitations on state-level abortion. That line of argument is what Janet Yellen’s testimony was intended to support and that’s the argument we’re going to see moving forward: That is, if you do away with abortion in some states and not others, the economic impact will drastically affect the United States as a whole.

Why do I predict this? Because (a) the Democrats never abandon an issue, (b) abortion is of paramount importance to them, and (c) the Commerce Clause will be all they’ve got if the Alito opinion, or some variation of that opinion, strikes down Roe v. Wade and returns abortion to the states.

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