Roe has been a big source of our divisions
A few years ago, a late friend said something like this: abortion is terrible; Roe is worse. His point was that Roe was the most poisonous Supreme Court opinion ever written. It took abortion from the voters and left us with one of the most radical abortion standards. After all, most countries have regulations on abortion — 12 weeks, for example. In the U.S., it's a woman's right whenever she wants to exercise it.
Over the last few days, we've heard so many lies about overturning Roe. A Wall Street Journal editorial puts in some perspective:
First, they ban abortion. Next will be a contraception ban. Then a ban on same-sex and even interracial marriage. Soon we will all be living in "The Handmaid's Tale."
That's the parade of horribles that Democrats and the media are trying to sell Americans after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would repeal a constitutional right to abortion.
If Roe v. Wade falls, it "would mean that every other decision related to the notion of privacy is thrown into question," President Biden warned Tuesday. "Does this mean that in Florida they can decide they're going to pass a law saying that same-sex marriage is not permissible?" If we can borrow a word he likes, the President is peddling disinformation.
The press is full of similar pearl-clutching about which precedent the Supreme Court might strike down next.
Is it Obergefell (2015), which enshrined gay marriage?
Griswold (1965), which overturned a state law prohibiting married couples from buying contraceptives?
What about even Loving v. Virginia (1967), which guaranteed interracial marriage?
The correct answer is none of the above, as Justice Samuel Alito's draft takes pains to emphasize.
That's correct. None of the above.
What we will see is that a post-Roe world will allow unconditional abortion in blue states. The red states will allow abortion but with some regulations. Maybe a couple of states will ban the practice altogether. In other words, abortion is not going away for those women who really want to get one. Furthermore, an abortion tourism industry will flourish in California and even Canada. Go west, abortionist!
What we are watching is the kind of hysterical news coverage that confirms why Roe is at the core of our divisions. Overturn Roe, and we will see a lot of the poison flushed out of the well.
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Image: Elvert Barnes.