January 23, 2018


Roe v. Wade at 45: Most Americans Support Abortion Restrictions : Technology enabling parents to see and doctors to treat unborn children collides with the decades-old Supreme Court decision. (Alexandra DeSanctis, January 22, 2018, National Review)

The majority justices -- seven in all, and led by opinion author Harry Blackmun -- knew exactly what outcome they wanted before the case even began. They wished to resolve the issue quickly in the highest court, putting it to bed before it could spiral out of control in the court of public opinion.

They considered, then, not the text of the Constitution but rather how they could best justify what they viewed as a necessary pro-abortion decision to prevent a vicious public and legislative battle. This political motivation led them to provide a thin legal and constitutional basis for the amorphous right to abortion -- a fact that has been acknowledged by scholars on both sides of the issue.

If, as Blackmun's writings later revealed, their goal was to entrench abortion rights as publicly acceptable, the past 45 years have proven their grand strategy a complete failure. Almost half a century later, the abortion question has grown to take up immense space in public debate. While the percentage of Americans who say they support abortion rights has stayed largely the same since 1973, the percentage of those who describe themselves as "pro-life" has risen.

Today, rising numbers of Americans report that a candidate's abortion views are highly important in determining their vote. Abortion-rights and pro-life groups alike spend millions annually to elect candidates who will push their preferred abortion legislation. Over the last decade, the Left has demanded not only the unlimited right to an abortion but also government funding and the participation of anti-abortion health-care providers.

And none of these issues shows any sign of impending resolution.

Because it improperly plucked the issue out of the democratic process, Roe embroiled the judicial system in an endless struggle to demarcate the nebulous lines of the fabricated right to an abortion. 

Posted by at January 23, 2018 9:00 AM