Letter: Thistlethwaite’s misreading of Roe v. Wade

The Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite’s recent opinion column suffers from several notable errors.

First, and most significant is her assertion that Roe v. Wade “upheld a constitutional right to abortion.”

The majority opinion in Roe v. Wade did no such thing. What if did do was to create this alleged right out of whole cloth. Nothing in the Constitution established a right to abortion. Liberal legal scholars who are pro-abortion, and even that liberal idol, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, have recognized that the legal basis for a constitutional right to abortion supposedly upheld by Roe v. Wade is flimsy at best.

Second, the Rev. Dr. states “Forced pregnancy is immoral on many levels.” Roe v. Wade did not prevent any woman from becoming pregnant. The notion of “forced pregnancy” has nothing to do with the debate over, and bona fides of, Roe v. Wade.

Third, the Rev. Dr. states “This Supreme Court is widely unrepresentative of the American people on this issue.” Apparently, the Rev. Dr. doesn’t understand the Supreme Court’s role in our system of republican federal government. The Supreme Court is not a legislature, though it has been used as such by the left when the left’s program could not be enacted by the people’s representatives in Congress. Nor did the founders intend for the Supreme Court to “represent” the people. The Court’s mandate under the Constitution is to rule on the law as expressed in the Constitution, Bill of Rights and laws duly passed by the Congress.

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Fourth, the Rev. Dr. compounds her misunderstanding of the court when she writes “We are in the midst of minority rule by the Supreme Court …” As noted above, the court opines on the law, it does not rule.

Lastly, as a gratuitous argument that has absolutely nothing to do with abortion and Roe v. Wade, the Rev. Dr. refers to gerrymandered states. Perhaps she is unaware that liberals are as responsible for gerrymandering as are convervatives. Indeed, liberal gerrymandered voting districts have recently been rejected by the courts in such “blue” states as New York and Maryland.

If the Justice Samuel Alito’s improvidently published draft opinion becomes the court’s decision, it will return the issue of abortion where it belongs in our federal system — to the states.

If abortion is as popular as the Rev. Dr. claims, she should not fear having state legislatures, who do represent the people, address this issue based on the will of the voters.

Gerald Katz


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