Thomas: The end of Roe?
Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed the accuracy of a leaked document that revealed an initial majority vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. In that memo, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the 1973 case overturning restrictive state abortion laws was “egregiously wrong from the start.” So where do the 64 million babies aborted in the U.S. since that historic decision go for justice?
The leak of the SCOTUS’ internal document is hardly unprecedented, but it is rare, and the person who leaked it almost certainly had a political motive. Chief Justice John Roberts, whose vote was not revealed in the memo, must assemble the entire court, including clerks, and discover the one responsible for the leak. At a minimum they should be fired or prosecuted if they broke any law or violated any condition of employment.
Predictably, those supporting abortion were swift to react. Were they prepared for the leak? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a joint statement in which they lamented the loss of a woman’s “bodily autonomy.” What about the baby’s bodily autonomy, especially those that have developed sufficiently to live outside the womb if given the chance?
Some believe that Roe has led to a modern version of Old Testament child sacrifices to pagan gods. Modern “gods” are more sophisticated. We worship pleasure and wrong decisions without consequences. The widespread availability of contraceptives, pregnancy help centers and adoption services for those who have unplanned pregnancies do not deter the pro-choicers. To them, abortion is a faux sacred rite.
What’s next? Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was quick to issue a statement calling on the Senate to get rid of the filibuster so a majority might codify Roe in legislative law.
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Assuming the draft memo reflects the Supreme Court’s intent — and especially if Chief Justice Roberts joins with the majority, making it a more substantial 6-3 outcome — there is the matter of enforcement. The issue will return to the states as things were prior to Roe. California and New York, along with some other states, will surely pass laws reflecting the content of Roe. Voters will then decide whether to punish or reward their legislators.
What about states that have — or will have — restrictive abortion laws, including outlawing the procedure in most or even all cases? Will women seeking an abortion within those states be arrested and prosecuted? Will those who perform them be similarly dealt with? An abortion pill is likely to become more widely available so that women who wish to abort at home won’t have to visit a medical facility.
The media can be counted on to look for any situation featuring an arrested woman or abortion provider and craft it in a way that promotes the pro-choice position.
The hysterical reaction from many on the left again reveals their belief that they are the sole arbiters of all things and those who disagree must conform or be smeared with what have become familiar pejorative labels.
A Gallup survey in 2010, reported in USA Today, found that “support for making abortion broadly illegal (was) growing fastest among young adults.” This was “a sharp change from the late 1970s, when seniors were substantially more likely than younger age groups to want abortion to be illegal.” The number of pro-life young adults has likely grown in ensuing years, especially now that high-grade sonograms show details of the unborn child.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, it won’t be the end of abortion, but it is likely to sharply reduce the number.
Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan).