There’s a terrible stigma that has been placed around the potential (though still highly unlikely) overturning of Roe v Wade following the signing of the Alabama abortion bill into law two weeks ago. This has been the result of a complete misunderstanding of how the Supreme Court ruling works. Overturning it will not suddenly outlaw abortions nationwide. Overturning it will return the ultimate power over abortion laws to the states where it belongs.
Roe v Wade does not technically make abortions legal. It simply makes it illegal to outlaw abortions. Some may say that’s semantics, but it’s an important distinctions. If Roe v. Wade was overturned, states would have the ability to do as Alabama has done and make abortions virtually illegal. But for that to happen, the Supreme Court would almost certainly rule that other abortion laws at the state level were equally Constitutional such as New York’s “abort whenever” laws.
Some laws in a post-RvW world would come into effect, and almost all of those would be examined by the current legislatures in their states. There are pre-1973 laws still in effect in several states that may be kept or scrapped, depending on the disposition of the current government of that state.
But one thing is certain: Most states without recently passed abortion laws would be forced to make quick decisions about how they will handle abortions going forward.
This has been and always will be a cultural battle as much as it is a legal or political battle. Perhaps it’s more cultural than anything else. If women want abortions, they’ll find a way. If they don’t, they can’t be forced into it. It’s incumbent on the pro-life movement to not only fight these legal battles but more importantly to fight the cultural battles. We want women who are scared to know they’ll get help whether they decide to keep the baby or have it adopted. We want men to stop using abortion as a way to avoid responsibility and commitment. We want both men and women to stop using abortion as birth control. To do this, we have to do more than change the laws. We have to change the culture.
Some may ask why it’s unlikely the Alabama law will be used to overturn Roe v. Wade. There are two reasons: John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh. Neither seem obliged to take such an historic step in their tenures on the bench. That’s why I believe the likely outcome will be 6-3 against the Alabama bill IF it’s even allowed to be considered once lower courts strike it down.
If abortion really is about healthcare, it belongs in the hands of the states. If it’s about personhood, it must be made national as a result of consensus by each individual state. Either way, this is a life issue that must be returned to states.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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