I’ll preface with this… I’ve made my stance on abortion clear several times over. I don’t favor the procedure, prefer it did not exist, and would rather women select an option other than abortion when they have an unplanned pregnancy. And the option must be preserved when the pregnancy presents a credible danger to the woman’s health or survival.
But I don’t like it being struck down with the legislative pen. I believe it to be a symptom of underlying fundamental problems in our society rather than a problem unto itself. History has already shown that correcting those underlying issues leads to fewer unwanted pregnancies, leading to fewer abortions. The near uninterrupted downward trend since the early 90s in the number of abortions sought per year shows this.
So now comes the big question: now that Roe is overturned, where will the pro-life organizations go next? A nationwide ban on abortion isn’t feasible. And Planned Parenthood isn’t going away either.
States like California and Illinois are likely to actually have *greater* abortion allowance than the limitations placed on the entire discussion by Roe and Casey, while States like Kansas will outright ban the procedure. (We don’t actually have a law on the books doing so, but it’s been put up for referendum with a vote on August 2nd.)
I know a lot of people are going to compare and contrast Roe with Obergefelle. That if Roe was overturned, then Obergefelle and, possibly, Griswold are next. And the one thing to note with Obergefelle is where in the advance on gay rights it occurred as opposed to Roe and the push for legal abortion. The former was rather late to the party.
Roe, though, was a very early effort.
And the pro-choice groups at the time even urged the lawyers bringing Roe in Texas to drop the case. That they wanted to continue the legislative wins that had already begun rather than going right for the Supreme Court since they felt doing so would more undermine their efforts. And they weren’t wrong.
Griswold, however, isn’t going anywhere either. As much as the hardcore pro-life right like to paint hormonal contraceptives as “abortion pills” due to how they function, they aren’t going to succeed in getting contraceptives banned. Anywhere.
The timing of Griswold is also noteworthy. At the time of its ruling, Massachusetts and Connecticut were the only two States that still had a ban on contraceptives.
Roe and Casey were on much shakier ground. From the outset. It was the quintessential example of the Supreme Court attempting to install a “one size fits all” solution to questions it should’ve jettisoned. Calling the Court in Roe “activist” would be an understatement. And calling the Court in Casey “orderly” would be giving them too much credit.
Outright overturning them, however, is probably a step too far. They really should’ve been replaced. But the issue is how. Unfortunately there really isn’t a good solution to repair the issues Roe and Casey present in their language. They’re more examples of how to not write a Court decision.
But if you interpret today’s decision as eliminating access to abortion, or banning abortion, I’ll know immediately that you have no idea what you’re talking about.