A FEW thoughts on the overturning of Roe v Wade, returning policy on abortion to the individual States of America. Loyal readers of this website will know that I am pro-life as I have serious issues with killing babies, unborn or born, and I do not believe that a society that sacrifices its young can survive for long. I believe the overturning of Roe in the decision of Dobbs is nothing short of miraculous, nor did I believe I would see it in my lifetime. As the Left goes into full-on hysterical mode, it is important to point out the basics.
Roe v Wade (1973) was a terrible decision, legally and morally. Every first-year law student in the land knows this. If any commentator had actually read the decisions: Roe v Wade, establishing the constitutional right to abortion, Casey confirming it and Dobbs that overturned it (I wager that very few have), they would understand legally what a terrible decision Roe was.
There was never a right to an abortion in the US Constitution. The fact that a super-activist Supreme Court managed to find one when it was convenient to them never settled the issue, it only inflamed it, as the late Justice Ginsberg acknowledged.
By way of contrast the abortion question in the UK was settled in Parliament and changed when necessary. Pro-choice activists in Ireland spent two years telling everyone that the abortion issue was too complex an issue to be in the Irish constitution and therefore the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution, which recognised the right to life of the unborn child, should be repealed. This was passed by referendum, wherein Parliament again passed the legislation legalising certain abortions. And yet both the Irish media and UK media will tell you, oh yes, the US constitution can legalise abortion even though 1) our countries did not deal with it that way and 2) it is not even mentioned anywhere in the written US Constitution.
My point is, for the Left, this abortion decision, Dobbs, is not just about sacrificing children (although that is something they ardently believe in), it is about power, raw power, and the fact that they feel their power ebbing away. For 50 years the Left could push through their radical agenda without popular support by having five votes on the Supreme Court. Five votes: that’s all it took to change the law for a population of 332million. Now the Left’s radical agenda will be a little bit more difficult to pursue, especially in red states. That’s why they are angry. That, and the fact fewer unborn babies will be killed (but not in New York and California, the most populous states, where they can continue to kill the pre-born with gusto).
Dobbs tells the Left: you can’t just make stuff up. Dobbs tells the Left: when it comes to the law and the courts there are rules. You can’t just pull ‘rights’ out of your black robes – there are rules to this kind of thing. This is why the Justice Clarence Thomas grenade (although not part of the binding part of the majority 6-3 opinion) of saying Griswold (the right to contraception), Lawrence (overturning anti-sodomy laws) and Obergefell (legalising gay marriage) case law should all be reconsidered has caused such panic. Again, the Left think, we can’t use five judges to legislate for the whole country. This is going to seriously disrupt our revolutionary plans. So the Left do what they always do when they lose – take to the streets, set stuff on fire, and proclaim the end is nigh. It’s best to ignore them. Somewhere a man will be denied entry to the women’s locker room and they’ll move on.
A few words of caution for conservatives, though. I do think, for what’s it worth, that they should resist what the Left frequently does, namely overplay their hand. I do not think it is a good idea, for instance, to start chasing pregnant women who seek abortions elsewhere across state borders. Part of me thinks, if you want an abortion that badly maybe you wouldn’t be such a great mother. Overturning Roe should be the beginning of a shift in the culture, away from the culture of death and towards a culture of life. This needs more than rhetoric – this requires actual policy change.
The most obvious policy change should be having a federal maternity leave plan. It is quite obvious that not having federal maternity leave is pretty terrible and pushing mothers back to work after only a few weeks of giving birth is also terrible. Serious changes should be made whereby maternal health care, and the health care of babies and children, should also be covered. Personally, I would go properly radical – there should be child tax reductions in states that do not have it, and wage subsidies for the working low-paid families with children. A percentage of the gargantuan student debt held by American millennials should also be cancelled for each child they have.
How would you pay for this? Well, you could tax Planned Parenthood, tax all the social media companies, have a ‘Covid windfall tax’ on Big Pharma, a ‘protect our high street’ tax on Amazon, and a tax on financial transactions such as credit default swaps. But these are just taxes on the companies you don’t like, I hear you say. Exactly, dear reader, they are. This is my fantasy and I’ll tax who I want to.
So, there we have it. We have lived to see the fall of Roe. It was a bad day for the baby killing industry and a good day for life.