The “Abortion Distortion”: How Roe Poisoned American Culture
This comment was first posted on breakpoint.org.
A recent photo report in Atlantic documented dozens of pro-abortion protests across the country following the Supreme Court ruling Dobbs decision. Protesters, often dressed as servants of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, seem to believe that the Court has taken something away from them. Even the description of the article criticizes the judges for having “removed a federal right to abortion”.
In fact, the decision of the majority in the Dobbs the case did not change a single abortion law. What they did was end the 49-year-old Supreme Court intervention that took the issue of abortion out of the hands of elected lawmakers, and therefore out of the hands of the American people. Now, thanks to this decision, voters can, for the first time in a generation, democratically decide the question by going to the polls and making their voices heard.
Of course, any law that authorizes the killing of unborn children is unjust and morally unacceptable, even if it is the will of the voters. Thus, the ultimate goal for Christians should to be that abortion is not only illegal in all 50 states, but unthinkable in the modern world, swept into the dustbin of history like other historical evils. Obviously, given the reaction to the Dobbs decision, it will involve changing many hearts and minds.
However, the decision of Dobbs is an incredible victory and an important step in restoring the rule of law in this country and bringing the issue of abortion to the people. deer was a legal disaster that was used for decades to crush all state-level abortion regulations and silence voters who wanted those regulations in place. As Ryan Anderson and Alexandra DeSanctis write in their new book, Tear us apart,
[Roe] removed almost all questions about abortion policy from the hands of the American people and placed the matter in the hands of unelected judges, even though the Constitution contains nothing that can remotely support a right to abortion.
Former judge Sandra Day O’Connor, someone who was far from pro-life, described the justice’s attitude on this issue as “abortion distortion”. According to Justice O’Connor, “no legal rule or doctrine is immune from ad hoc overruled by this Court when the occasion for its application arises in a case involving state regulation of abortion. In other words, she saw that her fellow judges on the left were willing to use specious arguments to defend abortion rights, even when they meant ignoring established norms and precedents. In fact, even the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a staunch supporter of the so-called “right to choose,” admitted that in legal terms, deer was a “brutal judicial intervention”.
Not only Dobbs represent a time when the Supreme Court relinquishes power and returns it to the states, but it could put America much more in line with the rest of the developed world on the issue of abortion. Believe it or not, America’s abortion law, thanks in large part to deerhas been more consistent with the laws of repressive totalitarian regimes than other liberal democracies.
As Anderson and DeSanctis note, only seven countries, including North Korea
allow voluntary abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy. American abortion policy is far more permissive even than the political regimes of most European countries. Thirty-nine of the forty-two European countries that allow abortion allow it only in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.
To put this into perspective, we are told that the Mississippi law at the heart of the Dobbs case is comparable to Margaret Atwood’s fictional gender dystopia. But the reality is that by banning voluntary abortion after 15 weeks, the law has made Mississippi comparable to gender dystopias like… well, France.
Given these facts, it is difficult to understand the extreme reaction of many pro-abortion supporters to this decision. The judges did not change a single law. What they did was send the question back to the states, and therefore to the voters. The process now unfolding in all 50 states is the one that the Supreme Court short-circuited almost 50 years ago by making the decision for us and inventing a constitutional right to abortion.
As Anderson and DeSanctis note, this “brutal” intervention corrupted our political process, undermined the will of voters, and fostered a mentality among progressives that whatever they couldn’t get support in legislatures, they could demand. of the Supreme Court. In Dobbs, six of the judges seem to be signaling that things won’t work that way anymore.
Of course, progressive states will enshrine abortion in law, which means that lives will continue to be snuffed out in this country by white-clad professionals practicing what they call “health care.” Until that changes, our work for justice must continue. But thanks to this ruling, laws designed to save young lives will no longer be stifled by black-robed lawyers practicing what they call “constitutional law.”