Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The Day After Roe
Interesting article. Jeffery Rosen (the author of the article) predicts that there would be a battle upon the repeal of Roe v Wade and that, should there be an end, we would settle on a middle ground that would give all early abortions a pass while putting restrictions on later abortions that grow stronger until the fetus is pushed out of the body by the mother-to-be.
I'm not sure I buy that.
First off, don't be too sure that such an outcome would occur. Remember, the anti-abortion side has been more organized and active all these years. They're not about to roll over and play dead over popular opinion; indeed they'll likely be emboldened by such a ruling, especially in states that still have abortion bans on their books (Michigan is one of them, let's remember). Don't be surprised if the Republicans, in desperate need of captive votes to continue their corporatista rampage, pass and enact national anti-abortion laws. Don't be surprised if secretly encourage Cuba to start providing abortions on its soil for Americans (why else are they offering Free Doctor Training to Americans? Ever think of that?)
Second, don't be too sure that the Supreme Court can only keep the South Dakota law legal by revoking Roe v Wade. Don't be surprised if they rule that the law fits in with the rulings of both Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton. That would do more to limit abortion than a full reversal of Roe and Doe, as what South Dakota allows would work out to be a full ban (fact is, "danger to the mother" is too little to allow for abortion; at those levels it'd be easier, less costly and simpler to merely give last rites to the mother and pray the last rites were unnecessary).
Besides, it wouldn't be the first time a Supreme Court ruling was given flexibility with the okay (stated or implied) of the Court. Probably the most nortorious was Plessey v Furgeson; the phrase "Seperate But Equal" was readily redefined as "Seperate, Equality Impossible" by the states. The "Corporations Are People Under The Law" interpretation has been run with until it reads "Corporations Have Rights, People Don't (when they go against corporation rights)."
Something else to consider.