Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Supreme Paranoia?

You can't talk about the Supreme Court without thinking about abortion in general, and Roe v. Wade in particular. However, I've noticed one particular theme that I find somewhat interesting: Pro-choice advocates seem to operate on the assumption that the Court overturning Roe will automatically mean a nationwide ban on all abortions.

It is theoretically possible that the Court will admit that its decision in Roe to deny preborn personhood on the basis of an argument from silence was a major blunder, and therefore find in the Fourteenth Amendment a right to life for the preborn.

I repeat: theoretically. Realistically, that is likely too great a shift for the Court to stomach; a more likely outcome of Roe being overturned would be the issue devolving back to the states for regulation.

Now, admittedly, I wouldn't want to try and win over the public with a case as flimsy as that of the pro-choice movement if I could avoid it. But look at the playing field. Today, the pro-choice movement has:

  • Over thirty years of unfettered abortion rights (extending the full nine months of pregnancy, once Doe v. Bolton's expanded definition of "health" is taken into account) as the status quo.
  • Largely sympathetic media coverage that entire period, as well as before.
  • The support of the academic and medical establishments.
  • For the first time ever, a potential benefit for the uninvolved public, in the form of embryonic stem cell research.
If the pro-choice movement can't hold serve now, when can they?

...Maybe that's the point.

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