Skip to comments.What Will Happen When Roe v. Wade Is Overturned?
Posted on 12/03/2016 6:16:13 PM PST by ReformationFan
President-elect Trumps reconfirmation recently on 60 Minutes that he will nominate pro-life judges has sparked some unprecedented media focus on what will happen when Roe v. Wade is overturned. This focus is long overdue. The notion of Supreme Court justices acting as public-health officials ranking the priority of abortion as health care, deciding what standards should apply to the practice in clinics from coast to coast, and deciding what credentials are suitable for abortionists would have astounded the great justices of the past. Thats why it has to be dressed up as some solemn constitutional right that obscures the Courts actual role as the de facto National Abortion Control Board. Justice Sandra Day OConnor recognized what the justices were doing back in 1983, warning of our continued functioning as the nations ex officio medical board with powers to approve or disapprove medical and operative practices and standards throughout the United States.
But no one should jump the gun. There are three huge political hurdles to the Supreme Courts doing the right thing and returning the abortion issue to the democratic process in the States. First, it will take at least the replacement of Justice Scalia (with a like-minded Justice), plus the replacement of one or two of the Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan who threw out health and safety standards for Texas abortion clinics last June, claiming the need for evidence of a public-health crisis in abortion clinics.
Second, the U.S. Senate, with a 5248 (possibly shifting) RepublicanDemocratic split, will be a high hurdle when it comes time for a vote during the confirmation process. Third, Planned Parenthood and 30 allied organizations, and their billionaire population-control funders, like George Soros and Warren Buffett, backed by numerous billion-dollar foundations, will all be working 24/7 to pressure the Senate and prop up Roe v. Wade, backed by a media bullhorn featuring all kinds of horrible myths about the implications. They will work to hide the reality that in the U.S. today, abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason whatsoever, and sometimes with taxpayers subsidies, putting our nation in the company of North Korea, China, and Canada as the only nations that allow abortion for any reason after fetal viability.
But once those hurdles are overcome and Roe is overturned, there are three essential conditions that will maintain the status quo for at least the short term and ease the transition back to the states.
First, overturning Roe does not mean that the Court makes abortion illegal. Overturning Roe will return the issue to the states, where legislators can act in accordance with the views of their citizens. And no federal law exists that would make abortion illegal. (Congress might try to legislate a national law, but Congresss constitutional authority to do so, in the absence of Roe, is doubted by legal scholars and judges.)
Second, if Roe were overturned today, abortion would be legal in 40 to 45 states tomorrow, up to 20 weeks and possibly to fetal viability, for the simple reason that there are no enforceable prohibitions on the books in those states before that time. The state legislatures and governors would have to act affirmatively. State regulations that are on the books on the day that Roe is reversed would likely be enforceable parental-notice or consent laws, clinic regulations, etc. subject to specific legal factors in each state that may prevent enforcement. Third, women wont be penalized. The actual practice of the states for nearly a century before Roe (1973) was to target abortionists (the actual practitioners) and to treat the woman as the second victim of abortion. The states will undoubtedly follow that effective practice when Roe is overturned.
What would the states actually do? Based on the data in Americans United for Lifes annual publication, Defending Life, and AULs Life List, showing how the states have legislated (or not) on the life issue for the past 40 years, a fair prediction might be that in the short term a dozen states would maintain abortion on demand, a dozen states would try to enact and enforce broad prohibitions, and about 25 states in the middle might try different limits. That diversity is called federalism, a bedrock of the American constitutional system, which prevents Congress from dictating a single national law (in some areas) and leaves important issues to be decided at the local level, by local representatives accountable to the people at regular elections. It would be wise to leave the abortion issue to the states where Americans can make their voices heard and where it was addressed since colonial days unless 37 states act through constitutional amendment to enact a national rule.
In the meantime, the Court should delegate the broadest possible discretion to the states to address abortion, a serious public-health issue that state legislators and public-health administrators can handle better than unelected judges in Washington. A public-health crisis exists in America today as under-monitored, rarely supervised abortion centers operate as the red-light district of medicine. Abortion advocates increasingly claim that abortion is the supreme right that has to be publicly funded and guaranteed by voters and their tax dollars. But consider the Second Amendment, containing the right to bear arms, which is actually protected by the text of the Constitution: Taxpayers dont have to subsidize the purchase of guns or ensure that people drive less than 30 minutes to have access to a gun dealer. The existence of that express right does not include federal or state responsibility to facilitate a sale.
But public opinion has long shown that the majority of Americans have rejected an extreme view of abortion and want limits on abortion. As the National Abortion Control Board, the Court has failed to protect women and their unborn children from the dangers of abortion and the sometimes deadly conditions inside rarely monitored, poorly supervised abortion clinics. This dangerous public-health vacuum could be filled by the states if the Justices would get out the way.
Clarke Forsythe, an attorney, is the acting president and senior counsel at Americans United for Life (AUL) and the author of Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade (Encounter Books 2013).
It’s not going to be overturned.
Sent back to States?
That is up to God.
The prayer of the righteous availeth much.
It’s not going to be overturned.
The issue will return to the states, and the vast majority of them will leave abortion legal in at least some form.
Some who are dead set on having the "procedure" in lat e trimesters might be "forced" to go to a different state.
In short, the "procedure" will acquire a higher stigma than is currently attached to it, IMHO, and that's a good thing.
Clearly, late term abortion will still remain legal in many states which contain significant "liberal" contingents...
It might be. Trump will need a net three conservative appointments and they will have to be shrewd enough to fly under the confirmation radar. Maybe in five years it could be done.
If it is returned to the states, then hopefully we should no longer have to pay for this atrocity through our federal tax dollars.
The Lord will smile upon America.
“Its not going to be overturned.”
Agreed, at least in the short term. We may see nibbling around the edges, and that is important, but we will not see a full reversal in the next eight years. The mandate that employers pay for birth control, including methods that induce abortion, is likely to disappear. The lawsuits requiring states to fund Planned Parenthood are likely to disappear. More restrictions on abortion, particularly on medical qualifications for abortionists or after fetal viability, will be permitted. However, the core idea of Roe, that there is some sort of privacy right to early abortion in the Penumbra of the Constitution, is likely to persist until there are multiple decisions laying a foundation to reverse that nonsense decision.
No. I don’t think this is something Trump will be able to do in 4 or even 8 years. The US turned a corner long ago. The more major problem we saw was electing Obama for two terms is that a slim majority are comfortable being supported by the government. And they are comfortable letting the government abort their bad decisions.
More crap from the “Against Trump” peddlers.
2nd Amendment: "We need sensible restrictions, nobody needs an AR-15 to kill a deer."
I don’t see RvW being overturned. It’s far too profitable for ProAbort, Inc. and ProLife, Inc. to fight over it while wringing dollars out of the rubes.
As I’ve noted here for several years now: Infanticide will become illegal in the US precisely one month after the last “clinic” closes it’s doors for lack of business.
That’s an awful lot of writing for something that will probably not happen.
It’s a hypothetical question. But it would be a far less stretch of the constitution to say that the life in the womb is protected (whether States want to or not), than to agree with Roe that the States are prohibited from giving such protection.
Nevertheless, a simple overturn would send it to the States. A bold stretch would (in reverse of judicial activism liberals rely on for culture change) would rule that all laws must favor potential life (again not as big a stretch as Roe).
Defund it. Then deal with it at the state level.
and never stop praying
And Trump had no chance of reaching 270..
It won’t be a blood bath. Roe vs. Wade IS a blood bath.
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