We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
With all the buzz surrounding Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito and his views on abortion, the same tired old fallacies regarding the Roe v. Wade decision have again been hauled out by the left, always eager to show how overturning Roe would force women to seek Ted Kennedy's infamous "back-alley abortions." Perhaps unsurprisingly, the MSM has been complicit in this distortion of the truth, as seen in the AP article here. A couple choice excerpts:
"Samuel Alito's nomination on Monday fanned immediate concern among liberals, but sparked joy among religious conservative groups keen to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion."
"Other opponents think Roe v Wade was improperly decided, quarrelling with legal reasoning that banning abortion would infringe privacy rights enshrined in the Constitution."
Can anyone spot the problem here? Since all Roe did was to prohibit states from legislating blanket bans on abortion, to say that it "legalized" abortion, or worse, as implied in the second quote, that overturning Roe would result in a ban on abortions, is simply dishonest, if not duplicitous. Prior to 1973, all state legislatures were free to legalize abortion, though many of course did not. It follows, then, that if Roe were overturned, no state would be compelled to ban abortions, though at least a few most likely would, with others enacting tighter restrictions on access. The matter would simply return to the states to decide - no more and no less.
Roe was not exactly the black and white result that many on the left make it out to be, either, as it did allow exceptions to be made after the first three months of pregnancy, and left open a window for bans on abortion during the period when the fetus would be viable outside the womb (e.g. the notorious issue of "partial birth" abortions). Casting the debate strictly in terms of "banning" and "legalizing" abortion hardly helps the public understand the complexities of the decision.
In any event, I think the true threat to the right to abortion in any state would not come from a repeal of Roe v. Wade, which makes its case from the perspective of an established right to privacy, but from a law which sought to establish the fetus as a legally protected entity with rights of its own. The beginnings of such legislation are in fact already on the books as the so-called "Laci's Law," which makes it a separate crime to kill or injure a fetus, and which allows the for a charge of murder for killing the fetus even if the mother survives. Though the law provides a specific exemption for abortion, the contradictions apparent in this distinction seem to have already laid the grounds for future lawsuits.