Would it really be so bad if Roe v. Wade were reversed?

Ah, but then we get into it about what is a ‘basic’ right and what isn’t. Some of us will argue that medical treatment is a basic human right, and that women’s reproductive health- contraceptive, pre-natal, and even abortive- are included in this.

Waitaminute—killing children is legal? There’s a loud three-year-old down the block I’d like to take care of. Or does it have to be my “kid?”

I really love Eve , I would like to meet her someday. I’m a swingin single again. :wink:

And despite their “morality”, sometimes the Fundies choose anyway.

Love that article.

Back of the line bub. :wink:

I didn’t mean to imply that it was. My post was in response to Aeschines’ statement that allowing states decide for themselves whether or not to permit abortion would not stop abortions because women needing them would simply just get on a plane and go to a state in which the practice was legal. All I was trying to say is that for some impoverished women, driving to the next city is nearly impossible, let alone flying to another state.

There are many reasons why clinics are few and far between in some areas. Economic and social pressures are foremost among them. The Constitution cannot control for capitalism-- meaning that just because something’s legal doesn’t mean it will be profitable. Secondly, anti-choice groups exert enormous pressures to try to close clinics or disrupt their operations. Some doctors have decided it’s not worth it.

Would it need a different thread to discuss this in more detail? I’m reading through the decision now, skimming the boring history parts, and I haven’t come across anything apparently disingenuous. I’d like to hear your take on it, but if it would be too much of a hijack then I’d understand.

The only thing I find intellectually idefensible is the notion that a right not spelled out in the Constitution can in no way be construed to exist.

Especially since the Constitution was Amended to say exactly the opposite:

I accept that overturning Roe v Wade, followed in all likelihood by limitations or near-bans on abortion in some states, would impede access to abortion for some women further than it is already impeded, at least in the short to medium term.

But I suggest that most of the impediments would still arise from social and political factors unconnected with Roe v Wade. And those concerned to improve women’s access to abortion would do better to devote their energies to changing those social and political factors than to defending Roe v Wade.

And, my point is, the spirited defence of Roe v Wade is actually an impediment to the development of the social and political attitudes which will do most to ensure access to abortion, because of the way in which it polarises thinking, discussion and attitudes.

It’s a characteristic of fundamentalism (for any cause) that it tends to prefer the Grand Statement of Principle to the Practically Effective Action. I think Roe v Wade certainly was practically effective to secure access to abortion for (urban or middle class) American women, but I think that from their point of view it’s now more of a Grand Statement of Principle. If it’s overturned, they’ll still have ready access to abortion. Your own post suggests that Roe was never effective to secure access to abortion for poor rural women. And moving the focus of debate and activism away from Roe v Wade might, in the long run, do more to secure the broad practical availability of access to abortion.

I thought that Libertarians believed in rights unless the government specifically denied them. Do Libertarians believe they get their rights from the government?

Except for a slight majority of the population – the women.

Right. Libertarians would argue that the only rights that could be limited are those the Constitution says can be.

Well, i certainly make no claim to speak for all libertarians. Hell, i’m not even a libertarian myself. But, as others have pointed out, your understanding of libertarian thought in America seems to be seriously flawed if you think that asking the government to spell out all your rights in detail is the position of “most…libertarians.” Most libertarians that i have met, and most libertarian documents that i’ve read, are much more along the lines suggested by Zoe and rfgdxm. Libertarians with whom i have spoken and debated generally hold the view that your rights are inherent, and based in property (yourself and your belongings), and that those rights cannot (or, at least, in the real world) should not be abrogated or contrained by government.

On the OP’s topic:

I’m not a lawyer, but my reading of the Constitution suggests that it was indeed something of a stretch to find a “right to personal privacy” implicit in those amendments. I’m not sure what to suggest as a remedy. I really don’t like the idea of rolling back the Roe v. Wade, because whether or not a right to privacy is in the Constitution, i firmly believe that it should be. If they reversed the decision, and then added a Constitutional amendment confirming the right to privacy, i’d be happy enough, but that ain’t gonna happen.

But, as Lissa’s post shows, the legal issue isn’t the only one. Anyone who thinks that Roe v. Wade automatically makes it easy to get an abortion in America has quite a bit to learn. Here are some more details:


Looks to me like the Libertarian position is pro-choice, and that they only object to government paying for abortions.

Frankly, I don’t know how that would be possible. A certain sement of the population will always see abortion as “murder” and will strive to make it illegal. No amount of argument or debate will make these people see it differently. On the political front, there will always be politicians who want to court those people’s votes by introducing legislation or taking public anti-abortion stances. I don’t see how these two things can change in a significant way.

Their efforts lately have been to convey “personhood” on fetuses through legislation like “Laci’s Law” and the like. It automatically presents a legal quandry: when is a fetus protected? How can you “murder” something that isn’t legally a person? Is it only protected if the mother intends to continue the pregnancy? Does “Laci’s Law” give grounds for prosecution if the woman was killed on the way to an abortion clinic?

I’ll admit I’m not well versed in all of the legal nuances, but it seems to me that eventually the Supreme Court will either have to strike down “Laci’s Law”-type legislation, or reverse Roe v. Wade by granting fetuses “pershonhood” and thus legal rights of protection. (Or, God help us, they’ll try to amend the Constitution making it a moot issue.)

What is Constitutionally “right” is not always popular. I’m sure an opinion poll taken during the early Civil Rights movement would have shown a distinct dissaproval for the notion of equality between blacks and whites. Today, there are similar high rates of dissaproval in regards to abortion and gay marriage. (And since that pesky Constitution doesn’t allow discrimination, some feel the need to change it.) Woe betide us if our Constitutional rights were decided by opinion polls!

I don’t think this is an issue on which everyone will agree-- ever. It’s too black-and-white for some. They allow for no middle ground.

If Roe were struck down, I feel that women’s reproductive rights would suffer a tremendous setback. Social change is all well and good, but efforts must be made to preserve what progress has been made legally as well. This is one issue in which I think federal courts have to have the final say: a fetus can’t be a person in one state but not in another.

I suspected that would be the case.

My previous post was just a general response to CurtC’s apparent misunderstanding of the libertarian position regarding the role of government.

From the below, it seems that if the Constitution doesn’t protect the right to abortion, if the Libertarians seized total control of the US House and Senate, and also all the state legislatures, they’d immediately amend the Constitution to add this protection.

Here, here! I’m pro-life–was a leader in the 90s anti-abortion movement, “operation rescure”–and couldn’t agree with you more. Roe was the quintessential case of legislating from the bench. It needs to be oveturned for the reason you give: that what the Court did in Roe was usurp the constitutional authority of the Congress, but also because what it actually did–if it stands as law–was destroy the fourth amendementl right to life. period. The criterion used in Roe to take away the right to life of unborn children sets a precedent that would allow future courts to do the same with other “disposable” groups of humans.

I read the decision and it is that obvious to me. Can you help me understand why it is so obvious to you?

Now that I know isn’t the case. In fact, the court even recognized that there was certainly a point in any pregnancy where the state’s interest could reasonably extend to protect the unborn. I cannot find any statement or set of statements that could supporting killing undesirables. Please quote the case.

Gahh, isn’t that obvious to me. Isn’t!

There are no statements to that effect. The precedent is in the reasoning. It was perfectly legal, under Dread Scott, for a slave owner to do what he pleased with his black slaves–even kill them–because the court declared blacks to be something less than human, i.e., “non-persons,” which is basically what Roe did with unborn “fetuses.” In Dread Scott, the court could have been excused for their crime due to the lack of any scientific evidence to the contrary. The Roe court doesn’t have that out, because the overwhellming scientifice evidence at the time established the fact that life begins at conception, and that the life in a woman’s womb is a human life.
You want to talk viabiltiy, or survivability outside the womb? What about a one one month old child outside the womb? Is that child viable? If you dumped it on the street, how long would it live without other humans assisting it? How bout an 85 year old crippled grandmother who can no longer care for herself? Under the Roe courts reasoning, neither would meet the viablility standard. As far as I can discern, Roe v. Wade was 100% politically motivated.