Roe v Wade Is Gone

by Kerry Dougherty

I hate writing about abortion. Americans are not persuadable on the topic. Minds are made up.

But here is what I will say about Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade:

Any lawyer who understands the Constitution will privately admit that the 1973 decision was always on shaky ground. An over-reaching court — all men, by the way — grappled to find a Constitutional right to the procedure. So they invented one.

Even the left’s patron saint, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a strong supporter of abortion, once criticized the Roe ruling in a lecture she gave to New York University’s School of Law:

The seven to two judgment in Roe v. Wade declared “violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment” a Texas criminal abortion statute that intolerably shackled a woman’s autonomy; the Texas law “except[ed] from criminality only a life-saving procedure on behalf of the [pregnant woman].” Suppose the Court had stopped there, rightly declaring unconstitutional the most extreme brand of law in the nation, and had not gone on, as the Court did in Roe, to fashion a regime blanketing the subject, a set of rules that displaced virtually every state law then in force. Would there have been the twenty-year controversy we have witnessed, reflected most recently in the Supreme Court’s splintered decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey? A less encompassing Roe, one that merely struck down the extreme Texas law and went no further on that day, I believe and will summarize why, might have served to reduce rather than to fuel controversy.

She was right. The faulty decision itself splintered the country.

Worse, in recent years abortion enthusiasts made a mockery of Bill Clinton’s mantra that abortions should be “safe, legal and RARE.” These ghouls not only celebrated their own abortions but they pushed back against ANY restrictions. That included a vile piece of Virginia legislation offered in 2019 by Democrat Del. Kathy Tran (of Fairfax, where else?) that would have legalized abortion until the moment of birth. That bill to vastly expand third-trimester abortions thankfully died in committee, but then-Gov. Ralph Northam defended it in an infamous radio interview explaining how disabled infants are allowed to die after birth.

Normal Virginians, of both parties, were sickened.

Friday’s decision is the embodiment of federalism. The people in the states will decide if they will allow abortions or what restrictions they may place on the procedures.

This is what the Founders had in mind: a weak federal government and strong government by the states.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Friday that he would push a measure to limit abortions to 15 weeks of pregnancy in the next General Assembly session. Democrat State Sen. Joe Morrissey said he would support restrictions so, in the closely divided Senate, it could pass. Still, that would make Virginia’s abortion laws more permissive than Belgium, Denmark, Finland , Germany, Hungary, Ireland and Italy that prohibit abortion after 12 weeks. Or France and Spain, which allow abortion only until 14 weeks.

With abortion decisions now residing with the states this could also end — or reverse — the migration of liberals from blue states to low-tax red states where they inevitably vote for the same bad policies that ruined places like New York, California and Massachusetts.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.