I was going to write about a different topic until this last Friday. On Friday morning, the much-awaited decision Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was released which reversed the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 that created a federal law protecting a women’s right to abortion in all 50 states. The vote was 6-3 and to reverse the decision of the 1973 decision, the justices voted 5-4. This decision pushes the abortion laws back to each of the 50 states. It is impossible to talk about this issue without generating controversy. I would be lying to all my readers if I did not admit that my personal feelings on this issue leans towards a specific bias. So being completely honest, there is nothing I can say in this blog that will not be controversial. As I have aged, the abortion argument has evolved from a question of morality, to accepting abortion as a matter of personal responsibility, to finally rejecting the concept based on the flawed logic of federal power. We live our life doing our best to understand the complications of human civilization and abortion is just one small piece of this experience. So why would my personal opinion on a social and personal issue really matter to anyone? I just want to emphasize a few things that have disturbed me since this ruling was released.
The best analysis of my personal opinion on abortion in the mainstream media comes from the online publication THE HILL. This article on the overturning of Roe vs. Wade needs to be read and appreciated. There have always been two primary problems with the 1973 ruling and this article addresses both of them. First, the original ruling was based on an incorrect reading of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. This was one of the three amendments passed during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War.
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The 1973 ruling was an incorrect interpretation of the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment existed as a pushback against future state discrimination by Southern States who wanted to recreate a two-tiered society after the Civil War. No person should be deprived of “life, liberty or property.” So how did this law become the basis of Roe vs. Wade? This is the foundational argument that has irritated many lawyers for decades. In fact, even Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a hero to liberals, had problems with the 1973 ruling. Here are a few of her quotes taken from a speech in 2013 on the 40th anniversary of the ruling.
“My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum on the side of change,” Ginsburg said. She would’ve preferred that abortion rights be secured more gradually, in a process that included state legislatures and the courts, she added. Ginsburg also was troubled that the focus on Roe was on a right to privacy, rather than women’s rights. “Roe isn’t really about the woman’s choice, is it?” Ginsburg said. “It’s about the doctor’s freedom to practice…it wasn’t woman-centered, it was physician-centered.” (BOLD IS MY EMPHASIS).
Second, for a country that is always promoting our democratic ideals and the importance of voting, Roe vs. Wade took this away from the American people. A court filled with nine older men (Eight Caucasian and One African American) voted to engrain this into law. The American people were not allowed to vote and have an opinion on this issue for over 49 years. Plus, it violated many states’ 10th Amendment Rights and their ability to pass their own rules and regulations regarding abortions.
This ruling also brings into question about when a life truly begins. There has been a lot of debate over the past decade of when an embryo becomes a baby. There are three stages of pregnancy. Much of the current scientific facts surrounding a female pregnancy is based off this scientific model. Read this article for clarification. To summarize,
1-8 Weeks of Pregnancy: Embryo
8 Weeks to Anywhere between 12 Weeks to 24 Weeks: Fetus
After 24 Weeks: Baby
The argument about the duration of a baby being a fetus is still undecided and crucial to this debate. According to many recent scientific studies, the evolution of the embryo into a fetus is when the baby becomes a human. Other findings disagree on when this actually occurs. The problem is that there is so much about pregnancy and the development of the fetus that we do not understand as humans. There are other complicated questions. For instance, does the 14th Amendment protections include the rights of an unborn baby? These are questions that have never been appropriately solved by science. This is a topic that still needs more research and clarification.
Three more comments on this topic. First, I used to have respect for the BBC. But as they have proven over and over again this past decade, the arrogance of the British elites knows no bounds. Because we fought this country to attain our freedom in the late 18th Century, I still do not believe the British have ever understood the decentralization that is inherent in our Constitution. So this article explaining that, “Women have lost their Constitutional Right to Abortion” maybe the dumbest thing the British have ever published. There is no Constitutional right. If women want to engrain abortion into the Constitution, it is up to them to create the movement to accomplish this goal. But the abortion question should have always been a states’ rights issue. Second, despite what many Americans think, abortion legalization is NOT COMMON around the world. This Washington Post article makes this very clear. Of 198 countries, 59 of them allow women the “freedom” to make a choice about an abortion. The other 139 countries have some form of limitation from an outright ban except for health reasons or to terminate pregnancies due to rape to asking for “permission” to be allowed one. Here is the real interesting aspect of this. The recognition of when a fetus becomes a baby usually forces abortions within the legalized framework of 16 weeks. After that, an abortion becomes increasingly difficult to attain except in seven countries. Canada, United States, Netherlands, Singapore and the Communist nations of China, Vietnam and North Korea are the only countries in the world that allow late-term abortions. That is a quite an interesting and diverse mix of countries. Finally, the fear that this ruling will cause abortion to be banned is not out of the question and I understand this argument. Just like I supported the elimination of Roe vs. Wade, I would also be in total opposition to a full Federal ban on abortion. People with strong religious beliefs mostly support the right to abortion now. At present, state abortion laws go back into effect in the United States. Despite many feminists’ fears of a full ban, abortion is now illegal in only 11 states. This list will probably increase to around 15-20 in total when all the bills are eventually passed in each state. Despite this, the individuals who are most upset about this ruling, the liberals on the coasts, will likely see no such restrictions on abortion. As a citizen of the state of California, abortion rights are likely to be expanded to allow abortion up to the moment of birth. California allows teenage girls to get abortions without parental consent. There are also laws on the books allowing for out-of-state women to get an abortion due to the legalization of later term abortions in California (Current law allows abortions up to 24 weeks after fertilization). Corporations have announced (Disney, Amazon, and Dick’s Sporting Goods being some of the first) that they will cover travel and medical expenses to any woman who needs to travel out of state for the procedure. Plus, California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington announced that they will be “abortion sanctuaries” for women. Remember this when you see a crying woman who lives in Los Angeles talking about losing her right to an abortion. Not only is she misinformed, but she is also an idiot and has an agenda. There will be no such abortion restrictions on the West Coast.
I feel sorry for the women in the states that may lose their abortion access. Democracy is a cruel beast and there are many states in our Union where the majority of people do not support the right of a woman to have an abortion. But it is not the responsibility of actors in Hollywood or tech elites to push their moral values onto these individuals. The United States is sometimes a messy republic because of our authoritarian need to control how other people think. This has always been the wrong tactic. If you believe your opinion on this issue is moral and correct, education and cultural change will make all the difference on whether future generations agree with your point of view. This summarizes the human experience in a nutshell. If we all acted and believed in the same political and social issues in unison, would that really be a human experience? This is what makes the short amount of time we are on Earth so interesting. And why I personally believe that life needs to be protected as much as possible and within reason. It is not up to me to tell someone whether they can have an abortion. But as a parent, I am damn happy that my partner never got one.
UPDATE: A reader brought this up to me after publication. I will let Justin Trudeau's tweet speak for itself.
From his Twitter feed:
Officiel du gouvernement - Canada
"No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. I want women in Canada to know that we will always stand up for your right to choose."
This is one of the most hypocritical statements I have ever read. Is he even aware of what a stupid statement this is? As many unemployed Canadians know, bodily autonomy and choice for women and men was not an option when the COVID-19 vaccine came around. You just can't make this stuff up.
EXPERT OF SOME