Sunday, October 2, 2022

Seven Steps That Ended Roe v. Wade Abortions Rights 1973 - 2022


 “Dobbs” in this blog, will refer to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court case.


What was to become Dobbs, emerged from Trump's mind during the 2016 Republican Party Presidential Debates and Forums. Yes, he wanted to win the nomination; and he noticed that when he made comments against abortion his ratings went up. 


For conservative Republicans, an implied or explicit anti-abortion campaign strategy often works well—regardless of what the politician really believes. (Of course, Democrats have their own version of this when they support reproductive rights.)


Narrative Display In Veterans Memorial Flag Park







Beginning my research, I noticed something odd. The Mississippi abortion law was designed, intended to be, unconstitutional. It prohibited abortion after 14 weeks. But Roe prohibited abortion after 24 weeks. According to the New York Times, the law was enacted in 2018 “[By] the Republican-dominated Mississippi Legislature but never went into effect because of an immediate legal challenge that led to a federal appellate court blocking its enforcement” as found in:   



The Mississippi AG said she was seeking to overturn the Supreme Court precedent. So the Mississippi anti-abortion law sounds like it was a setup. I recall at the time hearing several political analyst opinions to the effect that this new law, because of the way it was written, could result in overturning Roe v. Wade. 



When I decided to write about Dobbs and the end of Roe v. Wade, I was unprepared for the variety of strong negative feelings arising within me. I thought I could be emotionally detached; but I had to repeatedly, consciously, redirect my mind to focus just on the constitutional story and the controversial strands of logic. 



My goal in writing is certainly not emotional drama. My goal is to educate readers on how our government works—whether well or poorly—on even horrendously difficult and disturbing issues. Therefore, it's best to try to minimize negative emotions. Instead, focus as if you are trying to follow a series of steps which lead to a result. Carefully visualize those steps in your mind, and then you can say, “Oh, so those are the steps taken on the path to the Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS’s) overturning Roe v. Wade.



Whether you are pro or con about reproductive rights, it’s best not to get emotional about SCOTUS. Look at SCOTUS as governmental machinery in which nine justices push a button yea or nay to reach a majority decision


Chief Justice John Roberts is a very experienced, moderate and considerate judge. I have watched him over many years and believe he is a great chief Justice.


During his Senate confirmation hearings, he said something very important: “Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules, they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules.” Can be found at:

In reading SCOTUS opinions, it’s easy to pick sides on a topic and get hostile toward the justices one disagrees with. That is not helpful. What IS HELPFUL is storing in your heart a determination to motivate yourself and others to vote for THE President who will put in THE liberal or conservative kind of judge you would like there. The one and only way you can influence the Supreme Court is by voting for the presidential candidate who promises the kind of SCOTUS judge you want.  






You already are familiar with the word “concept,” but I use it in a formal sense. A “concept”  it is a complex idea, having multiple parts which work together for some designed purpose. It’s not just one single idea, or thing, or feeling.  An example of a governmental concept is balance of power among the three branches of government. 



There is an important concept of originalism: “In the context of United States law, originalism is a concept regarding the interpretation of the Constitution that asserts that all statements in the constitution must be interpreted based on the original understanding "at the time it was adopted" (as found in Wikipedia). 



In the Dobbs decision-making, several of the conservative judges based their logic on an originalistic approach to understanding what the Constitution’s words and sentences mean. Contrasting to originalism is the perspective that the Constitution is a “living” document which changes both from amendments and the gradually evolving legislated laws forming the U.S. Government. 



Conservative Supreme Court justices have tended to use originalism as a justification for denying various rights to the people.



Here are three online, understandable articles which will help you understand how Dobbs came about. They are well written, thoughtful, and I don’t think they are partisan. In these articles there are well-explained concepts worth studying. The more you understand the concepts, the more meaningful and powerful will be your voting.



New York Times:


Political scientist Morgan Marietta, University of Massachusetts, Lowell:


From the Harvard Crimson by Isabella B. Cho and Brandon L. Kingdollar, Crimson Staff Writers:



Keep in mind three concepts:

  • First, as I’ve stated in past blogs, the basis, the foundation for understanding the actions of 95% of people is: Everyone is trying to get more of what they want and less of what they don’t want. All the time. Their behavior is always a means of getting to some goal or end point in the future. And, when we look at a person’s behavior over time, we can figure out their goals. People who talk a lot will always betray their motives--if we listen.
  • Second, people’s usual thoughts, feelings, values, and behaviors vary a lot. This leads to vast differences of opinions, conflicts, and changing allegiances to personalities of politicians
  • Third, people are “driven” or motivated by powerful and deep feelings about: sex, marriage, children, privacy, birth control, abortion, reproductive freedom, and freedom from State and Federal government intrusions. Laws at the State and Federal Levels regulate what people can do or must not do.


Politics is very important, serious, messy, awful to cope with. It is worth learning about. The Greek’s had the first democracy. The famous leader Pericles said,


Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. ” 






(1) Roe v. Wade came in 1973 and allowed abortion. It was a divisive SCOTUS ruling from the beginning. Some groups of people celebrate it and some despise it. Some of you may have heard of the partial birth abortion method; but that procedure was banned in 2003; and, in 2007 the constitutionality of that ban was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.



(2) In the early 1970’s various religious groups took official stands against Roe v. Wade and abortion. Many churches respected the separation of church and State (defined in the very first Constitutional Amendment in 1791). 


But, in the mid-1970s, a small group of evangelical Christians devised an agenda to increase their political power in support of conservative politics. Although no one was forcing these evangelicals to support liberal or diversity values, they eventually tried to take on the role of being victims of diversity AND LGBTQ rights.  They grew their influence over decades. By the time of the Trump Administration:

  • “For guidance, [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions turned to leading experts at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the powerhouse Christian right legal advocacy organization that had battled for years to ban same-sex marriage and abortion, elevate expanded religious rights for conservative Christians, and erase the separation of church and state. The ADF was omnipresent in every one of these fights in court, and in the court of public opinion.” This is from the book Unholy: How White Christian Nationalists Powered The Trump Presidency, And the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind (Posner, 2021).


(3)  Republican Mitch McConnell, was the most powerful man in the Senate at the end of the Obama Administration in 2016; and he  contrived to prevent Obama from filling a vacancy in the Supreme Court. That allowed the incoming Trump to appoint another very conservative justice. Ultimately Trump would appoint three justices. And they did not disappoint Trump and the Republican Party. Trump's three ultra conservative republican Justices, were the reason Roe v. Wade was overturned.



(4)  The highly experienced Representative John Boehner said that, “The biggest impact any president can have . . . is who’s on the [Supreme] court” (Califano, Jr., 2018).



Former president Trump, during his one term, put three new justices on the Supreme Court. They are republican, conservative, and their names are: Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett. These are lifetime appointments. Their personal and professional values and biases will influence the Supreme Court for years to come. 



(5) Historically, constitutional scholars say that the will of the people has influenced the decisions of the Supreme Court. It is one of many inputs influencing how the judges vote. The Pew Research Center is a highly respected source on public opinion.  Public opinion on abortion fluctuates up and down from year to year. But, from 1995 forward to the present, the American public has supported having abortion legal in all or most cases. More specifically:



(6) On June 24, 2022 the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion OVERTURNED Roe v. Wade.  The SCOTUS  opinion finds that the regulation of abortion is a matter for the individual States; that it is for State legislatures to make abortion law; and that the Supreme Court by its opinion “[R]eturns that authority to the people and their elected representatives” (as found on page eight of the Dobbs Syllabus).


(7) The well-regarded Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe reacted very negatively to the Dobbs opinion. He made several points:

The Supreme Court reversed Roe because of the three additional conservative judges put there by Trump. 

States will likely unleash conflicting laws with provisions as in Texas which put citizens in the position to punish those who would seek out abortions.

The flavor of Tribe's article seems to say that the SCOTUS ruling was wrong, harsh, unfeeling, and will be disruptive.




I still find a lot to like about our Supreme Court and believe overall it has performed well for our country. By earnestly studying the Court, a citizen can see that its methods make sense. It’s usually efficient and wise. 



But occasionally the Court must fix some of its mistakes. In this blog we have proceeded through the steps that led to the Court's repealing Roe and Casey.



I don’t believe an issue as big as reproductive rights can be simply right or wrong. But I strongly believe average Americans have been poorly served by our government and the big money influencers. 


Now and in the future we will most likely have to live with the States controlling abortion regulations. But the inevitable major differences in state-level abortion laws will lead to conflicts—conflicts which can only be resolved by the Supreme Court stepping in. Historically, when railroads, commerce, or people seeking abortions are crossing state lines and confront conflicting state laws, these are problems SCOTUS was designed to handle.   


I hope all citizens work out their well-informed opinions on abortion, discuss them with others, and VOTE IN ALL AVAILABLE ELECTIONS. 



 For references, see the relevant page on the website.



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