Thursday, May 5, 2022

Roe v. Wade Ended Because . . .




Note: This is an updated version of the previous 5-5-2022 blog titled, "Useful Analysis of Abortion Issues From Ruth Bader Ginsburg."


In May of 2022, Justice Alito's "[D]raft draft opinion in a key case striking down Roe v. Wade (1973) has sparked a heated debate, perhaps drawing new attention to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's opinion on the key abortion precedent." 

This is from Fox News: "Leak confirms Ruth Bader Ginsburg's prescient warnings about Roe v. Wade." Read former Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg's piece in Fox News:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was famous for her:

  • Very insightful and careful opinions on constitutional law 
  • and her liberal viewpoints more favored by average citizens than by the conservative Republicans.
She supported freedom of choice abortions rights but she also knew that the Supreme Court of the United States' (SCOTUS) Roe v. Wade finding had various technical problems--troublesome ones she had previously predicted would emerge. Back in 1973 Justice William Rehnquist in his dissent acknowledged such problems.
Justice Ginsberg predicted that Roe v. Wade would need fixing. She was not in favor of a sudden, dramatic complete overturning of Roe v. Wade which would be a shock to American citizens--a sudden end to medical rights without alternatives. That's what we got in 2022.

In this blog, I'm not giving my personal opinions on abortion. My goal is to broadcast the work of several writers who show us their high quality thinking processes. Clear thinking on abortion law requires temporarily setting aside strong emotions; then, as a result, a person can better take into consideration essential concepts ( see how Justice Blackmun lists many of these essential concepts in his quotation below).

James Mumford, PhD is a philosopher and writer. I noticed his book, Vexed: Ethics Beyond Political Tribes (Mumford, 2020). I bought it because he discusses the problems voters have as a result of the Democrat and Republican Parties each "packaging" issues together in a so-called "platform." And that makes it quite difficult for voters to make a sensible voting choice. They can't vote yes or no on separate issues; they can only vote for one or the other Party's package. For example, one can't get from Republicans both abortion rights and gun control.

Mumford points out that the Republican Party advertises their not putting restrictions on guns and that they strongly support the sanctity of life (anti- abortion). Mumford carefully interprets the Republican belief as saying: "The loss of life owing to guns may be tragic, but worse would be the loss of the liberty to have guns. Gun violence is the inevitable cost of freedom." Then Mumford concludes that, "Such a sentiment, I have argued, flies in the face of a commitment to the sanctity of life."

Then Mumford examines the hypocrisy of President Richard Nixon who in his first election pursued a pro-choice agenda and followed through on it during his first term. But in his campaign for a second term, Mumford wrote, "All that changed when he came to see his chances of re-election hinged on bringing the Catholics into the fold. He shamelessly reversed his position" (Mumford, 2020).

Nixon's personal hypocrisy and strategy for political gain is not unusual behavior for ambitious politicians; they carefully choose and promote in the campaign those issues that will get them elected. Mumford in his book helpfully examines half a dozen important political issues; he shows how they are used as weapons in the form of deceitful, tribal (as in emotion-provoking slogans) hooks by which to gain votes.
The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision came in 1973.
Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the majority opinion making abortion legal. He remarked that, "One's philosophy, one's experiences, one's exposure to the raw edges of human existence, one's religious training, one's attitudes toward life and family and their values, and the moral standards one establishes and seeks to observe, are all likely to influence and to color one's thinking and conclusions about abortion" ( from Harrison and Gilbert, Eds., 2003).

Justice William Rehnquist, in his dissent, wrote: "The Court's opinion will accomplish the seemingly impossible feat of leaving this area of the law more confused than it found it" ( from Harrison and Gilbert, Eds., 2003).
Now, in the Fall of 2023, the some States are busy prohibiting abortion. Other states have laws allowing abortion. Several States have laws by which any citizen can sue those who go out of State to get a legal abortion; and there are lawsuits in the process of blocking such laws. The abortion law and its interpretation is pretty messy still. 
         For references, see the page BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED
        - END - 


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