Roe v. Wade (1973) amended the Constitution.
It did so by creating a novel “Right of Privacy” into which government may not intrude.
Now, I’m ALL for privacy. ALL for keeping government out of my life.
Problem is, the Constitution NEVER ONCE uses the word “privacy.” Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion in Roe, simply INVENTED a zone of privacy — made it all up.
For that reason alone, Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. William Rehnquist, who dissented, got it exactly right. A majority of nine old white guys (hey, I’m in that camp!) simply imposed their will on the American People.
So, Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided on constitutional grounds.
It was also wrongly decided on other grounds.
First, Blackmun ASSUMED that a fetus was not viable during the first trimester of pregnancy. I wish Harry could have seen today’s MRIs. Modern technology makes Blackmun’s assumption ridiculous.
Second, Blackmun clearly believed he was doing good by removing the abortion debate from the political arena. His papers show this.
To put the matter in perspective: By 1973, a little over a third of the states either flat out permitted abortion or placed very few restrictions on abortion. Alabama, for example, permitted abortion to save the life of the mother.
By removing abortion from the political arena, Roe v. Wade ended REAL debate over abortion — which is very BAD. This country was FOUNDED on the premise of wide open political debate. It’s no accident that the First Amendment is the FIRST Amendment.
Oh, sure, a politician today can say he or she is pro-life or pro-choice. But such chatter is largely just political posturing.
Footnote: Some say they oppose Roe v. Wade (as I do) but are pro-choice. For these folks, the rubber never meets the road. I’d prefer that they and the rest of us be given the vote on abortion, state by state.
That’s CLEARLY the sort of vote the Founders envisioned.
Note to lawyers and others: If you want me to go into more detail, I’ll be pleased to do so.