Today, as has been widely anticipated for the past five weeks or so, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a cataclysmic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022). That ruling put an end to the near-50-year legal precedent Roe v. Wade (1973), further upheld by Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). Both of those decisions now stand null and void in the face of the Court’s decision.
In a pre-Roe America, the idea that the right to an abortion was hidden somewhere in the Constitution, even though it makes no mention of it, was downright absurd. In a post-Roe America, that same notion is, indeed, rightfully absurd.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, abortion advocates will be thrusted back into the democratic environment where they, like everyone else who wants a law passed, will have to engage with real voters and other democratically-elected representatives to codify their desired abortion legislation. This means that they will likely have to engage in conversations with those who are critical of their worldview. No longer can abortion advocates defer to an imprudent precedent set by an unelected committee of judges that magically pulled a fictional constitutional right out of thin air. In other words, for the first time in four decades and five months, Roe advocates have come crashing down to earth, and must now abide by the same rules of democratic discourse and policy-making as the rest of us.
My opinions on abortion are admittedly muddled, mixed, or rather simply undecided. I do not know for sure if states out-right banning abortion will be good for America. What I do know, however, is that the Supreme Court’s decision to put an end to the usurpation of the legislative discretion that both Congress and the state legislatures are empowered by the Constitution to exercise, was—and I say this whole-heartedly—indisputably the right decision.
Many say that the conversation on abortion is an extremely polarizing and timultuous one. In the abstract, perhaps I’d agree. But I would submit that for the past 50 years, there really hasn’t been much of a conversation to begin with. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, that conversation can now truly begin, and it can finally take place in the appropriate settings: the statehouses or the House and Senate chambers in Washington, D.C.
So go ahead, Democrats, make your case. Before you now is an audience of voters whose sovereignty has been rightfully restored. This issue that you claim to care so much for is now rightfully once again in the hands of voters and their elected representatives. Your cries about “saving American democracy” have been answered. In this instance, democracy has been saved. Will Democrats be content with democracy, even if it doesn’t give them their desired outcome?
Unfortunately, something tells me the answer to this question is most certainly negative. Weeks before the Dobbs decision was announced, a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion was leaked. This was undoubtedly a move made—perhaps by a liberal justice’s clerk—to put pressure on the Court in an attempt to influence its final decision.
What ensued from there was a wave of protests, rioting, and vandalism. An abortion group named “Ruth Sent Us” even published the addresses of the six conservative justices, and protests soon erupted at their residences. One man, shockingly, even rushed Justice Kavanaugh’s residence with a semi-automatic rifle. Some might call such an action seditious in nature, given he tried to disrupt the orderly functions of the government of the United States. Surely, in the age of insurrection, the attempted murder of a sitting Supreme Court justice might constitute such an offense. Democrats, however, don’t seem to think so. Why?
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court never wavered in its decision. Its steadfast devotion to the Constitution, in spite of overzealous abortion advocates, is a testament to the strength and stability of the American judiciary. Those on the left may use this day to talk about how our system is broken, but rest assured, the system is now once again—in the case of abortion—working exactly as intended.
Roe v. Wade’s long-awaited demise is a victory for the sovereignty of the American people and their respective states, even if the blue states don’t realize it.