It’s difficult to address the leaked Justice Samuel Alito decision, without expressing personal feelings on the issue of abortion. For the purpose of transparency, I’ll come right out and say that I fully support a woman’s right to choose and to make personal decisions with her doctor. Other people’s personal lives are not my concern, nor my business, nor should they be. It’s the same reason I wholeheartedly support same sex marriage. What right do I have or why should I be concerned with who a stranger chooses to marry?! I will never understand that! Other than free speech, privacy is the most important right that we have as free citizens. But my personal belief goes far beyond abortion. For me, it’s about all of our personal freedoms and liberties.
Let’s first address the Roe v Wade decision. Without deeply delving into the decision’s legal arguments, even liberal scholars recognize that Roe, in using the right to privacy as its core foundation in constitutional law, was reaching for something that wasn’t there. It was not based on strong, foundational, constitutional arguments. The 14th Amendment was not drafted to create new rights, but rather to secure the rights of freed slaves and their decedents — the rights already guaranteed by the Constitution. That’s one of the reasons why we find ourselves facing the overturning of Roe. Of course, having a majority of conservatives on the Court, is the other.
Although I most closely align with libertarianism, I strongly disagree with its foundation and alignment with Socialism and Communism. I do agree however with their views on limited government interference in our lives. Freedom of choice and individualism are sacred and need to be protected. That includes the government mandating vaccines although I myself am vaccinated and boosted. But it should be a choice, never a government mandate. That is not to say that I don’t recognize the important role government plays in environmental issues for example, and other social programs like social security. They don’t affect our personal freedoms, although others, including companies that dumped toxic waste illegally into our waters, might argue otherwise. The toxic Gowanus Canal in New York is just one example.
As I noted in my previous post, the secrecy of Supreme Court decisions is crucial to the integrity of the Court and our democracy. I hold the same opinion when it comes to personal privacy. It is not the place of governments or citizens to a) determine what are very intimate and personal decisions between a woman and her doctor, and b) to turn in other citizens for having or seeking abortions. It’s reported that some of the legislation in the most conservative states, will forbid women from crossing state lines to have abortions in free choice states. That is quite frankly, unacceptable and should be illegal. Restrictions on freedom of movement, are reserved for autocracies like the former Soviet Union and North Korea, not a republic like the United States.
For the staunchest anti-abortionists, those who would not even allow exceptions in the cases of rape and incest, it often comes down to religious beliefs. We must never allow decisions to be based on religious dogma. Religion is personal and people should be able to practice whatever they believe, as guaranteed by the Constitution. But those same people should not be allowed to force their religious beliefs on others.
There have been discussions and articles written, concluding that if the decision stands, as it was leaked, contraception and same sex marriage will be the next targets. Of course, anyone who would want to restrict the use of contraception or revert back in time regarding marriage equality for Americans is clearly misguided and to be more straightforward, fanatical. If someone chooses not to use contraception, or marry a same sex partner, that’s their right and everyone needs to respect that. Quite simply, that’s not government’s role. We want the government to stay away from our firearms, but we also support “crimes against nature,” laws criminalizing oral sex and sodomy. The interesting point is that the very people who resent government intervention are often the same people who want the government to intervene when it suits them. You can’t have it both ways.
I clearly understand the passions surrounding abortion and the viability of a baby. But there’s a significant difference between conception and seven months gestation. The morning after pill for example has nothing to do with killing a human life. While conception begins a potential life, it’s only potential at that point. On the other side, even supporters of abortion rights might agree that after a certain number of months, other than for medically necessary reasons, abortion should be restricted. When life begins, is only one of the reasons why abortion is so contentious.
Regarding the overturning of Roe v Wade after almost fifty years, it appeared to be settled law. Stare decisis means, “to stand by things decided.” It should have been left alone. This decision will only further polarize the country at a time when there is already great division. The result of the overturning of Roe will result in massive protests and could very well impact the upcoming mid-term elections.