Roe v. Wade and Abortion

Summary

I am pro-life, although I believe abortion needs to be available in cases of rape, incest, and when there is a serious threat to the mother. I also believe that Roe v. Wade is an affront to the Constitution that needs to be overturned.

People in my district put abortion at the top of the list of issues they care about, yet the reality is that Congress is no longer allowed to do or say anything about abortion. That’s because the Supreme Court has determined that abortion is enthroned as a right in the United States Constitution.

Now, how does that work, considering that the word “abortion” and/or anything like it appears nowhere in that venerable document?

Well, according to Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the Roe v. Wade decision, this is how it works. The Constitution guarantees a right to privacy – except that it doesn’t, as the word “privacy” doesn’t appear anywhere, either. But Justice Blackmun determined, through some wildly convoluted reasoning, that the right to privacy “emanates” from some of the other amendments, and that the right to abortion can be found in the “penumbra” of that “emanation.” In other words, the actual constitutional language is like a lightbulb, the right to privacy is like a beam of light shooting out of that lightbulb, and the right to an abortion is in the fuzzy glow surrounding that beam of light. So abortion is a right, and everyone should shut up about it.

Using that reasoning, the Constitution can guarantee any right to anything, as there are probably plenty of other rights tucked away in those penumbras. This essentially makes the Constitution meaningless, as justices can mine penumbras and whatever else to torture the plain language of the Constitution into saying anything they want. That’s a real threat to democracy and a subversion of the separation of powers that the Founders built in to the system. Independent of abortion, this alone is valid enough reason to overturn Roe v. Wade.