July 20, 2024
Alabama and Georgia Are Throwing Down the Gauntlet against Roe. Good.
For two generations the Roe decision has distorted American politics. Now the states are fighting back.
For two generations the Roe decision has distorted American politics. Now the states are fighting back.

We are witnessing the beginnings of an anti-abortion legislative revolution in Red America. Two generations of pro-life activism, persuasion, and argument have yielded pro-life supermajorities in statehouses across much of the South and Midwest, and they recognize the fact that we have reached a moment of legal possibility we may never attain again — perhaps not for generations. It is possible (maybe not likely, but possible) that the Supreme Court could overrule Roe v. Wade, and these legislatures have chosen to go for broke.

Good. While Alabama governor Kay Ivey ponders whether to sign Alabama’s bill banning all abortion in the state, it’s worth considering why this represents an important moment in the battle for life in the United States, why Alabama’s bill (and Georgia’s new heartbeat law) present the right kind of legal and philosophical challenge to Roe, and why now is exactly the time to make the challenge.

Both Alabama’s abortion ban and Georgia’s heartbeat law contain a key provision — they declare the personhood of the unborn child. This is a vital measure that is aimed directly at a key portion of the Roe v. Wade opinion. Late last week, I had a lengthy phone conversation with state representative Ed Setzler, sponsor of Georgia’s legislation. He said his bill wasn’t “waving its fist at Roe; it’s answering Roe.”

Specifically, he pointed at a provision in Part IX of Justice Blackmun’s opinion, where Blackmun states that if the “personhood” of the baby is established, then the pro-abortion case “collapses.” The late Supreme Court justice was of course discussing the definition of personhood under the federal constitution. Setzler, however, notes that Supreme Court doctrine has long allowed states to expand constitutional liberties. They can establish standards of religious freedom, free speech, or due process, for example, that go beyond the First and Fifth Amendments. They cannot be more restrictive than the federal Constitution.

In the abortion context, this doctrine traditionally has been interpreted to allow states like New York to protect abortion rights beyond the minimal threshold required by Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Georgia (and potentially Alabama) would be asking the Court to permit them to expand the constitutional liberty of the unborn child and to recognize the distinct human identity of the baby in the womb.

[Interesting Read]

See Also:

(1) Red states compete to topple Roe with pro-life bills aimed at Supreme Court

(2) Alabama Governor Signs Nation’s Most Restrictive Abortion Ban Into Law

(3) Abortion foes eye Supreme Court showdown in wake of Alabama ban

(4) Alabama Senate passes bill making abortion a felony: ‘That baby in the womb is a person’

(5) A huge Supreme Court decision you never heard of


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May 17, 2019 9:42 pm

60,000,000 and not a single follow up comment nay or yea. May God have mercy…..

May 17, 2019 8:47 am

Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1992-1995 – 200,000 Deaths
Rwanda: 1994 – 800,000 Deaths
Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 – 2,000,000 Deaths
Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 – 6,000,000 Deaths
Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938 – 300,000 Deaths
Stalin’s Forced Famine: 1932-1933 – 7,000,000 Deaths
Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918 – 1,500,000 Deaths
American abortions 1973-2018 – 60,000,000 Deaths

“It’s time to send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history, where it belongs. We cannot allow another 45 years of brutal bloodshed that has killed over 60 million of our children,” tweeted Live Action, a pro-life non-profit.