Monday, March 30, 2009
Over at America magazine's blog, Mark Stricherz explains why "overturning Roe would save lives and be popular." (In so doing, he fleshes out his disagreement with those who, like Michael Sean Winters, David Gibson, and many others, believe the opposite.)
Stricherz is quite correct, in my view, when he states that public-opinion data suggesting that Americans support Roe is -- because Americans do not know what Roe means -- unreliable. A healthy majority of Americans supports an abortion-regulation regime that, under current law, legislatures may not enact.
To return, though, to my hobby-horse: It is not a strong argument against overturning Roe that overturning Roe might not reduce the number of abortions dramatically. (That said, I am entirely confident that it would reduce the number of abortions.) Roe distorted our constitutional law and our politics and constitutionalized (unjustly) an unsound -- or, at the very least, highly contested -- moral premise. It should be overruled even if it leaves open the possibility, as it certainly does, that We the People will decide, at least in some places, to continue permitting elective abortions.