Monday, January 30, 2006
Rick mentioned Dawn Johnsen's Slate essay entitled "The Outer Shell: The hollowing out of Roe v. Wade." This line of argument, that the right to abortion has already been gutted, is increasingly common. Chris Whitman published an article in the Michigan Law Review several years ago to the same effect. I wrote a short comment on Whitman's piece for a University Faculty for Life conference and my paper is available here.
This argument has several distinctive features. One is to, I think willfully, ignore just how extreme US law is abortion. For example, Whitman and Johnsen ignore the Stenberg decision and the still very large number of legal abortions in the US. Second, while expressing concern for the weak and vulnerable, this argument ignores the mounting evidence that abortion harms women. I cite to some of the literature on this latter point in my paper and there has been additional evidence published on this point in just the last several months.