Roe must go: With activist judges, Constitution no longer checks judicial power

Wed, 12/07/2005 - 9:13am
By: Letters to the ...

Amidst the debates about Judge Alito and the next Supreme Court nomination, you often hear talk about the “right to privacy,” especially from those on the Democratic side of the aisle. I think most of you know already that this is a euphemism for abortion rights, but for some reason, the word “abortion” rarely emerges in the fray.

I think perhaps the liberals don’t want to use it because they don’t want to be seen simply as defenders of abortion per se, but rather as noble defenders of the “right to privacy” and “reproductive rights.”

It’s a little strange because if abortion were as perfectly acceptable as pro-choicers claim, it should be no big deal to use the word as frequently as one pleases. Alas, abortion is problematic and its absence from the debate is proof of that fact.

However, conservatives aren’t much better. They avoid using it because they don’t want to be seen as attacking the “right to privacy” or “reproductive rights.” Either that, or they just find the word a bit too polarizing and difficult a subject to bring up unless totally necessary.

In both cases, politicians and pundits are guilty of talking around the issue and failing to inform the American public clearly about what’s a stake.

To me, it is very clear: whether or not to overturn Roe v. Wade. For my part, I am clearly in favor of the Supreme Court reversing itself on that decision. Here’s why:

1. Roe v. Wade was bad law. I’m no lawyer, but when justices start making decisions based on what they think lies hidden in the Constitution (i.e., a right to privacy which somehow includes the right to abort a child), we are all in trouble.

And it’s not just that a right was discovered that’s the problem. The underlying problem is that the Constitution no longer serves as the ultimate check on judicial authority. By finding a right to privacy where there was none, the justices usurped for themselves the ability to make law outside the bounds of the Constitution.

Pro-choicers should be aware that this same power they now protect so vociferously because it supports their political preference could be used to ban abortion 100 percent. Or, it could be used to reinstate slavery or repeal private property rights (oops! they already did that!). Advocating the repeal of Roe v. Wade does nothing more than re-institute certain limitations and checks that keep our system working properly.

2. Roe v. Wade undermined the democratic process. Up until that decision, states were each allowed to decide the issue for themselves through the legislative process. Now, they are severely hamstrung in that respect.

Overturning Roe v. Wade would return the issue to the states and most experts agree that the vast majority would keep abortion legal. The big difference is that now the citizenry could re-engage in the debate and determine for themselves whether to keep abortion legal and by how much.

3. Abortion is a societal evil. This point is probably the hardest to prove, but here goes. By allowing, nay, encouraging women to solve their “pregnancy problem” by killing their unborn child, we are no better than the Nazis. We are advocating a solution to a problem that involves the conscious termination of innocent life.

The Nazis did the same when they decided to rid themselves of the Jewish problem by exterminating the Jewish race.

This kind of societal evil eats away at the moral foundations and psychological wholeness of individuals and society itself. We begin thinking that death is indeed a good answer for our problems.

Thus, along with increased abortion, we have an increase in advocacy for euthanasia, “death with dignity,” and the pernicious philosophies of Dr. Peter Singer, which hold that we should be allowed to choose whether or not to let a child die through its first 10 months.

All of this engenders a society that is extremely selfish, to the point where one individual is willing to sacrifice the life of another for his own well-being (e.g., embryonic stem cells). That indeed is where we are at, and who knows where such thinking will end, but it can’t be good.

4. Abortion is bad for women. It traumatizes them for life and very many can never overcome the guilt and suffering caused by the knowledge that they knowingly and willingly took the life of their own child.

Our society ignores these women and their plight because it is an all too unpleasant reminder of the consequences of our ill-fated decision to allow abortion.

Silly pro-choicers attempt to blame this tragic sense of guilt on pro-lifers. They argue that if only people would stop saying abortion is bad, women who had abortions would stop feeling bad.

That is ludicrous. If something is wrong, the conscience will know it and will not be able to rest until that wrong is rectified or at least resolved. The only other way to deal with the guilt is to continue to numb the conscience through denial, drinking, or drugs.

Also, the increase in abortion has lead to massive rates of pre-marital sex, which has lead inevitably to a greater objectification of women as sex objects.

Who do you think benefits from abortion/contraception the most? Men. They get to have their cake and eat it too, without the commitments and difficulties of marriage or supporting a child out of wedlock. As a result, men thinking of women as little more than sex toys has increased exponentially.

Pornography is perhaps the largest Internet business and every TV show imaginable portrays young men having sex with girls every chance they get.

Women may have gained power and prestige in the fields of business, academia, and politics, but the reverence for womanhood and respect for the female gender in our society as something to be honored and protected have gone way, way down.

So, let me end by saying, once again, that the debate about the next Supreme Court justice is indeed all about abortion and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Nothing more, nothing less.

But let me also say that returning the Court to its originally intended role as interpreter (not reshaper) of the Constitution will do more to safeguard our liberties, rights, and freedoms than Roe v. Wade ever will, especially for those Americans still in the womb.

Trey Hoffman
Peachtree City, Ga.

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