Over the last 47 years, nothing has been more sacrosanct to Democrats than the decision that nationalized the right to abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling Jane Roe et al V Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, is of course known as Roe v. Wade. Recently Democrats have made a prima facie argument for overturning the ruling and returning control of the issue of abortion to the states.
When the U.S. Constitution was drafted, it delineated certain rights for the U.S. government. To balance that, ten original amendments were added to protect the rights of individuals. In the final and 10th Amendment, it is stated “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Otherwise, unless it is in black and white in the Constitution stating the Federal government has control over the issue, then the issue has to be determined at the state level or it is the divine right of the people.
The states, particularly of recent, have been the incubators of what laws either work or don’t work for the people. For example, the marijuana laws have inched their way across the country. First there was the advent of medical marijuana. Then there began the legalization of what is referred to as “recreational” marijuana. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia now allow the use of medical marijuana. Ten states have approved recreational marijuana. Each states’ voters have approved the rules either through initiatives or their elected officials. If someone does not like the rules, they can campaign to change the laws of that state or choose to relocate.
People have relocated from states for economic reasons or because of the nature of laws they adopt. Certain states like California, Illinois, New York and Connecticut have high tax burdens and significant regulation. People have relocated to states like Florida, Texas, and Tennessee that have no personal income tax and less regulation.
People have decided based on the policies of California whether they want to live there or not. California offers wonderful weather along with very high taxation and regulation. While it has fabulously wealthy communities, it has the highest poverty rate in the nation adjusted for cost of living. While it has beautiful beaches, its two most famous cities are riddled with homeless people causing filth and decay near expensive housing. The Los Angeles City Hall is plagued -and typhus is involved – with rat infestation while San Francisco is blighted by hypodermic needles strewn in their streets.
People make their choice to live under the laws of the states or they move. This is all in accordance with the 10th Amendment.
Up to now the Democrats have stated that Roe determined that abortion is legal and that it is a federal rule. Obviously, this has set off a firestorm that has lasted since 1973 with some states pursuing limitations of a right to abortion. On a federal level, three cases have been adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court further defining abortion rights, thus altering the rules established in Roe.
Democrats have delved into what used to be the province of Republicans; i.e., tailoring state laws on abortion. This effort has recently been led by Governor Andrew Cuomo in the state of New York. They passed an abortion law that elected officials in Virginia used as a model for a similar law in their state. This brought focus on the issue of late-term abortions and the potential for infanticide.
As disgusting as I felt the proposals were as described by Kathy Tran, a Virginia Delegate, along with her Governor Ralph Northam, it illuminated that Democrats wanted these decisions likewise made at the state level.
Then Cuomo himself made the argument in a column in the New York Times. He said he signed the Reproductive Health Act “to protect against Republicans’ effort to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with extreme conservatives to overturn the constitutional protections recognized in Roe V Wade.”
If other states enacted a law akin to New York’s, why would we need Roe?
Cuomo goes on to state that “third-trimester procedures are extremely rare, making up only one percent of all abortions.” That is somewhat misleading. The percentage may be correct, but that still amounts to 12,000 late-term abortions in 2017. That is not “rare.” Though I am against third-trimester abortions and don’t buy that they are exclusively done to protect the life of the mother, I endorse New York’s right to their law.
Cuomo goes on to say that the goal of President Trump and his allies is to “end all legal abortion in our nation.” He does not say how that would be possible if other states passed similar laws. Obviously, if Roe were overturned, then the people of his state would still have the right to legal abortion. We can be quite sure many states would follow by using the New York law as a model like Virginia tried to do. Maybe they would limit abortion to the first 12 weeks or the first 24 weeks, but abortion would still be legal in those states.
The real reason Cuomo and his allies do not want Roe overturned is because they don’t want other states to have the choice to limit abortion. They don’t want to give people the same choices they have had on marijuana, taxes and other economic factors.
Sure enough, their actions opened the floodgates. If you saw the news you would believe Armageddon had occurred as the pro-life states passed their own legislation and states like Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi followed suit. The female Governor of Alabama signing the law was front page material across the nation. Yes, I find that legislation extreme, but It is still the right of the people to pass this law. It is the choice of the people to change the legislation or leave if they don’t like it, just like the residents of NY.
States will pass laws and people will adjust, just like every other issue that remains with the states and the people.
In my mind, Cuomo is the one who is anti-choice. He wants to limit the rights of people in other states to be able to make the clear choice made by him and the residents of New York.
By his actions he has made a definitive argument for overturning Roe v Wade and returning the issue of abortion to the states under the 10th Amendment.