This is a Roe Vs. Wade primer for women.
Whether or not abortion should be legal is a legitimate debate. In the past, it was legitimately debated, in State Legislatures. This is our Democratic Republican system — which, in the 1960s, included full voting rights for women. State Legislatures made their decisions on the topic.
Before the Roe Vs. Wade decision by the US Federal Supreme Court in 1973, 30 States had banned abortions, 16 States made them legal under certain circumstances, 3 States allowed residents to obtain abortions, and New York State allowed abortions freely (including non-residents). Probably, you could have also made a trip to Tijuana if you wanted to.
In Roe Vs. Wade, the Supreme Court claimed that the U.S. Constitution — that document written mostly by James Madison in the late 1780s — gave women a legal right to abortions.
The effect of this was that all the laws enacted by duly-elected State governments, through the democratic-republic process, with full voting rights for women, were invalidated. The laws were decided by nine unelected men wearing black robes.
Whaaaaat? Where in the Constitution was this written?
After all, it has to be written somewhere. In print. Where was it? Why hadn’t prior generations of Americans noticed this earlier? It’s not like the Constitution is as long as the World Book Encyclopedia. Show me.
The Justices said: It’s in the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, and gave Black Americans freed from slavery (Thirteenth Amendment) the same legal rights as other Americans. Here is the entire text of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Here is Section 1:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
This includes the “due process clause,” which is:
nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
In 1868, this meant: Recently freed Blacks would have the same legal protections as all other citizens, such as a trial by jury.
But, in 1973, the Supreme Court argued that the duly elected State legislatures, having made laws regarding abortion according to the wishes of the citizens of their State; and the Justice system enforcing those laws in those States, were not “due process.” Instead, the Supreme Court argued that, whatever seven out of nine judges agreed on, was “due process.” They just made it up out of thin air.
Yes, they really did that, and called it “due process.”
For a long discussion about this, I recommend Robert Bork’s book, The Tempting of America.
Now, we should remember that the reason that abortion was banned in most States in 1970, was because the legalized-abortion group could not win a legislative victory. The preponderance of public opinion was against legalized abortions, which was reflected in State legislation, duly arrived at through the elections of State Congresspeople. But, in some places, the legalized-abortion group did win a legislative victory, notably in New York State.
In other words, Roe Vs. Wade is a legal abomination. It may be that, if we were to eliminate this abomination, and return to a condition where State governments could pass legislation on these important topics in reflection of prevailing opinion, there would be more States today that allow abortion than was the case in 1972. Probably, Massachusetts would, and Texas would not. The worst thing that would happen is that a woman might want to buy a Greyhound bus ticket to Massachusetts. Maybe this could be paid for by a private charity, funded by people who thought this was important. Oh the horror.
Instead, we have a situation where infanticide, or baby-murder, is not only legal but actually publicly subsidized, because seven guys wearing funny clothes claimed that this was written in the Fourteenth Amendment; and unfortunately, the Constitution gives us no way of taking these dickheads and kicking them in the ass. (Thomas Jefferson said that this was a major defect of the Constitution.) You can see why people are a little unhappy about that.