Wednesday, the Supreme Court Justices drilled attorneys during oral arguments over Mississippi’s ban on abortion before 15 weeks, the most serious challenge yet to Roe v. Wade.
The general consensus among legal analysts was that the conservative Justices were trying to force the pro-abortion attorneys to offer some kind of concrete rationale for why abortion should be legal, the liberal justices were pushing to maintain the status quo, and Chief Justice John Roberts was looking for some way to split the difference, to allow Mississippi-like restrictions while still preserving the idea of a right to abortion under some circumstances. But even he didn’t seem inclined to defend Roe v. Wade, comparing its arbitrary “viability” standard to those in China and North Korea, which we don’t need to emulate.
I linked yesterday to an article about four things the SCOTUS had to keep in mind in making their decision, and the liberals' push for maintaining the status quo was one of the logical fallacies mentioned. If a ruling is bad and has terrible consequences (in Roe’s case, the slaughter of over 60 million children in the womb), then saying it’s been around so long and so many people depend on it that we have to keep it is not a rational argument. If a ruling is that bad, then it should have been overturned sooner, not preserved forever. Under that thinking, we’d still have slavery. And preserving a bad ruling doesn't protect the Court's integrity or reputation, it erodes it.
In this exchange, Justice Clarence Thomas practically had to get his pliers and pull some teeth to get the pro-abortion attorney to admit that they were there to defend the right to abortion rather than just some vague manifestation of the rights to liberty, autonomy or privacy. It appeared that not even the person arguing that there’s a right to abortion in the Constitution wanted to be put in the position of trying to point out where it is.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave a great example of how foolish it was with the original Roe decision to expect lawyers in robes to make medical decisions, such as when a fetus becomes viable. Sotomayor argued, contrary to recent medical discoveries, that it was a “fringe” idea to suggest that babies in the womb can feel pain before 24 weeks, and compared fetuses to “braindead” people.
I can think of someone I could compare to braindead people, but that doesn’t mean she can’t feel pain.
For more, this is a good article from PJ Media, summarizing 10 key moments during the oral arguments.
Finally, Larry O’Connor at Townhall.com shows how Justice Kavanaugh hit the nail on the head by pointing out that you cannot accommodate both sides, you have to choose. What does the Constitution say? Does it protect the right of humans in the womb to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or does it protect the right of a pregnant woman to abort her child?
All I can say is that I’ve read the Constitution a fair number of times, and I’ve never found the word “abortion” in it anywhere.