No issue is as revealing as abortion.
As a conservative writer in Rhode Island, I find it difficult to know where to begin a reaction to the apparent, likely, or maybe only as-yet possible decision of the United States Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade this session.
The place to start, I suppose, is with the biggest and most-obvious point. Unless our country is indefinitely to continue its slide into the ravenous maw of pure evil, Roe v. Wade’s reversal is at some point inevitable. Like slavery, a policy permitting the brutal slaughter of unborn babies — as in, literally tearing them into pieces placed in a metal dish to be sorted and perhaps sold — for any or no reason up to the last moment during which their bodies are touching the skin of their mothers during birth is simply too barbaric for a society that values human life to permit. And, in case it needs to be said, we should be a society that values human life. Correction of this evil can and should be done on ways that accord with our pluralistic and democratic heritage, but Roe v. Wade subverts ideological pluralism and democracy.
That raises the next-most-obvious travesty of Roe v. Wade, which is insisting that a handful of judges should be permitted to make this decision for the entire nation. I believe the horror of abortion deserves universal opprobrium, but other horrors await a nation that hands a political wildcard to a small group of judges simply because the national elite wants a policy that the people aren’t ready to accept through the usual rules of our governing game.
Subsidiary to that point is the problem that this wildcard has been yielded by means of incoherent, excuse-making reasoning. Even now, social media is awash in commentary with which it is impossible to engage because it is entirely unmoored. If the court returns decisions about abortion to the states, some are saying, that represents the judges’ imposing a rule on the entire nation. That is the opposite of reality! The more fine-grained analysis has it that Justice Samuel Alito’s reasoning puts a target on other historical rulings of the court, but that is explicitly not the case, and Alito explains why.
Last comes the deceitfulness of progressives, which was laid absolutely bare last night as this news leaked out. No limit appears to apply to the power that they would place in a few hands, centrally controlling vast swaths of humanity. Yet, despite their fondness for such terms as “democracy” and “the will of the people,” when that centralized decision-making machine takes a turn with which they disagree, they present it as simply illegitimate. If five progressive justices on the Supreme Court insist that there cannot be any small area of our massive country in which people can be governed according to beliefs with which those five disagree, then progressives proclaim them guardians of rights. If five other justices insist that we have a right under our Constitution to make such decisions more-locally, progressive decry the tyranny of permitting civic choice.
Featured image by Aditya Romanca on Unsplash.