Friday, June 12, 2009

Rightist Convergence: Abortion

This is the second in a series of posts suggesting compromise positions, intended to break the impasses which currently divide the right against itself.

It may at first seem ridiculous to try to build a consensus on an issue as contentious as abortion. Abortion seems to be an ideological litmus test, but more than that it is a seemingly unbridgeable gap. This misses an important point - a nationwide ban on abortion is not up for debate. There would be no constitutional power for Congress to ban it. The current abortion-obsessed political climate was largely created by Supreme Court fiat. I refer of course to the Roe v. Wade decision which claimed to find backing for first-trimester abortion rights in the United States Constitution, specifically, in the 14th Amendment.

Roe v. Wade should be overturned, either by another court decision, or by a constitutional amendment clarifying due process. As it stands now, the 14th Amendment is far too elastic, and allows the courts to overturn any state law based on rights of privacy it asserts to be part of constitutional due process.

Privacy rights should be broad, and clearly stated in the decisions or constitutional amendments which end the Roe v. Wade era. Obviously there is more latitude to do this with with a constitutional amendment, which makes that the preferable route. Though the debate about what these rights should be may prove quite long and arduous, the enormous Supreme Court overreach of Roe deserves a quick remedy. Conservatives who favor the continued legality of abortion should organize at the state level to keep it legal by statute. Likewise, those on the other side should organize to deliver state-level bans.

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