WHAT If... Roe v. Wade were overturned?
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This is one of the most controversial court decision in modern United States history. I will answer from a social point of view. If this decision were overturned, it would first create social havoc, because supporter of a woman's right would not not settle for an overturning. It may also create a social triumphalism for those who sought to overturn it. As you know, this is a very intensely emotional topic for all. Perhaps most importantly, abortions would go underground more and more.
I don't think it would be that much of a difference. There would still be states (like Washington, where I live) where abortion rights would be protected by the state government. Many states would be like that. There would be states where it would be banned, but many of these states are ones in which it is already extremely hard to get an abortion.
I think the sorts of things that the first post worries about would be much more likely if there were a Constitutional amendment than if Roe were overturned.
This is a rallying cry for politicians and social conservatives. The idea that, merely by appointing one or two more Supreme Court justices that are anti-abortion rights would change nearly 40 years of judicial review and precedent on the subject is common, but inaccurate. As others above have pointed out, there is also a maze of state laws and policies on this, state, private and federal funding to sort out were Roe v. Wade to be overturned. I doubt it would have as much effect as people think.
I don't think we'll ever see it come to pass precisely because of all the complications cited above. IF it should happen that a federal law or constitutional amendment was to be passed prohibiting abortion, that law would be supreme to any state laws. However, there would be so many qualifying definitions introduced to restrict or expand exactly when the act was prohibited, under what (if any) circumstances some sort of procedure might be allowed, and so on, that it would be unenforceable in today's society.
Several years past, there was an attempt to reverse Miranda vs. Arizona. The Court under Justice Rehenquist, although quite conservative, stated that Miranda was "settled law," and should not be reversed. If an attempt were made to reverse Roe vs. Wade, I think the same conclusion would be reached. Even as it now stands, a number of states have written statutes to limit a woman's right to abortion to the extent they can do so under Roe; however with the changing social climate, I have serious doubts that even if a sharply conservative court were to reverse the decision (highly unlikely) there would be any earth shattering consequences.
I am concerned that if Roe v. Wade were overturned many states would put anti-abortion bills on the ballot. Abortion may again become illegal (as it was before Roe v. Wade).
The two most serious results of making abortions illegal would be 1. a loss of a woman's right to choose, and 2. the forcing of women with unwanted pregnancies to undergo illegal, street abortions (which are extremely dangerous). A third concern would be the bringing into this world of a significant number of unwanted children. Because of their circumstances, some of these children might end up in one form of difficulty or another.
I think the answer is based on which side of the fence one chooses to sit on would determine how they would feel about Roe v. Wade being overturned. I think that the above posters provide very good arguments about the topic and concerns which would arise if the ruling was overturned.
I think the most detrimental issue that would arise is a woman's right to choose. A good thing is there are far more many outspoken women and groups that would have far too much to say on the issue. It would certainly be a long and hard fight to overturn the ruling.
What I'm wondering is why the government has a right to say or do anything at all about abortion? Isn't that an individual's right under the 14th Amendment? I think it is! Personally I don't go along with abortion--I think it's just wrong! But, then that's my opinion. Other women might not think that way. But, it's their right to think that way if they want to, and also their right to get one should they so choose. They should be able to get an abortion without having to do it illegally. If doctors would accommodate them there wouldn't be a need to do it on the black market, and their wouldn't be women dying because their abortion wasn't done right! The case of Roe vs. Wade should never have happened! Leave the abortion issue alone! Let women decide if they want one or not, provide them with counseling and options, and help them have it done by responsible medical personnel.
Overturning Roe vs. Wade would, as others have pointed out, not necessarily make the medical procedure of abortion illegal, but it would open the door for individual states to start legislation in that direction. I personally am of the opinion that safe, legal abortions are better for society than unsafe, illegal abortions... and women who want abortions are going to get them, illegal or not. Abortion should be a dead issue at this point. It is legal, it is nobody's business but the woman, and we have much more important things to worry about.
If Roe were overturned, I think the debate over abortion would become much like that over same-sex marriage, debated state-by-state. As others on this thread have pointed out, some states would almost certainly begin to criminalize abortion, while others would probably continue to protect it. I am in total agreement with post #10, but I do recognize it as a remarkably divisive issue. Whether allowing states to solve it for themselves would make it fizzle out or intensify it is anyone's guess.
Thank you, #9. This is an issue the government should never have gotten embroiled in. Those who want an abortion should be free to get one; those who do not, are not required to get one. Those who object to others having abortions should focus their energies on persuasion, but to make a law (or in this case, alter the law) that would result in them being illegal will, as others have posted, just make the issue go underground. Women have been having abortions since there have been babies. Trying to regulate human behavior like this is foolish.
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