- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Alabama has become ground zero in the fight over abortion because lawmakers just voted on restrictions that make the procedure nearly impossible to perform, and the left, as the left is wont to do, is going nuts.

But the fact is, the morphing of abortion in this country from an act of outlaw to lawful was based on flimsy judicial reasoning in the first place.

Abortion always should have been a matter for states to decide.

It never should have been a Supreme Court shoving of judicial will down the throats of majority pro-life voters in the state of Texas, where the case originated.

Roe v. Wade came in 1973, ushering in a 7-2 court ruling deeming abortion a privacy right of women while determining a fetus was not a person, unworthy of constitutional protections — an item of curiosity given subsequent legislative and judicial decisions that find, say, murderers guilty of two murders when their victims are pregnant women. Can you say Unborn Victims of Violence Act?

Anyway, Roe v. Wade also stated that states do have an interest and a right to protect potential human lives — meaning, the unborn. Yet in 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court doubled down on its earlier ruling that abortion, at least in the first trimester, is legal.

Enter Alabama.

Enter Alabama, where legislators have just passed hefty restrictions on abortions, which include no exceptions for rape or incest — and where we get headlines like this, from Vice News: “25 White Republican Men Just Voted to Ban Abortion in Alabama.”

As if that’s a travesty.

But suggesting it’s a travesty for 25 white men to determine the fate of abortion for an entire state ignores the far greater travesty that was committed during Roe v. Wade. Why? Roe v. Wade came into being when a single plaintiff, an unmarried pregnant Texas woman named Norma McCorvey, filed a suit under the name of “Jane Doe” claiming state law unconstitutionally denied her right to abort. The Supreme Court decision that ultimately ensued forced an entire nation of states to recognize the right of a woman to abort.

If it can be complained that 25 white men are wrongfully determining the fate of abortion for an entire state, how much more wrongfully it can be complained that a single woman was responsible for determining the fate of abortion for an entire nation. A single woman, backed by an angry feminist voice, a crowd of special interest groups and a constitutionally challenged court.

Abortion, by the Constitution, is a state issue.

More than that, of course, it’s a moral issue, a religious issue. But it’s a moral issue that should have been allowed to run its legislative course, where the virtues of the people decide the courses and paths of law.

In America, at the very least, states’ rights, states’ jurisdiction, on abortion, ought to prevail.

Truthfully, in this day and age, Alabama will probably lose the soon-to-come court challenges to its restrictions on abortions.

But in a just and proper constitutional system, if we actually had a just and proper constitutional basis on this matter, that is, Alabama’s abortion laws would stand. And Roe v. Wade wouldn’t.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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