The legality of abortion appears to be “settled law.”
Roe v. Wade is the law of the land for all 50 states, I realize.
Yet, pro-lifers often find themselves wondering aloud—often to one another—what if? What if the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade?
The legality of abortion would then become a states’ rights issue. And the legal licitness of paying for the murder of one’s own unborn child would be determined state-by-state. In one state it may be totally banned; in another there may exist few regulations, if any. Is this how it should go?
Which states would be open to abortion and which would criminalize it is not the point of my article today. Instead, I want to focus on a wacky idea I hear from time to time on the topic of the legality of abortion. That is, that it would be a good thing for the legality of abortion to become merely a states’ rights issue.
THE INSUFFERABLE MARK DAVIS
I lived in the Dallas area for about eight years. Inevitably, I have tuned in to listen to Mark Davis, the conservative political commentator.
Like most conservative radio talk show hosts, he seems to be economically and politically on the Right. But he seems very weak on the social issues.
Case in point, I remember an on-air conversation he had—I believe with colleague host, Mike Gallagher—in which Davis said he would willingly attend a so-called “gay marriage” wedding.
When it comes to abortion, however, Davis espouses pro-life credentials. After all, he points out, he thinks Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional and should be overturned. This all pro-lifers can agree on. So far, so good on the abortion issue.
But then I have heard Davis make the following claim several times. He thinks the legality of abortion ought to be left up to the individual states. He thinks we should live in a democracy in which each state should determine by popular vote whether it should be legal to murder the unborn.
I do not claim to know why he makes this claim, but I have a theory. He probably thinks he is impressing pro-life conservatives, since he opposes legal abortion being imposed on a national scale. And he probably thinks he is appeasing the social-issue liberals or libertarians by taking this ‘middle ground’ approach.
The problem is he is saying, in essence, at least some people should reserve the ‘right’ to murder fellow human beings. And we’re talking about the physical dismemberment of the smallest among us, the unborn, no less.
It would be better if Davis and his conservative cohorts would realize the legality of abortion should be erased for everyone, everywhere. There should not be pockets of people—or individual states—where it is deemed morally permissible to pay to have an unborn child murdered.
That’s the problem with many of the conservative talk show pundits. They just don’t realize the gravity of abortion. No one should have the legal ‘right’ to murder any other innocent person. Period.
Now, if Davis holds a different opinion on the legality of abortion, I am open to being corrected. But having tuned into him sporadically for many years now, I have to hear him give a different opinion.
In the end, if Roe v. Wade were overturned—and I am not holding my breath—then there should be a law put in place criminalizing abortion. None of the 50 states has the moral right to deem the murder of the unborn something a legal activity.
Anyone else out there frustrated by the argument that abortion ought to be a states’ rights issue?
Do you have other examples of media types claiming the legality of abortion should be determined state by state?
Please leave your thoughts below.