[eDebate] Do not put it on the BALLOT

Brad Hall hallbc2
Mon Apr 10 14:38:26 CDT 2006

Forwarded for Jamie (although I do agree with him...)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Do not put it on the BALLOT
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 15:35:41 -0400
From: carrjf2 <carrjf2 at wfu.edu>
To: edebate at ndtceda.com

I just wanted to post to substantiate Hester's claim that Roe has not
been great protection for womens' right to choose-in fact, there is
plenty of good evidence arguing the reverse, that kicking this debate
back to the states and/or congress would be better for womens' rights in
Here's a card I found for this in 30 seconds of lexising, not even in
law reviews:

The New Republic, 12/24/03
In all these states, pro-choice voters were willing to vote for pro-life
candidates because they knew Roe would prevent their positions from
being enacted; if Roe were overturned, they would have to think again.
Pro-life legislators, as a result, would themselves think long and hard
before pulling the trigger to overturn Roe.
And, even if a handful of state legislatures did pass restrictions on
first-term abortions, the political consequences would energize the
pro-choice movement and hurt the Republican Party far more than it now
benefits from pandering to the pro-life extremists. "You have a sizable
number of Republican women and men who are in the vast middle group that
tilt more toward the choice side," says Norman Ornstein of the American
Enterprise Institute. If Roe were overturned, "it would help to redefine
the Republican Party as a pro-life party. If anything could lead to
realignment, I imagine this could do it. We're talking about a country
at parity, and, if we see a shift of two or three or four percent, it
could make a significant difference."
Under this kind of pressure, it wouldn't be long before Congress felt
compelled to pass a federal abortion bill that mirrored popular
sentiments on abortion, protecting early-term and restricting late-term
abortions. Even a Republican Congress, Ornstein suggests, might
ultimately pass a moderate bill along these lines, "especially if it
looked like their support was hemorrhaging out there. You'd find an
awful lot of Republicans saying, 'We have to take a middle ground
here.'" Indeed, a Freedom of Choice Act that protected early-term
abortions would have passed during the Clinton administration except for
the fact that pro-choice activists refused to accept any federal
legislation that failed to guarantee federally funded abortions for poor
women--a position rejected by a majority of Americans. "We missed an
opportunity because there were some who thought it didn't go far
enough," Michelman told me.
The fact that we are about to fight another Supreme Court nomination
battle by flyspecking the nominees' views on Roe points to the real
costs of the decision today. Thirty years after Roe, the finest
constitutional minds in the country still have not been able to produce
a constitutional justification for striking down restrictions on
early-term abortions that is substantially more convincing than Justice
Harry Blackmun's famously artless opinion itself. As a result, the
pro-choice majority asks nominees to swear allegiance to the decision
without being able to identify an intelligible principle to support it.
And the pro-life minority can criticize the legal weakness of the
decision without having to acknowledge its political weakness in the
country as a whole.

The fact that some people in this discussion seem to assume that
overturning Roe automatically sends us to a world where abortions are
all illegal indicates to me a need for more community education on the
politics of abortion and the various possible effects of overturning Roe.

Jamie Carroll

More information about the Mailman mailing list