Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Abortion: Slowly Slouching Out of America

Hadley Arkes is a heavyweight, and this essay looks forward.

The holding in Gonzales v. Carhart was the narrowest of holdings: The Court mainly blocked the move in the lower courts to strike down laws on abortion in facial challenges. ...the decision of the Court was momentous, for it sustained the federal act as the second legislative act that would restrict abortions.

...even that modest bill, with that narrow holding, was quite enough to spook the partisans of abortion. They have seen, in Gonzales v. Carhart, a major step to the overruling of Roe. And that has spurred them now to seek legislation in the states to enact, in a statute, the rights of abortion articulated in Roe and its sequelae.

...With this panicky recoil from the holding in Carhart, the liberals are now behind the push to have the states start legislating again on abortion. With each move, they affirm the premise that the legislatures may indeed legislate on this subject. Their aim, of course, is to vindicate the right to abortion, but they will find that, as they try to shape that right, they will also be marking, unavoidably, the limits of abortion. And those limits, they will discover, will be drawn far less broadly than any “limits” that can be found in the law of abortion as it has been shaped by the federal courts.

...For once the issue is opened, the pro-life side can readily bring forward a host of amendments, containing serious restrictions on abortion that are supported even by people who call themselves pro-choice...

The essay refers to Brer Rabbit's home--the briar patch.

Exactly where PP & Co. will be as they go to the Legislatures.

HT: ProEcclesia

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