Overturning Roe vs Wade Would Be A Triumph For Democracy

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Just the one little point that shows us quite how two faced politics is as a manner of organising that real world out there. A general scream these days is that Trump – Orange Man Bad and all that – is a threat to democracy. He’s overturning it in fact, abolishing its expression in America.

He’s also a right (insert insult of choice here) for proposing Amy Comey Barrett for the Supreme Court because this would – not that it necessarily would but political rhetoric, you know – mean the overturning of Roe vs Wade.

At which point just to clear up any misunderstanding people might have about Roe. The effect of it is to say that abortion is a constitutional right. It’s not possible to make laws unduly restricting access to that right. Well, OK, maybe that’s right and maybe that should be right. But it’s not democratic.

Democracy is that the people get to vote on what the law should be. And if that includes restrictions on when an abortion can be gained then so be it, that’s democracy for you. Also, if it – as it was before Roe in New York and several other states – means few restrictions then so be that too – that’s democracy for you.

The situation is thus that if Roe is overturned then the states, severally, get to decide what the laws on abortion in those several states should be. And it’ll be the actions of democracy, peeps voting for the politicians who promise to have this law or that law, which determines what those laws end up being. Which is democracy, love it or loathe it.

Now run through the logic again. Trump’s killing democracy as he proposes a justice who would, in this tale, increase the amount of democracy available by overturning Roe.

And the people who can believe this sort of logic are the people who should be running the country? Or, if that’s too partisan, perhaps we can get to the proper underlying here.

We say that there are certain things which are not subject to democracy, to the whims of the mob. These things we call rights. Innocent until proven guilty, private property, freedom of association, free speech and on. Maybe abortion too as it is in current American reality. Cool, these are things therefore where we’ve ruled out democracy. That is, there just are things which aren’t to be democratically decided.

We all cool with that?

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SpikeBloke on M4Michael van der RietBongoPat Recent comment authors
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Pat
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Pat

In modern parlance democracy means something the speaker likes, just as fascism means something the speaker dislikes. All other meaning has been lost.

Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

Abortion would have been done and dusted and legalised in all states anyway. This fight is because the people were denied their voice, denied the debate. So, it became a thing of binary positions, of getting people into SCOTUS.

Spike
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Spike

Not in all states; you’re ignoring regional differences. Texas and Alabama tried to minimize abortions in spite of Roe by requiring that the doc have admitting rights to a hospital in case of mishap. N.H. every term tries to pass laws harassing abortion with public health data collection requirements or forcing docs to propagandize patients.

Tennessee has a new abortion law that KnoxNews.com calls the USA’s strictest; a requirement that docs tell patients chemical abortions can be reversed, has been suspended. That law also prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat, in direct conflict with Roe; that part is also in court.

Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

I get that, but I’m trying to say that if this was done through a democratic process, people would have talked about it, had the debate (at the level of people on buses, town hall meetings, political chambers, whatever).

Because of how it was done, the pro-choice movement doesn’t make the argument. It’s just defending Roe via Scotus, which is an entrenched, belligerent position, and as a result, you don’t get opinions changed. The people on the other side don’t change their mind.

Spike
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Spike

Oh, but we do talk about it. The Founders would be amazed about how their nation of farmers and blacksmiths understand and debate policy and can retrieve the text of Roe on a pocket device. Minds are slow to change because viewpoints are fundamentally different: the fetus as person versus a pregnant woman’s autonomy.

If there were a reason for a Supreme Court decree – say, the passage of an unconstitutional law – then it should happen undemocratically. Otherwise, you could amend the Constitution with just a good advertising campaign.

Spike
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Spike

“Democracy” is nowhere in the founding documents of our FEDERATION. The boundaries of legal personhood are controversial and the states were resolving the controversy (democratically!) until both sides demanded a one-size-fits-all victory on the national level, which both still want.

“They’ll take away your abortions!” is this year’s “They’ll take away your Medicaid!” But it’s unlikely to happen soon. Thomas is always eager to overturn bad past rulings, notably the thoroughly defective Roe, but the others and especially the Chief Justice are not, and libertarian Gorsuch is not a sure vote.

Bongo
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Bongo

Well argued by Tom

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

Somewhat off topic, who is this Dick who blogs here and doesn’t allow comments on his posts? The latest one richly deserves tearing apart.