Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Roe v. Wade

There was a panel at the law school recognizing the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Among the panelists were the CEO/Director of Planned Parenthood Utah and a family law professor. Everything from the morality of abortion to the current statistical state of abortion in the U.S. was discussed. What was not discussed was the actual case itself.

This drives me crazy. Almost everyone has strong feelings about abortion. For some people those feelings are strong ones of opposition, for others of support, and for others strong feelings of conflict and contradiction. I don't think most people can talk about terminating the unborn and the right of a woman to make decisions about her own body without feeling or thinking something.

But there is a huge difference between supporting or opposing abortion and supporting or opposing Roe v. Wade. I am weary of hearing conservatives talk about "overturning" Roe without a single nod to exactly how that would be done. And what would happen to all the legislation that has been created in reliance on Roe (including legislative limitations on abortion). But the political right aren't the only ones guilty. I'm tired of hearing the left talk about "defending Roe" without acknowledging the expansiveness of the decision or the substantive due process problems the case has created outside of the world of abortion. When advocates, from both sides of the political aisle, speak about Roe, I wonder how many of them have actually read the decision. I know they support the outcome of the case (freedom of choice for women), but if the really read it would they support all the legal implications of the case? And all of the logic? And how many times when people say "I support/oppose Roe," do they actually mean "I support/oppose abortion?"

Because the two are not the same.

I wasn't the only student who left yesterday's panel disappointed. So any of you who want to chime in with awesome insights into the legal correctness of the decision, rather than it's moral correctness, you would be filling a gap in my understanding yesterday's event didn't do much to fill.


Johanna said...

The legal-ese of this isn't all clear to me but I would be so interested to hear more from you or hear a debate that I understood;)

Ray said...

Love this post, Brooke. The case is amazing apart from the abortion topic issue. Penumbral emanations, for example. There could be a whole class on that idea.

Motion DeSmiths said...

Flashback to 3 years ago. I'm guessing a certain Wardle was involved.