The news broke yesterday that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1970s decision that protected women from being criminally punished for getting an abortion. The decision was based largely on a selective definition of a right to privacy.
The mainstream media seem incapable of not hyperventilating about this issue. For example, CNNs lead article contains a misrepresentation of what the decision actually means:
“A draft Supreme Court opinion suggesting the conservative majority may be about to outlaw the constitutional right to an abortion hit like a political lightning bolt Monday night.”
This lede must have been written by an intern in the middle of the night, it’s that nonsensical. The offending phrase is, “outlaw the constitutional right to an abortion.” The wording here seems intentionally designed to be misread as outlawing abortion.
The decision, as I understand it, rules that the Federal Constitution contains nothing that suggests the right to an abortion. You cannot outlaw rights. Courts can either recognize them or decline to recognize them.
Here the Court seems inclined, by its reading of the Constitution, to hold that Roe recognized something that does not, as a matter of interpretation, actually exist.
This decision returns the issue of abortion to the several states. This is rightly the case. Abortion is a profoundly moral decision that, of necessity, involves the taking of a life.
Decisions and issues such as these ought to be handled by the states since state legislatures are the voice of the people selected to craft the laws that guide their life in the vast majority of areas that impact daily life.