Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Dahlia Lithwick Get Right and Wrong on Roe V Wade - The Death of Roe? (Updated)

Update- Look at the bottom for an important update. As a factual matter Lithwick gets a lot more wrong than I had time or want to point out. See bottom for that link.

Dahlia Lithwick is the liberal Supreme Court and legal writer for Slate. While I often disagree with her and think her writing would improve if she opened her mind some her writing is still pretty good.

She has as I say a MUST READ article today at The Death of Roe v. Wade
Supporters and opponents of abortion seem to agree: It's no longer the law of the land
. It is one of those pieces where her insight comes into play.

First what she gets wrong. Roe V Wade has not been the law of the land for some time or at least the intent of ROE. For that , and perhaps the backlash to it, you can thank pro-abortion forces. If one reads ROE one sees the Court trying to set up trimesters of state interest where it would be more difficult for an abortion too occur because of rising legitimate state interest. The problem is that the women's health qualification became so broad that it allowed pretty much no prohibition on abortions. An abortion doctor says a woman's mental health is in danger and poof we are even in the land partial birth abortions. Thus we have much more liberal abortion laws than Europe.

The tension is seen Lithwick's article where she even thinks waiting periods are prohibited by Roe. Actually she mentions Roe and its progeny with progeny being the key word. She also I think is wrong to say attitudes on the abortion question have not changed. I think polls have shown a general trend toward more restrictions. Further let is recall that as late as 1974 the Southern Baptist Convention was passing pro-choice resolutions.

But where she is very right is what has been occurring at the State level. I have seen pro-life legislation down to defeat here in Louisiana and now we have some of the most pro-life legalisation on the books. All within a time period of a decade and a half.

It is vogue even in some Catholic corners to criticize the Right to Live Movement, social conservatives, and pro-life GOP folks for doing nothing on abortion. The problem is these folks are just D.C. view based. If it does not happen in the beltway and thus get reported on their cable news it is not happening. Dahila Lithwick at least correctly understands that is a too much limited viewpoint.


This Notre Dame Law Prof calls her out too. See Let’s Get Hysterical


Rebecca @ The Road Home said...

Thank-you for the summary.

I do agree with her very last sentence 'at the very least, let's put it to the test.' So many Republicans run a 'pro-life' campaign, but then do nothing to truly be pro-life. Love or hate him, President Obama has stood by his pro-choice stance and ACTED on it. Maybe it's time the conservative representatives and judges 'walk the walk.' Maybe.


James H said...

Well I think the problem is at the Federal Level its just hard to do a lot of concrete PRO-LIFE stuff.

Not that what they do not do is important. There is some chipping away. I think one reason pro-life Republicans (an democratsO have been so successful at the State level is they have more options to attck the problem and they go under the radar.

Still that does not mean Federal elective Pro-life folks should be excused for being lazy about the issue