Archived Opinion

If Roe v. Wade goes, then what is next

If Roe v. Wade goes, then what is next

Using Samuel Alito’s logic in proposing to strike down the “right” to an abortion, other rights that you take for granted could also be eliminated. The argument is that if something is not mentioned in the Constitution, that “right” is based only on the majority opinion of the Supreme Court. Thus, if the Roe vs. Wade decision was wrong, the current court could reverse that decision.

This opens to door to removing other presumed rights. For example, the Constitution does not give you the right to own an AR-15. The Second Amendment only gives you the right to “keep and bear arms” and says nothing about private ownership. The Swiss government used to require all men of a certain age to keep their military weapon at home while not on deployment or in training. The Constitution’s language does not say it allows for private ownership — just to keep and bear arms for a “well regulated militia.” The only thing that allows you to own firearms is the interpretation by the Supreme Court, which we now see can change.

How about your right to privacy? The Fourth Amendment only protects you from “unreasonable searches and seizures” but says nothing about privacy. A state could sue to make all medical, educational, and employment records public. If the Supreme Court agrees that the Constitution does not address these, it could rule that all records can be made public.

How about the right to travel between states? There is nothing in the Constitution that gives you that right. Thus, if a state wants to restrict entry or charge you $100 to enter the state, the Supreme Court could use the logic applied to Roe vs. Wade to allow a state to do that.

More likely the so-called conservatives who brought the lawsuit on Roe vs. Wade will go after your right to enter a mixed-race marriage or marriage for same sex couples. The right to use contraception services and products would also be subject to the whim of five justices. The Constitution does not address these “rights” any more than it addresses Roe vs. Wade.

Let your imagination run free to think of all the “rights” you think you have that are not explicitly covered by the Constitution or its amendments. Public education, libraries, and healthcare are among the things not mentioned in the Constitution and would be fair game for revocation or elimination.

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The other part of the argument against abortion rights is that until 1973 there was no support for a constitutional right for access to an abortion. That logic might mean that women will again need to get a man’s permission to get a credit card, which was the case before 1973. Not allowed until after 1973 was the protection for a woman not to get fired if she got pregnant or to sue for sexual harassment in the workplace. All rights that women and men have won since the founding of the country would be subject to cancelation.

Apparently, Alito thinks that anything after the 1600s does not qualify as being “deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions” as he quotes a British jurist who executed witches and advocated for executing children as young as 14. That same jurist considered women to be the property of either their father or husband. Women who were independent of a man (e.g., widows) were considered with suspicion and occasionally accused and prosecuted for practicing witchcraft.

The Roe vs. Wade decision is based, in part, on the fact that in the first trimester the fetus is essentially an extension of the woman’s body and upon which it is dependent for its existence. The Alito position makes the woman subservient to the fetus based on a religious position, not facts based on biology. If this religious position dictates judicial decisions, other religious positions could be imposed on all citizens. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seems intent on exercising its activist agenda to take the country back to a darker place.

(Dr. Norm Hoffman is a semi-retired clinical psychologist living in Waynesville. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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6 comments

  • Very fine assessment. But not nearly complete. Make no mistake 'scaly came up with the claim that a "strict constitutionalist" would only consider the first 10 Amendments & no others. That none of OUR Founding History matters! Only that the US legally began when OUR Godless Constitution was ratified. And! That since the word "woman" was not mentioned they had no "enumerated" rights whatsoever. The "Notorious RPG" got him to relax his opinion & accept that the 14th Amendment's "All persons born or naturalized..." included "women". Even though privately he and 'uncle Thomas continued to claim the 14TH only applied to former black male slaves at that time and no one else! Now comes alito & his nuts that have put this assinine opinion on paper & now claim that "women " only enjoy one enumerated right. The right to vote. And! Women do not have any means to challenge their opinion whatsoever!!! Let alone any right to "privacy" or "due process" or "equal protection". That the States can restrict "women" as they so choose. Which was exactly what the Bill of Rights was created to protect against. While most people understand that the "Social Contract" begins at birth when the birth certificate is signed by a representative of US, guns do not have such a thing. They are manufactured & can be regulated as WE the people so choose as 'scaly pointed out in Heller while not taking the right away altogether. "Yes We can"! Regulate the size & make of any gun a person chooses to use for self-protection. No one can own a nuke now can they?

    posted by chuck Zimmerman

    Monday, 05/23/2022

  • Excellent explanation of the issues with Alito barbarous logic. The only thing I would add is that the 1st Amendment of the Constitution prevents the government from recognizing or favoring any religion. So what Christianity or Christians think about abortion, same sex marriage, contraception or any other private, personal issue does not give them the right to dictate law, or the interpretation of the Constitution, in these United States.

    posted by Randall Alley

    Sunday, 05/22/2022

  • Excellent explanation of the issues with Alito barbarous logic. The only thing I would add is that the 1st Amendment of the Constitution prevents the government from recognizing or favoring any religion. So what Christianity or Christians think about abortion, same sex marriage, contraception or any other private, personal issue does not give them the right to dictate law, or the interpretation of the Constitution, in these United States.

    posted by Randall Alley

    Sunday, 05/22/2022

  • The Bill of Rights does not "give" us rights. They protect our natural human rights from being infringed upon by the federal government. That protection applies to the states upon incorporation under the 14th Amendment due process clause. The 2nd Amendment was so incorporated in 2010 by SCOTUS in McDonald v. City of Chicago.

    posted by Richard Nascak

    Thursday, 05/19/2022

  • Another fact pal, the Supreme Court would not be abolishing abortion but sending it back to the States themselves to decide as it should be since we are supposed to be a Republic. Ok pal?

    posted by Lucille

    Thursday, 05/19/2022

  • The Constitution does give you the right to own an AR-15 pal. Why don't you try reading the 2nd Amendment. It says the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. I don't give a hoot about the Swiss government. The militia here would be the same private citizens that you wish to disarm or disallow their rightful ownership of an AR-15. Try to think more logically. This is always a problem with you Liberals.

    posted by Lucille Josephs

    Wednesday, 05/18/2022

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