There is a lot of interest in whether the US Supreme Court is going to overturn Roe vs Wade, a previous SCOTUS decision that found abortion to be a constitutional right (at least for the first trimester).
My view on abortion is it should be safe and legal. I’d also like to see better contraception services so abortion is less common (note in NZ it has been falling for many years).
The current NZ law which treats it primarily as a health issue is a good one. If I lived in the United States I would want to see either Congress make abortion legal throughout the country, or have all 50 states do so through state legislatures.
So you might expect me to be a supporter of Roe vs Wade.
But I am not.
It is a terrible decision. It is one of the worst decisions made by the Supreme Court where a majority of Justices just decided to invent a constitutional right, because that would align with their policy preferences.
One of the reasons abortion is such a divisive issue in the US, is because of resentment that the Supreme Court decided the issue for the entire country, rather than have it decided democratically through legislatures as we have done in New Zealand.
The clause in the Constitution that is used to justify Roe vs Wade is this:
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
How you get from that very general statement of due process to “this means that abortion is a constitutional right” is a feat of judicial activism.
Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been critical of Roe vs Wade. She is totally supportive of the outcome, but has said the reasoning in the decision was flawed.
Like RBG, I like the outcome of Roe vs Wade. I’d vote (if in the US) for a constitutional amendment stating abortion is a right. But the fact I agree with the outcome, doesn’t mean I think the judgment is a good one, which should stand.
From a policy point of view I’d love it if the Supreme Court declared taxation greater than 10% of income is unconstitutional. It would be great. But it would be just as wrong for the Supreme Court to invent low taxation as a constitutional right. And imagine how outraged left wingers would be if the Supreme Court declared taxation over 10% illegal. Well that is how many on the right feel about Roe vs Wade.