By Kent R. Kroeger (August 16, 2022)
The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives. (U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization)
When the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the Constitution of the United States does not confer a right to abortion, the court overruled both Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). As a result, the decision gave individual states the full power to regulate abortion.
The fire and fury from the political left was instantaneous.
“The people who will lose access will be Black women, brown women, poor women, and young women,” said sociologist Kimberly Kelly just prior to the SCOTUS ruling. “If Roe is overturned, abortion is going to become a function of class privilege. Affluent women who can travel, will travel. Only women with certain levels of economic resources will be able to travel.”
“People will die because of this decision,” New York House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said soon after the decision was handed down.
But was the predictable furor warranted?
What the ruling did not do was end legal abortion in the U.S.
To the contrary, the great irony of the Supreme Court’s Hobbs decision is that it will, at a minimum, reaffirm the status quo on abortion as established by Roe v. Wade, and could potentially move the ball further in the direction of unconstrained abortion rights.
States that already strongly affirm abortion rights (e.g., California, New Jersey, Washington, etc.) are poised to further codify those rights. States that used Roe v. Wade to limit abortion rights are likely to legislatively endorse those restrictions.
So how did the Dobbs ruling change the status quo on abortion rights?
It is still early, but most likely the SCOTUS ruling will reduce restrictions on abortion rights for the vast…