Thursday, January 19, 2006

Democrats display ignorance of federalism

With every judicial nomination, abortion is always one of the key questions: does the nominee support Roe v. Wade? With Supreme Court nominees, and the current Alito nomination is no exception, the Democrats inevitably home in on the question of whether the nominee would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Suggestions that the nominee would vote to overturn Roe, lead groups like NOW and NARAL to bloviate that overturning Roe would lead us to a return to the days of back-alley, coathanger abortions.

This demostrates a stunning, and in my opinion, willful misunderstanding of the principle of federalism. (Perhaps, I've written this before, so if I am repeating myself I apologize.) If Roe were overturned, abortion would not become illegal overnight. The reason? Each state could decide for itself whether to keep abortion illegal. Alabama and Georgia, for example, could say, no, we don't want doctors practicing abortion in our state. California, Massachussetts and New York, on the other hand, could say, yes, we think women should have the option to abort a pregnancy.

Try as you might to find it, and despite Justice Blackmum's "reasoning", there is no right to abortion in the Constitution. So, when presented with the argument that states could decide for themselves whether to keep abortion legal, groups in favor of abortion argue that making a woman travel to a neighboring state would create an undue hardship. And it would discriminate against the poor.

I reject such arguments on two grounds. One, transportation is cheap. You can buy a bus ticket to go from one state to another for a few hundred dollars. To me, this does not present an undue hardship.

The second reason is simple: personal responsibility. In this day and age, when every grammar school child knows what a condom is, there is no reason for unwanted pregnancies. If you want an abortion, it's because you don't want a baby. Well, if you don't want a baby, practice contraception. There are many options available and they are all fairly cost-effective.

If Democrats a feel like abortion is such a fundamental right, then why do they think, as Bill Clinton once said, it should be "safe, legal and rare". If there is nothing wrong morally with abortion, then why should it be rare?

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