I am on the mailing lists of a variety of Members of the House and Senate. One of the offices included me in a survey on whether I thought the decision in Roe should be codified through Congressional legislation and signed by the President. This elected official is one of many that has described the Roe decision as settled law. I included a disclaimer that I am not a constituent of this elected official. Here is my response.
Greetings. Thank you for your service. Thank you for seeking my opinion on Roe.
Answer to Survey. I believe in a woman’s right to choose to abort her pregnancy with consultation with the doctor of her own choosing. In my view, it is the woman’s body. In my view, that resolves the issue. I support codifying my view through Congressional legislation. I support codifying my view through the state legislature. Also, I support adopting a Constitutional Amendment through Article V of the Constitution to direct the Court on this matter. Using Article V to direct the Court is a longstanding practice; see Amendment 11 and the status of creditors to the states in federal courts after an unpopular Supreme Court decision. Please support making my view the law of the land through Congressional legislation and Constitutional amendment, and encourage state legislators with whom you are familiar to enact my view at the state level.
Problem. Your office has described this as ‘settled law’ in multiple communications. Um, no. Your communications on this matter have been misleading at best. My view articulated above, and as alluded to in your office’s Facebook posts and similar communications, is NOT the majority opinion in Roe. It is not ‘settled law’ as you and many others have stated. Repeat, the Court in Roe did NOT write that a woman has an unfettered right to terminate her pregnancy just because it is her body alone. Here is an excerpt from the Roe majority.
Roe quote. “…appellant and some amici argue that the woman’s right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree.” (See page 153, which is page 42 of the attached pdf of Roe). https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/ll/usrep/usrep410/usrep410113/usrep410113.pdf
Commentary. In the decades since Roe, there has been much debate and disagreement over which circumstances limit the time, way, and reason that a woman may terminate her pregnancy. It is NOT settled law. It does the movement no favors to say that it is settled law. Anything that can easily be looked up, copied, and pasted, should not be misrepresented. It destroys credibility. Very few countries allow late-term abortions. Several US states that allow late term abortions are extreme outliers on the international stage, which some in the international community consider borderline infanticide. There is legitimate debate on this issue. Neither Roe nor subsequent US decisions have ‘settled’ the issues.
Personally, I support the extreme position and late term abortions. But if you want people of conscience, and that is what religious objectors are – people of conscience, to find it in their moral code to allow the state to sanction killing fetuses, then you had better not misrepresent what the Roe Court actually wrote. They can look it up themselves. Similarly, they can look up the practice of other countries for late term abortions.
Party Trend. See this Washington Post article. How Democrats Purged ‘Safe Legal Rare’ from the Party. The country is becoming more polarized. Republicans are purging Pro-Choice people from their party, and Democrats are purging not only Pro-Life people (see primary against Rep. Cuellar), but even many Pro-Choice people who don’t support late term abortions. In the absence of intellectual diversity, each party is adopting extreme versions of their basic position.
You asked for my views so I offered them. I want you to know that I support you and your office despite some of my comments which probably seem like harsh criticism. Privately, each American will continue to agree in part and disagree in part with every other single American, whether we tolerate dissent in public or not. We should continue to tolerate public dissent – not seek to de-platform or shout down people. On abortion, I am probably even more Pro-Choice than you, but maybe not. Despite my personal views which are rather extreme on this issue, I encourage you to be tolerant of people of conscience who oppose abortion, but who could be convinced that abortions will occur with or without legal sanction. Many are willing to accept a legal regime of ‘safe, legal, and rare.’
On all issues, please follow your own conscience even when constituents like me disagree, and continue to give us the opportunity to explain our positions.
Blessings to you and your office staff.