At least get the history right on abortion

Roe v Wade 40th anniversary: how have your views on abortion evolved?

Four decades after the supreme court legalised abortion in the US, we want to know how you feel about the ongoing debate

The Supreme Court did not legalise abortion in the US. It stopped people from passing laws to make it illegal.

There were a number of States where abortion was legal pre- Roe v Wade.

This has nothing at all to do with whatever your or my views are on abortion. It\’s simply a matter of historical truth.

7 comments on “At least get the history right on abortion

  1. The Supreme Court did not legalise abortion in the US. It stopped people from passing laws to make it illegal.

    The first sentence is obviously true, but is the second? For one thing, it has retroactive force. It did not merely stop new laws, it abolished the old ones too. It stopped enforcement of any such laws. That is slightly different – if a touch pedantic.

    But did it stop anyone passing new laws? If you want to waste your time, you probably could pass a ban. It would be struck down of course.

  2. “It would be struck down of course.”

    Not necessarily. AFAIAA the SCOTUS is not bound by its past decisions so, unless the argument that Roe v Wade set some sort of “super” precedent is accepted, a future SCOTUS could overturn this particular precedent.

  3. Too many people fail to understand that, over here, the government doens’t make things legal – it either makes or fails to make them *illegal*.

    It can take something that’s legal and add restrictions or specify procedures to be followed, but at its core that’s just making parts of a legal action illegal.

    As for overturning previous laws outlawing abortion – the decision made those laws “illegal” (ie unconstitutional), basically saying the legislature was wrong for making them in the first place.

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