How can a retirement in the Supreme Court change how America thinks? That retirement will happen it's happened recently, and it will happen again. But if you talk about making abortion illegal, eyebrows are raised. If the current 5-4 decision on Roe vs. Wade changes, the act of abortion will literally affect how millions of Americans think and act. Interestingly, the head of a judicial watchdog group says he believes that 86-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens may retire soon.
Stevens, appointed in 1975, has been battling heath problems, and several reports have appeared recently that his health has taken a turn for the worse. Stevens is a member of the five-justice block who has backed legal abortion. His retirement could potentially pave the way for the confirmation of a justice who may be the deciding vote for overturning Roe vs. Wade.
With two years left in President Bush's term, his next judicial nomination would likely be a conservative favoring an overturn. Of course, if Stevens remains active, and a conservative president is elected in two years, chances are that a conservative judge will be nominated again to the Supreme Court. Again Roe vs. Wade could be overturned.
What most don't understand is that the determination of the legality of abortion would then be thrown to the individual states. That's already been looked at, and it's been determined that any state can pass a law to ban abortion. The pro-abortion Feminist Majority Foundation says 21 states are at high risk of banning abortion, nine states are at middle risk, and 18 states still have laws completely or partially banning abortion. But what state actually wants to be labeled a pro-abortion state? Bottom line, the vast majority would likely ban abortion and many potential abortionists would find themselves outside the boundaries of law, as before 1973.
The work would be far from over, but sheer restrictions of law would realistically allow thousands to live, with over the 1.3 million abortions performed every year since 1973. Some would actually risk incarceration and possible alienation for breaking the law. But the kids who survived from that date would be eternally grateful. It would be difficult to turn around what many consider to be a perceived right, when nothing of the sort existed before 1973. Chaos and resentment would exist for awhile, but we dug this hole and it's past time to dig our way out.
Last January, a CBS news poll found that 55 percent of Americans took a pro-life position on abortion. According to a NARAL report, state legislatures enacted 58 measures in 2005 alone that restricted access to abortion, double the number from 2004. "It's time to return the abortion issue to the states" said Mark Harrington, Director of the Center for Bioethical Reform Midwest. With 4D ultrasounds and a litany of women telling their stories of pain and regret following an abortion, the American public is less supportive of abortion now than at any time since Roe.
Other facts cannot be ignored. The recent "Right to Life" march in D.C. Had up to 200,000 people ignoring snow, ice and below-freezing temperatures to let legislators know how they feel about this heinous procedure. Of the many signs at the March, perhaps the most poignant was "If you were born after '73, you survived 'Death-Roe'."
But if you think about the facts, Norma McCorvey (Roe in Roe vs. Wade) is now pro-life and actually tried to get the Supreme Court to reverse their decision. Bernard Nathanson (co-founder of NARAL) is now actively pro-life as well. The pro-abortion crowd is starting to feel the tide turn, and they've directed much of their attention now to conception, rather than abortion.
As one pundit put it, always follow the money. Isn't it interesting that there are thousands of special interest groups based out of Washington, but the only one not after any money is after "life?"