Is Roe v. Wade In Danger?
Pro-choice Americans are worried. In addition to new and restrictive state measures threatening to severely limit abortion rights, the Supreme Court’s recent break with precedent has activists wondering what precedents will be broken next. Might the Conservative Court take on Roe v. Wade?
After decades of accruing small technical advantages, it’s not crazy to say that the modern GOP is on the precipice of achieving one of its highest aims—made possible thanks to some closed polling stations here, a gerrymandered district there, judges confirmed against tradition and precedent, a president who lost the popular vote… none of this is what the public wants. It doesn’t matter. And it’s almost too late.
What is more likely than a total reversal, advocates have long said, is a slow degeneration. Different abortion lawsuits will reach the Supreme Court, and with each decision the court could decide that parts of the state laws restricting abortion access, or laws that are less restrictive than the 6-week bans, are in fact constitutional. This would slowly erode what lawyers and advocates refer to as the “core of Roe”: the idea that laws cannot place an “undue burden” on access to abortion.
Who doubts liberals would overturn Heller, Citizens United on free speech and many other precedents they oppose if they had a majority? Precedents should be overturned on their legal merits, not the politics of the day.