Sunday, September 28, 2008

If Roe v. Wade falls (in a McCain administration), states could crack down on "illegal" interstate travel, too


Linda Hirshman, author of “Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World” (2006, Viking Adult) (website) argues today in the Outlook Section of the Washington Post (Sunday September 28) that a future overturn of Roe v. Wade could have dire consequences indeed. The article is called “A Right and the Right: If Roe Goes, Our State Will Be Worse than You Think,” link here.

The political scenario, of course, assumes that John McCain wins the election in November and subsequently appoints a pro-life judge to replace a liberal judge who retires or dies, and then Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Curiously, the Supreme Court has reversed itself before. Lawrence v. Texas was, in a sense, a reversal of Bowers v. Hardwick.

Specifically, states which had abortion laws before 1973 would not only re-implement them; some states would be likely to pass laws prohibiting women from leave the state and procuring abortion in states where it is legal. I suppose one could imagine some future right-wing Congress making it a federal crime to do so (to travel across state lines for a state in which this event is illegal).

She says that West Germany, in the 1980s (before unification) used to check women re-entering the country for this. Then she mentions state laws prohibiting minors crossing state lines for this purpose without parental consent. She analyzes Bigelow v. Virginia (1975), which defended the right to publish ads interstate on First Amendment grounds (and obviously very important now in the context of the Internet, just like COPA), reiterated law before and was what is called a “dictum”, not setting a precedent regarding the actual acts.

She also warns that, even if Roe stands, in a right-wing environment states may pass increasingly restrictive laws regarding clinic licensure.

I’ve always felt that the “right to life” issue is about a lot more than terminating pregnancy. It can involve end-of-life issues, and the duty of others to provide care, too.

I have a review of the 2007 film "Unborn in the USA" on the movies blog here (Sept 17, 2008) here.

Note: Breaking News!

The link for the "Bailout Bill" was posted on this blog for the entry of Friday Sept. 26. Please look below on this blog.

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