In re: South Dakota Abortion Law Signed

So it looks like we can possibly get ready for the first potential challenge to Roe v. Wade to begin trickling towards the new Roberts court. South Dakota’s new law banning most abortions is vying for the attention by being first (see story). All the attention over the legalization of abortions reminds me of an article that I read about whether Roe was really that important anymore. I thought it interesting because that author determined it really wouldn’t change much as states that were really anti-abortion had basically gotten rid of all clinics (such as Alabama) and that other pro-choice states would remain legal and people would travel to get their abortions across state lines, as apparently they do now. The question then would turn more to states with Blue/Red splits such as Ohio, as democratic areas split with the state leaving it the perpetual battle ground state. Critics of such a patchwork point out the likely chaos that would ensue, including states passing laws to prevent traveling out of state for abortions (possibly legal) and all the court battles that will ensue “If Roe is reversed, the ensuing chaos will demand a federal resolution to the abortion battle — again.” (see NYTimes sub required)

Of course all of this talk reminds me once again how curious it is that we leave all of these important decisions up to the courts in the first place, it would seem more sensible for such decisions to be made by elected officials, but that would be un-American I suppose. For this topic I recommend Robert Kagan’s book on Adversarial Legalism, which I read for a class on judicial policy making in undergrad.


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