Returning the question of abortion to the people

Ed Whelan has posted a short article, Defend our Laws: Justice Matters as part of the ten-part series on Liberty, Justice and the Common Good at Public Discourse. He presents a strong prolife agenda for the next president. Whelan writes:

“They should educate the public that Roe imposes a radical regime of unrestricted abortion, for any reason, all the way up to viability–and, under the predominant reading of obtuse language in Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, essentially unrestricted even in the period from viability until birth.

They should explain how Roe has poisoned American politics and culture for nearly four decades by preventing Americans from working together, through an ongoing process of peaceful and vigorous persuasion, to establish and revise the policies on abortion governing their respective states.

They should discuss how Roe’s manifest defects have been harshly criticized even by abortion supporters (see point 2 of my 2005 Senate testimony).

They should point out that Roe has fueled endless litigation in which pro-abortion extremists challenge modest abortion-related measures that state legislators have enacted and that are overwhelmingly favored by the public–provisions, for example, that seek to ensure informed consent and parental involvement for minors and bar atrocities like partial-birth abortion.”

While these proposals do not include the establishment of constitutional protection for the lives of the unborn, each step points toward allowing the people, either through referendum or through their elected representatives, to decide whether the unborn are members of American society. This is a vital first step.

Teresa Collett

Teresa Stanton Collett is a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches bioethics, property law, and constitutional law. A nationally prominent speaker and scholar, she is active in attempts to rebuild the Culture of Life and protect the institutions of marriage and family. She often represents groups of state legislators, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association in appellate case related to medical-legal matters. She represented the governors of Minnesota and North Dakota before the U.S. Supreme Court as amici curiae regarding the effectiveness of those states’ parental involvement laws. She has served as special attorney general for Oklahoma and Kansas related to legislation designed to protect the well-being of minors and unborn children. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has testified before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittees on the Constitution, as well as numerous legislative committees in the states.