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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog
We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Will Court Dare to Overturn Roe vs Wade?
Ellen Goodman' s July 8 column in The Seattle Times takes a gloomy look at Roe v. Wade's future after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is replaced. Calling O'Connor the "Justice of the Peace" and "Mother O'Connor," Goodman credits O'Connor with balancing Roe v. Wade by upholding it while, at the same time, allowing states to regulate abortion as long as they didn't put an "undue burden" on the right to choose. Goodman also points out how O'Connor's views reflected those of the "unmuddled middle," that majority of Americans who clearly want abortion to remain legal but restricted.
We have a long process of confirmation hearings facing us, after the President makes his appointment. Or should that be appointments? We all know that Rehnquist is expected to retire soon, giving Bush his dream assignment of recreating the court in his own image. (Of all the nightmares in all the world, why'd he have to slither into mine?)
Even if Bush is successful in stacking the court, will they dare issue such a controversial ruling, knowing that they're going against majority public opinion? Will they dare risk returning this country to a dangerous maze of back alleys and illegal procedures? Will they really want to make criminals of women who just don't want to be forced to have a baby?
My pessimistic side wants to say, "Well, of course they will." Bush will make sure that anyone he appoints is a card-carrying member in his "culture of life."
I do, however, hold onto a thin thread of optimism. An optimism which fervently hopes that NARAL Pro-Choice America's "culture of responsibility and freedom" will prevail, and women's right to choose won't be stolen by a bunch of misguided jurists. When considering whether the state has a right to deny abortions, those jurists would do well to remember O'Connor's answer to the question cited by Ellen Goodman: What if, in the future, we had a serious overpopulation problem? Does the state have a right to require abortions?
Roe v. Wade
Stem Cell Fight!
Bush the hypocrite
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