June 27, 2022

JONATHAN TURLEY: The Dobbs Decision and the Resumption of the State-by-State Abortion Debate.

26 states asked the court to overrule Roe and its successor, Casey. With Dobbs, we will now have a new political debate over access and any limitations for abortion. Most citizens are in the middle on this debate.

While a strong majority support Roe v. Wade, they also support limitations on abortion. Polls also show that 65% of Americans would make most abortions illegal in the second trimester, and 80% would make most abortions illegal in the third trimester. (The United States is one of only 12among the world’s 198 countries that allow abortions for any reason after 20 weeks.)

President Joe Biden responded to the opinion by calling, again, for a federalization of the Roe standard by Congress. Even if the votes could be found to pass such a law, it is not clear that it would be upheld by a court that has now returned this issue to the states.

One thing Biden said was clearly true. Abortion will now be “on the ballot.” The justices were indeed motivated by the need for the public to make these decisions and wrote that “Roe abruptly ended that political process.”

The issue will loom large in the upcoming election now that states will decide their own laws, ranging from prohibitions to restrictions to absolute guarantees. And the outcome will turn on the votes of millions of citizens rather than nine justices.

Letting voters decide. How anti-democratic.

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