Roe v. Wade is often called a defining example of judicial activism. Harvard Law School Professor Michael Klarman, an expert on constitutional law and history, says that by handing down the decision the way it did, the Supreme Court overturned abortion laws in 46 states and opened the floodgates for a wave of opposition that has never abated. Whether you're pro-choice or anti-abortion, many say the decision was arrived at and enacted poorly.
"By placing strong protections on abortion rights instead of finding a possible compromise or middleground, such as limiting abortions to the first trimester, the decision sparked extreme resistance fueled by images of fetuses late in the second trimester."Roe put the court on the wrong side of public opinion by extending the right beyond what the public was willing to accept.”
The National Review calls the decision "appallingly undemocratic," and many strict constructionists agree. The idea of a constitutional "right to privacy" enrages many on the right, who claim it was just invented by an activist court.
The seven justices in the majority manufactured a mysterious “right to privacy,” discovered in the due-process clause of the 14th Amendment, to establish a woman’s right to choose abortion.
But whether or not there is a strong constitutional basis for Roe v. Wade, the fact remains it has been the law for 44 years in the United States, despite countless legal challenges.
For many, including conservatives, stare decisis (Latin for “to stand by things decided") or the doctrine of precedent, weighs heavily as to whether or not the decision should be overturned. A law's longevity matters. Even the uber-conservative Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch agreed during his Senate confirmation hearings that "Roe vs. Wade" is the "law of the land."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is perhaps the court's most ardent champion of reproductive rights and has consistently voted to defend abortion. Yet, even Ginsberg has acknowledged Roe v. Wade was grounded shakily in a constitutional right to privacy—she prefers abortion rights be recognized under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
It’s not that she opposes the holding that recognizes a right to an abortion. It’s that she opposes the logic of the 1973 court’s majority opinion and the constitutional basis under which seven justices arrived at their conclusion.
“Roe isn’t really about the woman’s choice, is it?” the Clinton-appointed justice said last May at the University of Chicago Law School. “It’s about the doctor’s freedom to practice … it wasn’t woman-centered, it was physician-centered.”
Other people are not concerned about the legal underpinnings of the law—they defend the decision because it made abortion legal in America, and they don't want to go back to the days when it was illegal.
The constitution & Roe vs Wade gives women a right to do what they want with their bodies.
Bridgette Dunlap argues Roe v. Wade has a much stronger legal precedent than President Trump and pundits would have you believe.
It's a decades-old ruling long accepted as settled law by most of the legal establishment and supported by the majority of the public. More importantly, it was correctly decided: The Constitution does protect the right to abortion.
...your right to bodily integrity gives you the right to refuse medical treatment. It prohibits the government from forcing you to be sterilized or abort a pregnancy, and from cutting you open to get evidence....Roe didn't invent new rights – it extended established constitutional protections to women, which can't just be taken back.