The crusade to end abortion as a right isn’t a battle that anybody wins. It’s a wasteful, exhausting football game headed into eternity. First one side gets a touchdown. Then the other side. Then it starts over.
And if Roe vs. Wade should be overturned this time around, you can multiply the expense and the upheaval by 50 as every state plunges into the conflict. Afterward, abortion will be regulated by a snarl of differing statutes from state to state. Whoever loses the argument anywhere will start a fresh round of protest and litigation. Forever.
Somebody needs to yell "Enough already!" Lawmakers can’t sort out whether a potential human being is the same as a fully developed one. Nobody can. It doesn’t matter how obvious it seems to the activists in both camps.
Instead of dealing with an impossible question, the courts should leave Roe in place and then continue to oversee how the beliefs about abortion are put into practice. Laws can’t answer the unanswerable, but they can try to be humane. Laws can make it against the rules to bump off a newborn or send a doctor to prison for 99 years for aborting a fetus that doesn’t yet have a brain or a nervous system.
Overturning Roe wouldn’t just fail to settle a moral question. It would also show an arrogant disregard for public opinion. Polls from Gallup, The Kaiser Family Foundation, Quinniapiac University and others available at PollingReport.com show consistently that the public supports Roe, often with a majority of 60-65 percent. A poll mentioned in The Week in June says the heartbeat bills are opposed by a majority — though it’s a small one — even in Georgia.
Abortion is an ethical dilemma, and the courts shouldn’t be burdened with trying to resolve it. At times, you just have to prevent the worst of the cruelties advocated on each side and leave some decisions to the people who will be affected by them.