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Roe v. Wade overturned . but does not end abortion-on-demand

Roe v. Wade overturned . but does not end abortion-on-demand

It was dramatic … stunning.  After 50 years, the controversial decision in the case of Roe v. Wade has been overturned.  The issue was not whether abortion should be legal.  It did not ban abortions.  It did not even establish limitations on abortion.

This commentary does not deal with the moral issues because that was not a factor in the Supreme Court’s decision.  In many ways, the decision was not about abortion itself.  The question was whether an abortion is a constitutional right — a technical legal question.  There are all kinds of legal things we do that are not constitutional rights – including driving a car.  

Since it was decided in 1973, there has been a shadow of uncertainty over the legitimacy of the decision.  No stronger advocate of abortion than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed her concern … her belief … that Roe v. Wade could be overturned on a technicality.  The decision failed to meet and cite the necessary traditional constitutional grounds.

The current Supreme Court decided that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided because it elevates abortion to a constitutional right – and that the legality of abortion really rests with the people through the legislative process.  That means states could legislate abortion according to the perceived wishes of the people – manifested through those they elected to the state legislatures.  A national standard could be established by Congress – by the vote of the legislators elected by the people.

In other words, the legality of abortion is still subject to the will of the people.  And that creates a conundrum for the pro-abortion community.  While they point to polls that suggest legal abortion is supported by more than two-thirds of the public, they seem befuddled by the fact that most state legislatures significantly restrict and even ban abortions.  They seem mystified by the fact that pro-abortion legislation fails to get traction in Congress.

The reason is that their claims of public support are grossly exaggerated.  In fact, most Americans do not approve of abortions after the first trimester – with some 80 percent opposing abortion in the third trimester.  The gruesome near birth abortions have almost no support at all.

As I have written in previous commentaries, the abortion issue is not a vote driver.  The one-issue abortion voters on both sides are a very small percentage of the vote.  They sort of cancel each other out – and have little impact on the final vote count.  With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the same vocal minority are relying on abortion to be a deciding factor in the November midterm elections.

I doubt it.  We may have gotten a hint of reality in the fact that the leaked decision has been out for weeks – with pro-abortion activists taking to the airwaves and the streets predicting that it will be a front-burner issue in November.  And yet, the polls continue to show a big election day victory for conservative Republicans.  Virtually all those state legislatures proposing and passing abortion restrictions will likely remain in the hands of the same legislators.

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, there will be a lot of anger and protest – perhaps even violence.  None of that will restore Roe v. Wade.  None of that will increase support for abortion in the states – even those states that will maintain legal abortions for their residents.

The debate over abortion will continue for decades to come.  Abortion is still a legal option to be determined by the democratic process – but not an inalienable right.  Regardless, there is not likely to be another Roe v. Wade decision in the foreseeable future.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Sam

    Abortion is here to stay. And sooner or later most states will allow it. But the great news is that perhaps federal tax dollars will no longer be used to murder babies. But that’s another argument to be addressed.

  2. Roger

    So Biden is predicting sad 2 years. If Republicans gain majority ! Define sad! Sad for whom ! Certainly not sad for the American people at large! He must be talking about sad for himself and the Democrats in Congress ! Personally I plan to breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate if the Republicans take Congress and put a stop to all his tax and spend goals !

  3. frank stetson

    It’s pro-choice you spinmeister. You are pro-slavery using surrogates to birth your unwanted pregnancies. You hypocritically destroy life left and right, but for the unwanted, you are the savior. Right up until birth when you say: KMAYOYO – kiss my ass, your on your own.

    You keep saying: “It did not ban abortions. It did not even establish limitations on abortion.” Gee, but the immediate effect was abortions being banned in state after state after state with NO limitations. Bring on the babies without financial support, bring on the fatherless babies, bring on the rape babies, bring on the incest babies. Why so many Trumplicants want so many more welfare babies seems disingenuous with their almost rabid desire to lock them up once they see the results of a single-parent, minority, poverty childhood. Not to worry, you are already thinking about thinking about maybe doing something someday in some way for post birth support of unwanted kids of single parent families.

    You keep saying, “It did not ban abortions,” that’s a lie. It enabled State bans all over the place. It reduced access in over half the nation. For a young 15-year old in Miami, it added 800 miles and a $250 travel charge, perhaps lodging and food, for someone who may have not left her State in her lifetime. 700 miles and $300 travel charge for Bozeman to Denver. 900 miles and $600 from Corpus Christie Tx to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Galveston doesn’t even have flights so these poor souls will need to drive to Houston first Yeah, abortion is legal and accessible, says Larry the spinmeister.

    You are wrong. If people are against this ruling, then the polling place is the fastest and bestest remedy. Abortion is the same universal freakin issue no matter what State you reside in. And it’s the same rights that should be applied for any woman and all women, in any State in the Union. And the remedy IS the polling place where voting Democratic, or a careful scrutiny of Republican candidates for their pro-choice stand, will restore our basic human right to control our own body. Surely a vaccine mandate protestor can understand that line of reasoning. The downside is that any Republican advance may extend and enhance this current travesty against individual rights to control one’s own body.

    • Ben

      Frank it’s great that you and your husband can’t produce children

  4. larry Horist

    Frank Stetson. You are the spinmeister. A court ruling that does not limit abortions in any way. That is a FACT. You say it does because all options are open. That is mega spin. Both are true but you lie when you say the ruling bans abortions … and lie when you imply it affects all woman. Those ladies in New York with the panties in a bunch are totally unaffected by the ruling. That is a FACT. That left is overreacting for the sole purpose of influencing the November elections. That is and OPINION (so you know the difference). I come to that opinion by how many times they talk about beating Republicans candidates in November. I see that as their number one objective.

    • frank stetson

      If the ladies in New York are affected by 26 States banning abortion because the Scotus said that’s not unconstitutional, then they are affected. All your caterwauling does not change that or the fact that before the Scotus decision, these same 26 States could not do what they did since it would be unconstitutional.

      Mr. Alito, in his opinion, said, quite plain that abortion is a matter that must be decided by states. “We hold,” he wrote, that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.” I don’t know Larry, but the opinion itself seems to be about abortion. The word “abortion” is used over 251 times in the opinion that you say “does not limit abortions in any way.” Trigger laws that ban abortion immediately became law seemingly triggered to ban abortions upon this exact decision. The first line of the opinion: “Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.” Gee, I wonder what it’s about…..

      It overturned Roe, which I guess you feel does not allow abortion either.

      So keep on trying to minimize and deflect, no one in the real world is listening to your legal semantics. You may be right that the decision itself does not ban or allow abortion, but the decision clearly confers the Federal Constitutional right to allow, limit, or ban abortions to the States effectively giving the green light for State bans that previous to the ruling conferred were NOT Constitutional. Green light, what’s Constitutional, don’t matter —- this decision triggers abortion bans in many States. The decision is tantamount to allowing that to be banned that wasn’t allowed to be banned, for 50 years.

      It’s not the ladies in NY you need to be concerned about, it’s the ladies in Florida. Right now it’s DeSantis’ to lose, I wonder if this issue will matter there.

      But for the rest of us that desire remedies, not for our State, but for our Nation, the polls are now the only place to get them. This SCOTUS is biased and never will deliver what the majority of the country desires if it goes against their sense of conservatism. And it’s not just about abortion, but about everything that could, Constitutionally, be affected by this precedent. Thomas has a starter file consisting of every Scotus “privacy” issue ever deemed Constitutional. They are all at risk, according to Thomas. Not afraid? Well, the Thomas opinion was not a leak.

      • larry Horist

        Frank Stetson …. the subject was abortion, but the real issue with the constitutionality of the law. The Supreme Court is not empowered to make moral judgements but to judge laws and legislation based on whether the constitutional applies or not. It is a sophisticated constitutional debate with the subject merely the issue at hand. Obviously, the Court in this case was not making any decision on the morality or legality of abortion. Just that it was not a constitutional right. One issue that was not involved — and could be later — is whether the developing human being has the traditional human civil and constitutional rights. The pro-abortion community always avoids even discussing that issue — wrongly claiming the fetus is just another part of a woman’s body. Abortion will always be controversial until we get an answer to the question .. At what moment does the developing human being become a person with all the rights of personhood. And remember that more than 95 percent of all abortions do not involve rape, incest or the life of the mother. They are based on issues of convenience.

        • frank stetson

          Larry, you can just call me Frank, we’re anonymous acquaintances of sorts by now. As an aside, what happened to your “price of gas” story, did you get censored by big oil ? :>)

          Do you use the term “pro-abortion” just to tweak and belittle people of different opinions? Does your “polite discourse” often include demeaning branding? Cuz you can’t seem to let this misnomer go. There is no one in America that I can see that is pro-abortion, or at least would admit to it. You favor 2nd amendments rights, are you pro-murder? We are pro-choice Larry, use the correct term. Quit branding with the sole intent of demonizing people just to make a point. We do not use that term to describe us. We do not like that term. I have said that and asked you politely to move on. Stop being so common.

          Yes, the subject was abortion, the tool was the concept Constitutionality, and the humans involved were scum-sucking, partisan, lying dogs. At least three of them. No duh given that’s the role of Scotus to begin with. We get it. We also get that this decision triggers abortion bans across the land. This decision does not end abortion in America, but it clearly leads to the end of access in half the country.

          Your opinion is that there is no moral judgement in this. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.” Damaging consequences? Enflamed debate? Deepened division? Sounds like some moral judgements on both problem and solution. Seems like a judgmental win-lose mentality is at play here.

          “And remember that more than 95 percent of all abortions do not involve rape, incest or the life of the mother. They are based on issues of convenience” is your judgement call on a few vectors: 5% seems OK by you so rape babies, incest babies, life of mother just a 5% chump change issue. And “95% of all abortions…..based on issues of convenience,” gets a big “take this judgement and shove it where it’s 95% most inconvenient.” How dare you generalize 95% of all abortions as acts of convenience.

          But the court rules on Constitutionality and they have rules and that’s that. Love it or leave it, I do believe in precedent and for Dred Scot — we had a civil war and then codified Nationally what Southern States would not pass. Would like to avoid a repeat, but the codify part is the pro-choice best hope, and that hope is realized at the polling place: State and Federal. Hell, that’s the playbook both sides are using. You’re just better locally, we are nationally.

          It’s not as if the court is done here: the highly politized Justice Thomas said it all when he issued: “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.” Sure, why not. And someday, it will be our turn to use the SCOTUS to achieve our political desires and overturn many a Constitutional right the other way on a whim. That’s some shit, Clarence.

  5. cmw

    These entitled mothers want it to be an entitlement so they can get it for free!