Roe vs Wade and States Rights – Seamus Coughlin


Seamus Coughlin



Roughly 40 years later, Roe V. Wade is still one of the most controversial and heavily debated supreme court decisions in the United States.  The arguments generally center around the morality and or legitimacy of abortion, and many still disagree over whether or not it is constitutional.  Nevertheless, the topic of abortion is always a discussion of human rights.  Pro-lifers believe that unborn children have a right to live.  Pro-choicers believe that mothers have a right to abort their child.  The only common ground between the two traditional stances is the belief that their opponent wants to limit the rights of millions.  One argument that is overlooked all together, however, is the argument that the rights of individual states are seriously threatened and far too much power is given to the central government when we look to the supreme court more often than needed.   States have their own governments with checks and balances to ensure the voices of their people can be heard more clearly.  Therefore, states should have the right make their own laws surrounding sensitive and controversial issues such as abortion without the federal government intervening and forcing the will of a handful of seasoned, partisan lawyers in black robes onto the entire nation.


With an issue as controversial as abortion, people both sides of the spectrum are willing to overlook certain facts and use half-truths to further their agenda (and, as always, then hypocritically accuse their opponents of doing the same thing). One such example of this is the fallacy shamelessly perpetuated by the left is that abortion is a religious issue.  While it is certainly true that many people with deep religious conviction believe abortion to be immoral, it is for the same reason they believe murder to be immoral.  Because they believe an unborn child is a human being, a belief mentioned explicitly no where in the bible.  In fact, a handful of atheists, agnostics and other non religious people consider themselves to be pro-life, while a number of Jews, Muslims and even Catholics (though many would argue they are Catholic in name only) are pro-choice.  To allow myself to digress for a moment, I have had periods in my life in which I doubted the existence of God  (to me atheism is like an x-girlfriend who constantly comes around tempt me even though I am contently married to my religious faith).  However at no point in time, even during my deepest periods of doubt, has my stance on abortion changed.  This is because the issue of abortion is not an issue of deciding whether or not God exists, it is an issue of determining when life begins.  And saying that out loud makes one feel as thought it is absurd that it even needed to be said in the first place.  It should be obvious enough.  If the unborn child is truly alive, killing it violates its natural rights and is therefor unconstitutional.  And if the unborn child is not alive, telling a mother she can not abort it is a violation of her right to have ownership of her own body.


There have been a number of advances in medical science since the ruling of Roe V. Wade in 1973, and many of them suggest that the unborn child is in fact, a human being.  Pro-lifers have tried to use the new evidence supplied to them over the years in order to obtain person hood for the unborn and therefore make abortion illegal.  In a YouTube video posted on the 26th of October in 2010 titled “Planned Parenthood Declares War on Science” (It may not be difficult too decipher what bias the uploaded of the video holds on the abortion issue) a panel of Planned Parenthood Student Representatives declare that scientific research should not be taken into account when deciding the legitimacy of abortion.  During the course of the video the student representatives made a number of arguments surrounding abortion without knowing that they were being filmed.  Some of the arguments made were reasonable, starting with such quotes as “[Pro-life] researchers say that the heart beats at 21 days… [Pro-choice] research says that the heart doesn’t beat until 24 weeks!”  but as the video progresses the statements become slightly less focused on logic and more based on emotion.  The representatives began to make claims like “The living, breathing, sentient being is the one we listen to, not science.” But wait, there’s more. “Science can not be applied to my body” (what?) and arguably the most unflattering of them all “You need to focus on the birth control issue rather than the photos or the scientific evidence”.  They then went on to unscientificly compare a human fetus to a virus.  It is said that analogies limp.  If that is true, then this analogy belongs in a wheel chair.  A human fetus is not virus, it is not a parasite.  Comparing a human to a virus or parasite suggests that it is always harmful to the mother, or as they would call it “host”.  If it was harmful in all circumstances for women to carry children, the human race would not exist.  In fact, the only animals that would exist would the ones that lay eggs.  If it sounds half as silly to read that as it did to write it one should wonder why the argument that a fetus is anything but human is used and accepted in the first place.


But even so, much to this dismay of pro-lifers, Roe V. Wade has still not been overturned.  Though many are understandably confused by this, there is a simple yet important explanation.  The legalization of abortion was never based around the idea that the unborn child isn’t human.  The supreme court themselves basically stated that they did not know when human life begins, but that they felt abortion should still be legal throughout the entire nation.  To be perfectly clear, they essentially admitted that they had no clue whether or not abortion is murder, but they liked it and wanted it to be legal so it was okay to throw out every single law each one of the 50 states had surrounding abortion.  This is where the real and yet seemingly untouched controversy of Roe V. Wade rest.  No truer and more grave abuse of the elastic clause has occurred since the supreme court determined that African Americans were only 2/3rds of a person.  Throughout history the supreme court has been known to make unconstitutional decisions, and this is just one more example.  Roe V. Wade is just another case of our favorite judges spitting on the 10th amendment.


There are many misconceptions surrounding the way in which our nation is run, and it may help to clear them up before going any further.  First and foremost, contrary to popular belief, the economic system of the United States is not (nor has it been anytime in the last 100 years) Capitalism.  America’s economy combines elements of numerous different systems.  The unique blend leaves us with a system of many names: Mixed Economy, Crony Capitalism, Corporatism and more uncomplimentary of all, Economic Fascism.  All of these terms describe the nature of corporate involvement in law making.  A business can greatly influence policy by donating to political candidates which hold their interests or lobbying, and law makers can support or reward certain businesses and organizations by giving them tax breaks, government bail outs, subsidies and many other wonderful gifts and the expense of tax payers.  Bottom line: the government is a kind of concubine, it climbs in bed with anything that has a good deal of money.  This relates to the abortion issue because of an organization known as Planned Parenthood.


Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortion in the United States.  It has been deemed a charity by our government and therefore doesn’t have to pay taxes.  Planned Parenthood representatives claim that they provide many services to women including cancer treatment and prevention (despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Planned Parenthood Clinics don’t have mammograms on site) and are not only focused on birth control and abortion (despite the fact that Planned Parenthood founder, Eugenicist Margret Sanger, created the organization in order to prevent racial and ethnic minorities from having Children as part of her “Negro Project”).  They claim that they, in fact, don’t profit much providing abortion, that it makes up under 3% of their revenue, and their only goal is to make abortion “Safe, Legal and Rare”.  If this were true, why is it that in 2013 when Republicans in Texas tried passing regulations to ensure all doctors at Planned Parenthood clinics be qualified doctors, Democrats and Planned Parenthood representatives alike took such an firm stand against a law that would make abortion more safe and rare?  Is it wrong for Texas Republicans and law makers to want Abortionists to be more qualified?  (And by the way, by qualified they mean that the doctors working at Planned Parenthood have to actually be allowed inside of other hospitals.  No, seriously.)  Planned Parenthood reps claimed that they would have to shut down dozens of clinics if these “harsh and unseasonable” regulations were imposed, but if abortion really only makes up less than 3% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue, how could slightly regulating it cause dozens of clinics to shut down?  Clearly because Planned Parenthood cares little for the safety and scarcity of abortion.  An abortion is a lucrative procedure which low income people seek in large numbers every day.  That combined with the fact that Planned Parenthood pays no taxes means that somebody is making a whole lot of money, and regulations ensuring that abortion be safe and rare could change just how much they are making.  Luckily for them, under Economic Fascism politicians are cheap.  All one has to do is find a charismatic white man, make it clear to them business is good and regulations are to be opposed at all costs and if they’re a good little senator/congressman/state legislator, all of the girls out there will know “Pro-Woman” they are when Planned Parenthood endorses them.  Start counting the votes.  Because in the end, for Planned Parenthood and their friends in office, the most important thing is to make abortion legal, and they’re worry about safe and rare later (or never, judging from how things have been handled in the past) after all, money woman’s rights are at stake!


Hundreds of arguments are and can be made as to whether or not abortion is ethical or even constitutional, but as of now the American people have not reached a consensus.   Though many abortion providers really do believe they are doing a charitable thing for women, the amount of money and their incentive for keeping abortion legal in all states can not be ignored.  Let Planned Parenthood provide unregulated abortions in states where abortion is legal, and all of the other services they supposedly provide in other states where it isn’t.  It is a sensitive and controversial topic, and until there is hard evidence or proof that an unborn child is or is not human, the federal government should stay out of it and allow states to make their own laws.  Otherwise they are only basing their decision on personal preferences which have nothing to do with the spirit of the constitution, no matter how much they claim it does.  If one states policy on abortion really works, other states will adopt it and in the end the market place of ideas will determine what is best for our nation.  But Roe V. Wade or No Roe V Wade, its going to take a little more than 9 glorified, elitist, lawyers to change the values of a nation.

































Klein, Ezra. “Repost: What Planned Parenthood Actually Does, in One Chart.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 07 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2013. <>.


Andrusko, Dave. “LifeSiteNews Mobile | Planned Parenthood’s ‘3%’: ‘The Most Meaningless Abortion Statistic Ever’.” LifeSiteNews. N.p., 6 June 2013. Web. 28 Nov. 2013. <>.


“MSPP Newsletter.” MSPP Newsletter., 04 Nov. 2002. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. <>.


Green, Tanya L. “The Negro Project: Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Plan for Black Americans.”Concerned Women for America -., 01 May 2011. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. <>.


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