Roe v. Wade (1973) is probably the most important Supreme Court case in the last fifty years. It has affected how the Constitution is interpreted, driven changes in laws, and continues to be a lightning rod in political debate.
Roe v. Wade is a complex case that established a woman’s right to privacy and a right to control her own body, which was good. But the Supreme Court also held that a fetus has no right to life and is not a “person” under the Constitution. That latter finding was a colossal error, an abuse of power, and an act of social activism.
The egregious flaws in Roe can be corrected with a fetal right to life amendment to the Constitution. Although Congress has not seriously entertained this in forty years, it would still be the right thing to do. Restoring the fetal right to life would require weighing the right to an abortion against the fetal right to life.
We should never forget that Roe was a moral travesty that established a reprehensible and barbaric practice of killing defenseless human beings. We should acknowledge the flawed legal rationale used by the Court, and correct the problem. The good parts of Roe do not have to come at the expense of the fetal right to life.
About the Author
C. Paul Smith has had a general law practice in Maryland for over 40 years. He has also been an elected official in Frederick County, Maryland. He is also the author of The State of the Constitution – 2017; The Capitalism Argument (2019); I Will Send My Messenger (1988, 2019), and The Prophet Joseph Smith – Restoration Issues (2019). See his website: www.cpaulsmith.com.