Abortion and The Supreme Court
Morality and Constitutionality

Much ink has been spilled recently on the court decision to overturn Roe versus Wade. I wanted to add a few thoughts, and in particular, to distinguish a Catholic position from a "conservative" political position on this decision, although there is much overlap.

The decision was also a long awaited by many conservatives for its effect of affirming the principle of subsidiarity in the United States, by acknowledging that the constitution does not explicitly mention rights to abortion, unlike its mention of firearms – however that is to be interpreted. But at the very least one is explicitly mentioned and the other is not. The job of the justices was to determine the constitutionality of abortion, and they determined that, basically, the federal level has nothing to say about it. Conservatives mainly, but also others, see this as a victory for state's rights even if somehow they do not care about the rights of the unborn, although most do.

But this decision to overturn Roe versus wade was also long-awaited by many Catholics for its effect of reducing the number of abortions in the United States, and not necessarily for any conservative political reason above. By allowing states to regulate abortion, clearly there are many states that will ban it or limit it, and in effect the number of abortions will go down. The Catholic Church would like to see abortion totally abolished from the earth, because it is gravely wrong, whether or not that is accomplished through legislation or other means. In the church is teaching the gospel it affirms that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. As a result the termination of a pregnancy, however young, is a termination of life. Every child, like every mother has a right to life. Therefore to abort a pregnancy, for whatever reason, is as immoral as simply killing the mother. The baby is simply add a different stage of life, even if less sentient and aware.

Now reason that I separate above the effect of this decision that conservatives are rejoicing about from the effect that Catholics are celebrating about, is that they are often conflated. In the media often times we hear the Catholics are becoming too involved in politics, by bringing their religion into the interpretation of the constitution. I know the Catholic church advocates the principle of subsidiarity, where the lowest level of authority capable of making a decision or to be the level that makes the decision, but I'm not sure that the Catholic Church cares so much about the politics and functions of our government as it does about the lives of the babies.

And the final point is that in the media we often hear of conservatives want to ban all abortions, or that the Supreme Court is trying to ban all abortions and steal "women's rights" to abortion. In my view, this is wrong. The Supreme Court is trying to interpret the Constitution.. Thankfully, our constitution incidentally favors the reduction of abortions in the United States by giving the issue back to many, but not all, states who are willing to ban it. 

in News
The Public Discussion, Legality, and Morality of Abortion
in the United States