The big news today, of course, is the draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the case Roe v. Wade which first created a right to abortion in US law.
An important caveat about this leak is that even if the ruling comes out precisely as is, it would not outlaw abortion in the United States. Rather the decision would return to legislatures.
Roe v. Wade created a massive wound in our nation because it didn’t allow for finding the kind of compromise that we could live with as a nation together. And it has resulted in some pro-lifers seeking legal approaches that could have catastrophic long-term consequences for all civil rights, such as Texas’ new abortion law. This decision opens the door for compromises that would avoid these extreme legal approaches.
Many of us pray that if this ruling comes out legislatures in D.C. and around the country see it as an opportunity to build a more durable consensus. Currently, the United States has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the western world, despite its citizens being much more conservative on the issue. As opposed to the President who stated he believes the opinion is “radical,” this could prove to be an opportunity to end our radical abortion laws and find a moderate approach in line with other similar countries.
It might be tempting for those on both sides of the issue to double down on their positions in light of a ruling like this. Legislatures, however, have the opportunity now to build a compromise that can help heal this divisive issue.