Ginsburg: Abortion should have been legalized incrementally

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Pro-abortion U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke last week at Harvard Law School and was inevitably asked a question about abortion:

I took Professor Klarman’s constitutional law class last semester. We talked a lot about backlash created by judicial decisions, especially in abortion, and the death penalty, and gay rights. And I was just curious whether you think that he was accurate, that court decisions can create large backlash and whether other movements should be wary of creating that through the court system.

Her response:

I don’t think that the anti-abortion movement – that it was just Roe v. Wade. That movement existed before Roe v. Wade. It existed after. I do think that the way the Court went about reaching its decision did give them a target that they could aim at that they didn’t have before. But the court decision is hardly what created the movement.

I should say that – because I’ve been criticized for – ‘She’s against Roe v Wade.’ No, I’m not. I’m very much for the judgment that the Court rendered, dealing with what was the most extreme law in the country, where a woman could get an abortion only if it was necessary to save her life . Could be disastrous for her health and it wouldn’t matter.

The Court easily could have said, “We’ll deal with the Texas law. That’s what’s before us. We’ll declare that unconstitutional, because it’s much too far out in disregarding the situation of the woman. But we then put our pen down, and we wait for the next case,” which is how the Court usually operates.

This was an unusual judicial decision because it made every law in the country, even the most, quote, liberal, unconstitutional in one fell swoop. And that’s not the way the Court ordinarily operates.

So that was my critique – not of the judgement but of the giant step that the court took instead of proceeding by slow degrees.

Justice Ginsburg believes the Roe decision gave pro-lifers a “target” to collectively aim at, rather than incohesively and much less powerfully sperading our energies among the states.

Reading between the lines, Ginsburg believes there would be much less rancor about abortion had it slowly been eased into the public consciousness.

This buttresses my thought that walking abortion back incrementally – as we are forced to do at present whether we like it or not – is a winning strategy.

Harvard Gazette quoted another interesting thought from Ginsburg, the last sentence in particular.

Ginsburg also took issue with the notion that the court should be responsible for fixing society’s ills.

“It’s rare that a court will move unless the people want them to. … Before every major change, it was people who saw that the laws were wrong, wanted them to change, were fighting to capture other people’s minds, and then trying to get legislative change,” that pushed issues along. “Then the court is the last resort. … It has to be the people who want the change, and without them no change will be lasting.”

In the case of Roe, people weren’t asking for the change. Only liberals were. They thought the change would cement legalized abortion. But it hasn’t. As Ginsburg said, “It has to be the people who want the change, and without them no change will be lasting.”

That’s what we are seeing with the growing opposition to legalized abortion.

Finally, liberal schizophrenia never fails to puzzle me. Again from the Harvard Gazette:

She recalled the first time she voted in a death penalty case and how she stayed awake until after the execution into early hours of the morning, crying.

See video of Ginsburg’s abortion comments at CNSNews.com.

 

[Photo via the Harvard Gazette]

29 thoughts on “Ginsburg: Abortion should have been legalized incrementally”

  1. “In the case of Roe, people weren’t asking for the change. Only liberals were” –  yes, can’t have ‘liberals’ participating in politics and democracy now can we.

       5 likes

  2. “This buttresses my thought that walking abortion back incrementally – as we are forced to do at present whether we like it or not – is a winning strategy.”
     
    what does this sentence mean? i dont not understand what she is saying….

       0 likes

  3. “In the case of Roe, people weren’t asking for the change. Only liberals were”
     
    That is a poor way to describe it.  In 1973, most liberals were not in favor of killing.  They were shocked and surprised, and many fled from the Democratic party when they embraced abortion.
    Today’s liberals see killing as the solution to a great number of problems (old age, saving the environment, how to get through college, minor aches and pains), but this was not always so.  Liberals used to love life.
    In 1973, legal abortion was only supported by a small number of dedicated radicals.

       14 likes

  4. Ms. Stanek, keeping someone alive in prison isn’t comparable to keeping the unborn alive in one’s body. I do agree that far too much is made of the death penalty. It does involve the entire society in something ugly and brutal but what is the alternative? Life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.  There is simply no humane way to treat dangerous psychopaths that will protect the rest of us. 
    There will be both fewer abortions — and fewer dangerous psychopaths — when the problem of unplanned pregnancy is conquered.  There might be instances of finding fetal abnormalities but the general rule is that women who want to get pregnant will want to have babies.

       2 likes

  5. Fascinating that Ginsburg believes that the Supreme Court “makes” laws unconstitutional. The Court does? Really? Laws are not unconstitutional because of the Supreme Court. They are only unconstitutional if they conflict with the constitution. Which, Roe happens to do as it denies constitutional protection to people (the unborn).
     

       14 likes

  6. I certainly agree with (and admire) her. Even when I was pro-choice I at least had the courage to admit that Roe is not super wise as far as legal or judicial grounds go. Social change is a ground-up movement or little actually changes.
     
    A big wtf to the “people weren’t asking for change, liberals were” though – liberals are…people. And yes, people, liberal by today’s definitions or not, wanted abortion legalized. It does no good to ignore or minimize that fact.

       9 likes

  7. Abortion Rights Group Strives for Youthful Image
    http://cdn.rollcall.com/news/abortion_rights_group_strives_for_youthful_image-222372-1.html?popular=true&cdn_load=true&zkPrintable=1&nopagination=1
    One of the nation’s most prominent abortion rights groups is working to remake its image in response to concern that it may be overtaken by a growing cadre of young anti-abortion activists.
    “When I first got to NARAL, we had a lot more Republicans,” said NARAL Policy Director Donna Crane, who has been with the group for more than a decade. “We lobbied a lot more [GOP] offices.”
    Not a single congressional Republican attended last week’s NARAL dinner in Washington, D.C., commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, organizers said.

       8 likes

  8. “A big wtf to the “people weren’t asking for change, liberals were” though – liberals are…people.”
    I guess they are human beings by DNA but ‘persons’…certainly not intelligent or civilized persons

       8 likes

  9. “I guess they are human beings by DNA but ‘persons’…certainly not intelligent or civilized persons”
     
    lol where have I heard that before?

       9 likes

  10. “Not a single congressional Republican attended last week’s NARAL dinner in Washington, D.C., commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, organizers said.”
    The Republicans may not be perfect, but at least they have this going for them. 

       6 likes

  11. Pro-abortion bills were generally voted down by legislators and/or the electorate prior to 1973. There was no groundswell of support to legalize unlimited abortion on demand. The only way radical feminists and abortionists could accomplish this was by judicial fiat.

    DeniseNoe writes, “There is simply no humane way to treat dangerous psychopaths that will protect the rest of us. There will be both fewer abortions — and fewer dangerous psychopaths — when the problem of unplanned pregnancy is conquered. ” 

    There is no causal relationship between unplanned pregnancies and dangerous psychopathology. 

    Is it just me or does Justice Ginsburg look like an older version of Lilith (Frasier Crane’s wife)?

       4 likes

  12. Joanne says:
    February 14, 2013 at 12:12 am
    Pro-abortion bills were generally voted down by legislators and/or the electorate prior to 1973. There was no groundswell of support to legalize unlimited abortion on demand. The only way radical feminists and abortionists could accomplish this was by judicial fiat.
    DeniseNoe writes, “There is simply no humane way to treat dangerous psychopaths that will protect the rest of us. There will be both fewer abortions — and fewer dangerous psychopaths — when the problem of unplanned pregnancy is conquered. ” 
    There is no causal relationship between unplanned pregnancies and dangerous psychopathology. 
    (Denise) I’m a true crime writer. It seems to me that the prisons are packed with yesterday’s “oopsie” pregnancies.  

       1 likes

  13. liberals aren’t people, but the unborn are? HAHA! You guys are so adorable. what does that make unborn liberals then? unborn homosexuals? ;p

       3 likes

  14. One thing I want to add about the punishment of violent psychopaths. There is no way to treat them humanely and protect the rest of us and there is also no way to treat them humanely and get justice for their victims.  I recently wrote an article on Jeremy Strohmeyer who received a sentence of life with no possibility of parole when he was 18 years of age. That is more humane than the death penalty — but not by much.  In 20 or 30 years, it’s likely he will wish he had been executed.
    The problem is that his inhumane treatment of 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson, whom he raped and strangled in a restroom, requires justice. Life without parole, terrible though it assuredly is, is just for that offense. 

       2 likes

  15. Ruth, do tell, does the 60% abortion rate of New York’s black children make you feel better about ‘people you don’t want too many of?’  Does that statistic help ‘solve the problem of abortion’ among afluent white women?   Do you still feel like you have to do ‘something’ about it?  You are an embarrassment to all women of all ethnic groups everywhere.  I couldn’t have less respect for you if I tried.

       9 likes

  16. A, I have often questioned the humanity of whacked out liberals such as yourself. Lucky for you I’m willing to err on the side of life.

       6 likes

  17. And why didn’t the states get to vote?

    Why didn’t We The People get to decide if we wanted our states to become the killing fields they are now? 

    Why did The Supreme Court shove abortion down our throats??

       5 likes

  18. Pro-abortion forces, a relatively small but strategically minded group, were promoting the acceptance of abortion at least a decade before Roe. Bernard Nathanson made his videos of abortions to help normalize this procedure. He and Lawrence Lader, a self-avowed leftist/socialist, devoted effort to develop the ‘rights’ rhetoric. Lader and others wrote books promoting the acceptability and benefits of abortion, as well as a bio of Sanger. This relative handful of leftist activists wanted to affect change at a great scale, in a range of ways.
    They forged a trail, and now we have all kinds of absurdities going on as if they are normal and constitutional. This continues to be a model for leftist/socialist issue promotion – twist some argument to get an issue in front of a court. People being offended by the American flag’s presence, etc.
    Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy was pro-life, and Jesse Jackson was pro-life. This was not a democrats-versus-republicans 50/50 issue – it got pushed by a small group of advocates based on Supreme Court privacy decisions unrelated to abortion specifically from recent years.
    Little by little, the pro-abortion forces were involved in mainstream democratic party politics, showing up at every party, and contributing regularly to campaigns with their blood money. Gradually, the demo party became beholden. Partly by money addiction, and partly by enrolling abortion advocates into rank-n-file, and elected, rolls.
    Now, hardly anyone in the demo party dares break rank. You gotta give those pro-abortion advocates credit.

       3 likes

  19. TheLastDemocrat says:
    February 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm
    Pro-abortion forces, a relatively small but strategically minded group, were promoting the acceptance of abortion at least a decade before Roe. Bernard Nathanson made his videos of abortions to help normalize this procedure. He and Lawrence Lader, a self-avowed leftist/socialist, devoted effort to develop the ‘rights’ rhetoric. Lader and others wrote books promoting the acceptability and benefits of abortion, as well as a bio of Sanger. 
    (Denise) Margaret Sanger opposed abortion. Part of the reason she spearheaded contraception was that she believed it would prevent abortions. Of course, so would celibacy.  However, she worked with many married women whose husbands would not agree to celibate marriages. Thus, Sanger believed contraception would rescue the world from abortion by preventing doomed pregnancies in the first place.
    I’ve been told by some women that they would have aborted no-matter-what.  This is why I’m big on preventing the pregnancy in the first place if the mind-set of the pregnant woman means it is doomed to destruction.

       2 likes

  20. “(Denise) I’m a true crime writer. It seems to me that the prisons are packed with yesterday’s “oopsie” pregnancies. ” 

    You’re joking right? Being a true crime novelist is what passes for rigorous peer reviewed scientific studies these days? You may write about offenders; I actually work with them. Prisons also house inmates from planned pregnancies.

    Society is full of people from “oopsie pregnancies” who have gone to college, worked for a living, paid taxes, stayed out of mental institutions and prisons, and been successful in a myriad of ways. This includes people conceived in rape. It is not how or when a person is conceived that determines future pathology.

       2 likes

  21. Let’s not forget Judge Ginsburg’s opinions in her 2009 NY Times interview where she talked about her thoughts on when Roe v Wade was decided …
    …Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about pulation growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.
    full quote referenced here. Marget Sangers’ spirit of disliking the “lower classes” to the point of killing them in the womb is alive and well in Justice Ginsburg. How did Sanger phrase it? Keeping the weeds out of the garden? The German National Socialists loved those ideas in the 1930s.

    She most likely has a communist/socialist, eugenic practicing utopia envisioned as the place the USA should be. Workers paradise, “free” healthcare, one world government, none of those pesky people “we” don’t want too many of, it sounds so wonderful I hope I never see it.

    Please pray for Judge Ginsburg.

       5 likes

  22. Joanne says:
    February 15, 2013 at 1:13 am
    “(Denise) I’m a true crime writer. It seems to me that the prisons are packed with yesterday’s “oopsie” pregnancies. “ 
    You’re joking right? Being a true crime novelist is what passes for rigorous peer reviewed scientific studies these days? You may write about offenders; I actually work with them. Prisons also house inmates from planned pregnancies.
    Society is full of people from “oopsie pregnancies” who have gone to college, worked for a living, paid taxes, stayed out of mental institutions and prisons, and been successful in a myriad of ways. This includes people conceived in rape. It is not how or when a person is conceived that determines future pathology.
    (Denise) True but it makes sense that “oopsies” are what disproportionately pack our prisons. 

       0 likes

  23. @ Joanne: I believe the day will come in which pregnancies don’t cause either panic or rejection.  Women who get pregnant will be those who yearn to have babies.  Abortion will to a large extend fade away when this happens.

       1 likes

  24. Denise, you confuse the difference between causal and correlation. A correlation does not imply causation. (Look it up please.)
    As far as Justice Ginsburg being Jewish, I find that especially hard to stomach. After the dehumanizing genocidal treatment Jews went through in Nazi Germany, I would hope a Jew would be more sensitive about doing the same to other people.

       4 likes

  25. Joanne says:
    February 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm
    Denise, you confuse the difference between causal and correlation. A correlation does not imply causation. (Look it up please.)
    (Denise) I am aware of this distinction.  I’m also aware that we don’t have perfect understanding of the causes of psychopathy.  They tend to come from backgrounds of deprivation and abuse but this isn’t necessarily so.  I’ve written articles about psychopaths who came from loving and protective homes. Their condition isn’t necessarily explained genetically either because they may not have a known ancestor who is or was psychopathic.
    For reason we simply don’t understand, certain connections may not be formed in the brain and the lack of those connections may cause psychopathy.  Studies have also shown thinner tissue in certain parts of the brain in psychopaths. 
    There could be genetic factors. Problems might occur in the womb.
    There could be factors that we don’t even know about.

       0 likes

  26. oh brother. abortion is not even nearly the same as the Holocaust. Don’t you dare cheapen what the eleven million “throwaway” people, including Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, blacks etc went through during those years. Plus genocide is defined as trying to wipe out a race of people. that is clearly not the case here. 

       1 likes

  27. Don’t you dare cheapen what the eleven million “throwaway” people, including Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, blacks etc went through during those years.
     
    Right. Because the 55 million children killed by abortion since Roe weren’t judged as “throwaway” by their parent(s) and killed for it. Nope. No parallel, there!
     
    Genocide is “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group, though what constitutes enough of a “part” to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars”
     
    Do you know roughly 60% of black children are aborted instead of born alive in NYC? Even if they weren’t, though, I’d say an entire age demographic constitutes a “national group”.
     

       2 likes

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