Striking a middle ground

There is going to be no avoiding the abortion issue in this election but I believe I have a way for the McCain/Palin campaign to strike a middle ground note which will appeal to most of the electorate and be sound and fair.

State that your policy is not to outlaw or restrict abortion, but to return the decision to the voters in the states and nationally. Say that the Roe vs. Wade decision was legally wrong, not because you oppose with abortion per se but because the decision was undemocratic and assumed powers to the court to interpret on matters that are left to the states and the federal government in the Constitution.
So that way, if the public opinion is in favour of tightening abortion law, then so be it. The pro-abortion campaigners will have to make their case for their version of the law. If public opinion is in favour of the broad status quo, then anti-abortion campaigns will have to make their case moral, legal and ethical for why it should be tightened.

That, my dears, is called democracy.

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6 Responses to Striking a middle ground

  1. Tim H says:

    No, that’s called mob rule. And it would lead to the oppression of women in many states, especially in the South. You may as well say that McCain should tear up the 13th amendment and let each state decide on whether it wants to legalise slavery.

  2. wien1938 says:

    I do think you’re being a little hysterical.
    And by “mob rule” are you saying that the people must be told what is the correct decision and that they are inherently stupid?
    In Britain the matter was debated outside of Parliament, inside Parliament and passed as a law. It remains subject to debate which keeps the democratic process healthy.

    You are deliberately confusing matters. What I am talking about is returning the process to the democratic forum.
    If Congress passed a constitutional amendment banning abortion or enshrining abortion rights, then that would have been part of a democratic process and could be overwritten by a second amendment repealing the first.
    I am in favour of abortion as an issue, but sometimes we don’t always win, so instead of sulking and crying unfair and bigoted, we must keep making the case. And broadly across the world, the case we favour is being won. Why not in the USA?

  3. Tim H says:

    “And by “mob rule” are you saying that the people must be told what is the correct decision and that they are inherently stupid?”

    No, I’m saying that people have inalienable rights and those rights should not be subject even to being voted on. I’m afraid I can’t agree that our individual rights should be subject to the rule of the mob.

  4. wien1938 says:

    There is not such an inalienable right. The decision was taken through consideration of the impact of due process on the right of privacy. The problem as I see it is that the Court had no legal right to create a system of trimesters; that seems to me to be overstepping into semi-legislating.
    Abortion historically has not been a legal right until very recently, so it cannot be covered under other rights enjoyed by the people. Legally, this is not a matter for the Court to decide but it should remain in the hands of the legislature, provided those laws passed do not violate the Constitution.
    Roe vs. Wade is an indefensible decision in terms of its legal worth. It constructs, which is not the perogative of the court. The decision belongs with the legislature.

    Abortion in the final view is not an inalienable right. Abortion is by its nature an arfificial decision and as such is subject to legislative overview. Compared with the use of contraceptives, which come under the right to privacy as they are a personal and free choice.
    I acknowledge that this is a tricky ground but without democratic debate, you will lose in the long run with far worse effects. The argument must be won in the political arena and not as a argument about constitutional rights.
    I quote Harvard law professor :Laurence Tribe, “One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”
    The 1973 decision was extraordinarily arrogant and should be overturned.

  5. JOS says:

    Tim H is painting himself as a modern-day abolitionist by equating the contemporary culture war over abortion with the 19th century fight over slavery. This is a relatively new tactic used by many in the religious right and other pro-lifers these days. I believe it actually clouds the issue. The Roe v. Wade decision is unconstitutional because it is a de facto law established by the judicial branch of government, a right reserved to the Legislative branch. Tim H’s argument that democracy = mob rule doesn’t even apply here because the Roe v. Wade “law” wasn’t established by “the mob” (or the will of the people). That is why it must be overturned.

  6. wien1938 says:

    I agree with you, JOS. What disturbs me about Tim H’s argument is that he places no trust in either democracy or the strength of his own pro-abortion views.
    It strikes me as similar to walking off the field when losing and saying “I don’t want to play this game anymore.”

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