August 9, 2022

Volume XII, Number 221


August 08, 2022

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R.I.P. Roe: The Government Won Today. The People–All of Them–Lost

Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views. Some believe fervently that a human person comes into being at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life. Others feel just as strongly that any regulation of abortion invades a woman’s right to control her own body and prevents women from achieving full equality. Still others in a third group think that abortion should be allowed under some but not all circumstances, and those within this group hold a variety of views about the particular restrictions that should be imposed.

What an interesting opening paragraph.

Some people believe. Some people feel. Some people think. 

What I liked about Roe —however flawed its legal analysis might have been–is it dispensed with beliefs, feelings, and opinions. It didn’t allow the government to involve itself in such nonsense.  It turned on something cold, sterile, and deterministic. Either the baby could survive or it couldn’t.  It was a simple solution to what amounts to a simple problem–if you take morality out of the equation.

And that is just what Roe did.

I know it is popular to think of Roe as about a woman’s right to make a critical choice. And that’s fine. But I always thought of Roe as a decision about the government’s right to make choices.

Where a state can regulate. And where can it not.

What it may dictate, and what it may not.

From that perspective, of course, questions about a “right” to an abortion are misconceived. The issue was never about a woman’s right to do this or that. Roe was about the government’s right to do this or that.

And most critically–most fundamentally– Roe stood for the proposition that there are limits to when and how the government may regulate morality. 

Today, it seems, those limits have been removed.

Re-read that first sentence, my friends.

Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.

A moral issue.

One on which Roe observed and held the government should have no part in deciding.

But now….

There is, of course, a cold irony to the Court suggesting that some level of power is being restored to the people here. It is easy to confuse the idea of freedom from government intrusion, on the one hand, with the idea of being able to control government policy, on the other.

Yes, the people of each state may now choose to determine what their respective government’s policy will be on abortion. But the people of all states have now lost the right to be free of the government’s power over them on “profound moral issues.”

And that should be unnerving to everyone.

This isn’t about abortion. It never was.

This is about power. The power to control your life.

And the government just took that power back.

Chat soon TCPAWorld.

Editor’s note: My views and my views only. You know how this works. 

© 2022 Troutman FirmNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 175

About this Author

Eric Troutman TCPA Lawyer Troutman Law Firm Orange County, CA

Eric J Troutman is known as one of the country’s prominent class action defense lawyers and is nationally recognized in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation and compliance. He has served as lead defense counsel in more than 70 national TCPA class actions and has litigated nearly a thousand individual TCPA cases in his role as national strategic litigation counsel for major banks and finance companies. Eric also helps industry participants build TCPA-compliant processes, policies, and systems.

Eric's perspective allows him to...