If Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, expect more rights to be challenged
Reportedly the Supreme Court will overrule Roe v. Wade which will prevent abortion when a fetus becomes viable. It was not the best written decision but it was grounded in – justified by – the right of privacy.
The theory underlying that right to privacy is called “substantive due process” or the doctrine that the constitution protects both the procedures of due process, such as how criminal law is applied, and “substantive” guarantees of life, liberty and property.
There are the rights spelled out in the text of the constitution, such as rights to bear arms or against unreasonable search and seizure, and there are other rights, like the right to marry and even the right to parent that are not in the text of the constitution
Other “substantive due process rights” include birth control for married couple (Griswold v Connecticut) (Loving v Virginia) did away with bars on interracial marriage, (Eisenstadt v Baird) protected birth control for people not married. Gay marriage and in vitro fertilization are unwritten fundamental substantive due process privacy rights.
Marriage and procreation themselves are included as basic civil rights having no written protection as civil rights. My prediction in that contraception will be next.
This decision tries to limit itself to abortion – and this writer will be honest that abortion as a means of birth control bothers him – but in fact it opens Pandora’s Box on everything from who you can marry to how many children you can have.
The legal basis for what we thought were immutable human rights are now out there to be challenged and reconsidered by generations of activists with different points of view.
Conrad F. Cropsey