The Origins Of Roe v. Wade And How Overturning It Could Change America. Steve Williamson welcomes two attorneys to the show, Holli Ploog and Mik Jordahl, to discuss what led to Roe v. Wade and the implications of Justice Alito’s leaked draft opinion.
“Alito went out on the edge to condemn Roe,” says Jordahl. “Other cases have expanded rights. This is the first one that is contracting rights. In terms of overruling precedent, we’re now seeing contraction. The draft opinion here says there’s no fundamental right to get an abortion. It’s just an irrational basis. So, they turn constitutional law and precedent on its head. You could easily see same sex marriage overturned.”
Ploog notes that polls show a vast majority of Americans believe in the right to abortion, but the leaked opinion ignores that. “What they’re saying is that the life of the fetus takes precedent over the life of the mother. When you ban abortions straight out with no exceptions for the life of the mother or for rape or incest or anything like that, you’re saying the fetus has greater rights than the mother does.”
Referring to the circumstances of women before Roe v. Wade, when women had few rights and even contraceptives were illegal, Ploog states, “What particularly irks me is that the younger justices who are in their forties and fifties have no experience with this whatsoever. Like Coney-Barrett. She has a large family with several adopted children. She’s a working mother. But that wasn’t the case back then.”
Jordahl explains, “In the draft opinion, Alito says there are protections now against discrimination against women. There’s childcare. There are all these things that are available now. So, it’s not so bad if abortion is made illegal.” But, as Williamson notes, “Not so bad as it once was doesn’t seem to me to be a good legal argument. What I’m looking at is the amount of intrusion necessary to ban an abortion. The amount of intrusion is extraordinary compared to a lot of other things government does.”