02.23.06

Fox News: Federalism May Offer Abortion Solution

Posted in at 17:25 by RjZ

Radley Balko is a “pro-life libertarian” who works for the Cato Institute. He makes a point in this article that I, too, have often made. That is, regardless of how individuals may feel about abortion, it’s probably not really a federal issue, but rather an issue for state’s rights.

Well, since he made the point and I didn’t, I guess I’ll point out what makes me squeamish about it. If we let states, or even cities and counties, as he suggests, decide whether their citizens have abortion rights or not, the result will essentially be barring poor citizens from abortions. The wealthy will travel to where they are legal, and perhaps even move there. The poor, meanwhile, will quite possibly be stuck by their circumstance, right where they are. In fact, the U.S. offers a high amount of mobility. It may not be such a burden to expect people to vote with their feet, but this concern should at least be considered.

While it pains me to say it, I must agree with Balko that Roe is probably on shaky constitutional ground. I also agree that repealing it will do little regarding the legality of abortion, save for returning this issue to the state’s rights question it rightfully is. The question remains as to what the states will actually do. This argument will continue to rage in the short term. I think the alternative view to the viability argument Balko makes may be useful for many if these discussions do, in fact, leave Washington and come to our backyards.

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