Don’t Overturn Roe

For The Wall Street Journal’s Future View on the leaked draft decision that suggests Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

Abortion-rights protesters display placards during a demonstration outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, May 8. (GEMUNU AMARASINGHE/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Those against the overturn often cite the regression of women’s rights, but a reversal of Roe will also weaken the judicial branch. The Roe v. Wade decision, strengthened in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey, provides the Supreme Court with the important framework to defend women’s reproductive rights. According to a recent ABC poll, a majority of Americans continue to support upholding Roe. There is no clear shift in social conditions that demand a reconsideration of the 50-year-old precedent.

Past decisions should get overturned only when there is a significant shift in public sentiment. The most famous example of a precedent being overturned is the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, in which the court, emboldened by the civil-rights movement, reversed Plessy v. Ferguson to establish a constitutional mandate for desegregation.

America has been subjected to unprecedented politicization in recent years, and overturning Roe will worsen this crisis and put the court’s legitimacy into question.

Originally published at www.wsj.com on May 10, 2022.

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studying politics, philosphy, & economics + art history at Swarthmore College

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