While feminists and left-wing activists nationwide decry the leaked Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision draft as an attack on women’s rights, the real issue is not about women or even about abortion. What happens next with Roe v. Wade could help steer the US back toward what the founding fathers intended – a Court that keeps majoritarianism in check as it upholds the Constitution.
When debating issues such as Roe v. Wade, it is important that we all first and foremost understand that America is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. In a democracy, the minority of a population are always subject to majority rule – no matter how morally bankrupt that majority may be or may become. The founders feared that very scenario, and thanks to the wisdom and foresight of men like James Madison, our system of government doesn’t function that way. Instead, we have a system of checks and balances under republican governance, where the minority is not at the mercy of the majority. Over time, this essential characteristic of our government has been diluted and sometimes outright ignored, as with the original Roe v. Wade decision. If the judges in 1973 had respected the role of the Court in relation to the Constitution, abortion law would have stayed at the state level. For a small group of judges to make Roe’s case the law of the land, was, in fact, anti-Constitutional.
Nearly fifty years later, the Supreme Court has decided to reverse this bad decision based on these exact constitutional grounds. Of course, the social consequences of righting such a wrong will be further civil unrest. America is already a very divided country, and our political and cultural division has put increasing pressure on state governors and legislators to use their full constitutional powers. I believe this is for the best in the long term, as it will decentralize some of the federal powers that never should have been established. What’s unfortunate is that it has to happen over a hot-button cultural issue. Protest fatigue is real.