Status quo ante

I expected to die before “Roe v. Wade” was overturned, though it seemed it must be, eventually. Though it does not touch me personally (I hope), I am still discreetly overjoyed. I say discreetly because I could not wish to boast of my “pro-life” credentials, at this moment. The anti-life forces have expressed themselves in a day and night of rage, on urban streets all over — as the court decision successfully abraded “liberal” sensibilities around the world. We have come to expect such demented behaviour whenever this happens. Closer to home, policemen in the United States may have longer shifts for some time, containing the explosions of satanic violence.

The American legal and political establishment will not buckle, however. For they know that stronger passions, though more quietly expressed, wait on the other side. Most of the electorate skitters away from commitment to either side — neither entirely in favour of, nor opposed to, the murder of unborn children. Cowardly, unmanly avoidance makes of this “a woman’s issue” — as if only female children were aborted.

That it would be connected to questions of hygiene is a small anecdote, or sign of the times.

No matter of principle was addressed by the Supreme Court’s decision; life and death does not trouble the legalistic mind. They will not rule on whether abortion is right or wrong. They simply restore the arrangements in the United States Constitution, that put the matter, as others unforeseen, in the power of the States. They confirm the need for politics, in addition to laws; and for better or worse, the American States are all democracies.

The current social convulsions were made inevitable by the original ruling, for its vacation was also inevitable. It flew in the face of established law, and mangled American jurisprudence, by creating a new regime of (arbitrary) “human rights.” Status quo ante has now been magically restored, but in a country changed even demographically by the lawlessness of fifty years.

For the Burger Court’s great imaginative try-on of 22 January 1973 — declaring the crime of abortion to be a “human right,” and a constitutional intention — will be tried again in due course. Those who care for life and liberty should be ready to defeat it.