U.S. Supreme Court Asked To Overrule Roe vs. Wade

by | May 12, 1989 | Women's Rights

TAFOL board members are developing an op-ed article, in conjunction with the Ayn Rand Institute, opposing any effort to deny a woman the right to an abortion.

On January 9, 1989 the United States Supreme Court noted probable jurisdiction in the case of Webster v. Reproductive Health Services in response to an appeal of an Eighth Circuit decision that declared several anti-abortion provisions of a Missouri statute unconstitutional. In its appeal, the State of Missouri requested that the Supreme Court reconsider Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the Supreme Court decision that declared that women have a constitutionally protected right to obtain an abortion. On November 10, 1988, two days after the Presidential election, the Reagan administration filed an amicus brief in support of Missouri’s request that Roe v. Wade be reconsidered and recommended overruling that decision. Approximately thirty substantive briefs have since been filed with the Supreme Court by the appellant and amici. Several, including that of the Solicitor General of the United States, urged that Roe v. Wade be overruled.

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services addresses the issue of whether a state government has the right to prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used in conjunction with abortions which are not necessary to save the life of the mother. Missouri’s statute outlaws, inter alia, the expenditure of “public funds” for the purpose of encouraging or counseling a woman to have an abortion, prohibits any “public employee” from performing or assisting an abortion within the scope of his employment, and proscribes the use of any “public facility” for the purpose of performing or assisting an abortion.

An additional provision of the Missouri statute requires a physician to make a determination of fetal viability when he has reason to believe a fetus is of twenty or more weeks gestation, and to perform such tests as are necessary to make that determination. Finally, Missouri’s abortion statute contains a preamble, supposedly without substantive effect, which states that life begins at conception.

The Eighth Circuit found each of these provisions of the statute, including the preamble, to be unconstitutional. Reproductive Health Services v. Webster, 851 F.2d 1071 (8th Cir. 1988). The State of Missouri appealed.

Board members are developing an op-ed article, in conjunction with the Ayn Rand Institute, opposing any effort to deny a woman the right to an abortion.

Copyright © The Association for Objective Law. All rights reserved. Republished in Capitalism Magazine by permission of TAFOL.

 

The Association for Objective Law is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to advance Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, as the basis of a proper legal system.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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