2019 has seen a resurgence of interest in abortion politics. The possibility that there are now 5 votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade–the 1973 case that guarantees a limited right to an abortion–has led to a number of states passing bans or effective bans on abortion, in the hopes that these laws will make their way to the Court and get Roe overturned.
At the heart of this issue lies deep disagreements about when “life” begins and whether such decisions are rights best protected by courts (either the women’s right to an abortion or some sort of personhood right for the fetus) or questions of moral values best decided by legislatures.
In 500 words or less, argue why either courts or legislatures are best suited, as institutions, to make these decisions. Do not write just about your own policy position on abortion; instead tell me which branch of government (including state institutions) should make abortion decisions. In your answer, include some of the following considerations:
- The nature of the abortion issue, as you see it
- The method by which judges and legislators are selected and retained
- The degree to which this issue should be decided by public opinion
- How federalism might play into your answer