Is Abortion Just a State’s Issue?

If you weren’t already aware, abortion has once again become a major issue as we approach another crucial national election cycle. To be clear, it’s always been an issue, and rightfully so.

The question now is whether or not abortion rights should be left to the states, as they currently are, or if the federal government should make the ultimate decision.

As you know, up until a few short years ago, it was a federal issue, with the Supreme Court having ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion was legal nationwide. However, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court ruling reverted that, making it up to individual states to decide whether abortion would be legal and in what circumstances.

Naturally, pro-lifers from coast to coast applauded the SCOTUS ruling, knowing that it was a huge step in the right direction. And since then, quite a few more conservative-leaning states have implemented laws restricting abortion in one form or another.

Just as unsurprisingly, the political left and the Democratic Party as a whole have taken the exact opposite stance. They were dismayed at the more recent SCOTUS decision and have fought hard to keep states where they are more in control from limiting abortion in any form. In fact, some states have now declared themselves abortion “sanctuaries” or safe havens to contrast those that restrict them.

For instance, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has recently stated that her state will remain a “safe haven” for women from Florida, where new laws have all but banned abortion.

Going into the 2024 presidential election, however, means the whole issue gets taken up a notch or two.

Naturally, Democrats are still of the mind that SCOTUS made a horrible decision in reversing Roe v. Wade. Therefore, they seek to undo the more recent ruling to once again make the practice, what they like to call ‘women’s health rights,’ back as a nationally accessible procedure.

In fact, incumbent President Joe Biden has already promised that if we re-elect him, he and his sidekick, Kamala Harris, will find a way to 1) reverse Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health and 2) codify (or make permanent) Roe v. Wade.

In contrast, many Republicans stand on the opposite side of the fence, declaring that abortion should be outlawed federally and made into a constitutional amendment.

In 2016, they wrote, “The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can ‘be deprived of life, liberty or property’ deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that ‘all’ are ‘endowed by their Creator’ with the inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection apply to children before birth.”

And it was once believed that Trump agreed with this position. However, more recently, he has said that the issue should be up to individual states, as the Supreme Court has said.

But should it be?

History tells us that the unconscionable practice of slavery used to be a state issue at one time in our history.

In one specific debate between incumbent and Democrat Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas and his opponent, Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln, Douglas argued that every state should be able to choose for themselves whether or not to allow slavery, known as “popular sovereignty.”

Lincoln correctly argued the opposite, that the nation, as a whole, should be on the same page on this very important issue. It famously became known as his “House Divided” speech.

Now, Lincoln lost that election. But as you know, he went on to win the presidency and federally ban slavery nationwide.

Looking back, no one in their right mind can argue that he didn’t make the right decision or that slavery was a big enough and morale enough issue that it needed federal attention.

The question now is whether or not abortion can be viewed as the same. Is it such a morale issue that the federal government should take action? Will we one day look back on this and wonder why/how we didn’t make such a decision decades ago?

I would say yes.

What do you think?