Do you think you know about how Roe v. Wade came to be? Think again. David Savage presents the inner workings of the Supreme Court and Blackmun's opinion. A number of justices in the majority thought this would be a minor revision of the laws. Justice Blackmun himself, who wrote the opinion, didn't think it would have sweeping consequences. Chief Justice Burger concurred with the majority, indicating that he didn't think this could possibly lead to abortion on demand. It makes me wonder what would have happened if these justices could have envisioned what this decision would lead to. They certainly would have been horrified by the current state of affairs. [Hat tip: Eugene Volokh]
Meanwhile, Wendy Mcelroy wonders if scientific developments will help limit the number of abortions while satisfying the primary motivation for abortion -- for the pregnant woman not to be pregnant anymore and not to have parental responsibilities. This is something I've been sying for a few years now, something Laurence Thomas first made clear to me. Scientific developments will in the near future make the primary arguments for the pro-choice position obsolete. They will no longer be arguments that we should allow abortion. They will be arguments that we should allow someone to remove a fetus. As Laurence would put it, a legal right to be rid of a fetus does not provide a legal right to the death of that fetus. Technology does not allow us to make such a distinction in the first trimester (though the movement of viability to about 20-22 weeks does allow us to do so in the second). It will almost assuredly at some point allow us to make the distinction at a very early stage of development. What then for the pro-choice view? [Hat tip: Volokh conspirator Todd Zywicki]
Finally, Eugene Volokh finds what could inspire a Dr. Seuss rhyme if I had the time to compose one (I'm not above that sort of thing). Justice Black and Justice White, an FDR appointee and a JFK appointee, had a little disagreement in 1965 over whether the Griswold v. Connecticut case would justify outlawing laws against abortion. Hugo Black thought it would, and he voted against it. He didn't think it was their job to specify unenumerated rights. Byron White didn't think that decision really did justify doing the same with abortion, because contraception takes place in the home (usually), while abortion doesn't, and contraception involves stopping the creation of a life, while abortion involves ending a life. White apparently understimated his colleagues, while Black seems prescient. White took the same position regarding Roe v. Wade, by the way. He was just in the minority. I think Volokh is a little overstating things when he says White dismissed the possibility of this happening. All he did was get the lawyer to admit that these are very different situations, which we know he believed because of his vote against Roe. He didn't say that he didn't think his colleagues on the Supreme Court wouldn't try to use this sort of reasoning. All he did was give a reason why they shouldn't.
Update: I didn't write a Dr. Seuss poem about Justices Black and White and abortion, but apparently Dr. Seuss wrote his own statement about abortion.