The philosophers at the Ayn Rand Institute – Onkar Ghate, Ben Bayer, and Yaron Brook – have a thought-provoking discussion on abortion rights with the over-turning of Roe v. Wade, which now allows for state-level bans on abortion.
(Though this is not the end of abortion in America, it is an ominous stepping stone to it, as those seeking abortions in states where abortion is/will be banned will have to travel out of state to obtain a legal abortion).
Issues covered include:
- How the majority opinion empties the right to liberty of its content;
- Justice Clarence Thomas’s opposition to substantive due process;
- Why the Ninth Amendment has not been used in Supreme Court rulings on abortion;
- The incrementalism behind Chief Justice John Roberts’s concurrence;
- Why Roe v. Wade was a good decision despite its imperfect reasoning;
- The dissent’s defense of individual liberty against majority will;
- The dissent’s forceful protest against the unprincipled, anti-individualist majority opinion;
- Why the dissent is right that the majority is inconsistent with its own reasoning in claiming that abortion is different from other rights;
- Questions about whether the court typically tailors its reasoning to fit a predecided outcome;
- The problem with the viability standard and the idea of balancing rights with a “state interest” in the fetus;
- How the dissent undermines its own case by citing Lochner v. New York as a case that was rightly overturned;
- How the morality of self-sacrifice contributed to the Dobbs ruling and the dissent’s failure to cite the right to the pursuit of happiness;
- Why the widespread acceptance of collectivist premises have contributed to the abridgment of abortion rights;
- Why the concept of “states’ rights” is an expression of collectivism;
- How the fight over abortion rights will continue at the state and federal level.
Ben Bayer, Agustina Vergara Cid, and Don Watkins at the Ayn Rand Institute analyze the implications of Roe vs. Wade being overturned.