The Supreme Court Ruling Overturning Roe v. Wade Is Unenforceable

by on June 27, 2022 · 3 comments

in History, Women's Rights

By Colleen O’Connor

In the 1970s, a history professor of mine remarked to the class, “You could put a police officer on every corner of the country, and still not stop crime.”

Meaning, enforcement of laws, requires a large segment of the community to respect and protect them.

Look at the failures in enforcement:

History lesson #1 Prohibition.  A Failure.

“The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution–which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors–ushered in a period in American history known as Prohibition. Prohibition was ratified by the states on January 16, 1919 and officially went into effect on January 17, 1920, with the passage of the Volstead Act. Despite the new legislation, Prohibition was difficult to enforce.

“The increase of the illegal production and sale of liquor (known as “bootlegging”), the proliferation of speakeasies (illegal drinking spots) and the accompanying rise in gang violence and other crimes led to waning support for Prohibition by the end of the 1920s.

“In early 1933, Congress adopted a resolution proposing a 21st Amendment to the Constitution that would repeal the 18th Amendment.”

History lesson #2 Outlawing marijuana.   Another Sputtering Failure.

Marijuana was outlawed at the national level in the US by the “Marihuana” Tax Act of 1937.

As of July 2021, medical cannabis use is legal, with a doctor’s recommendation, in 36 states; for recreational use in 18 states; and currently up for federal approval.  While still illegal as a Class I drug, its widespread use is glaringly obvious.

Now consider, the telehealth delivery system for newly outlawed abortion pills; the multiple conveyance methods for the morning after pill; for contraception; I.U.D.s; and the cross-border or cross-country boundary chases to catch the abusing “offenders.”

Remember “no exceptions in case of rape or incest!”

Also, how do the numerous international drug cartels and local gangs escape basic drug enforcement?  How do they manage?  You can recite the ways.

Again, the basic problem with the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.  It is unenforceable.

History Lesson #3. Women’s Suffrage.  Once unthinkable.  Now unstoppable.

Women have registered and voted at higher rates than men in every presidential election since 1980.  Women, who constitute more than half the population, have cast almost 10 million more votes than men in recent elections. ( Women Voters and the Gender Gap)

As John Culhane, author of More Than Marriage, writes: “after the Roe decision, pregnant women will be seen, legally and socially, as vessels, making it more conceivable that they will be prosecuted for any activity seen to place a fetus at risk.”

Faced with the reality of the loss of control over their own body and medical decisions, it is a safe prediction, they will show up in even greater numbers at the polls this November and in 2024.

Those voters, as Senator Elizabeth Warren argues, not the U.S. Supreme Court, will make the final decision.

However, Linda Hirshman, author of The Color of Abolition, also warns:

“If the Republicans take Congress in 2022 and then the White House in 2024, Congress will pass and the president will sign the federal Fugitive Woman Act, making it a crime to travel or abet travel in interstate commerce for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.”

Which leads to:

History Lesson #4.  Slavery once legal, is now decidedly illegal, but threatening a comeback.

Many believe that a “Federal Fugitive Women’s Act” (to track down, capture, return and punish pregnant women seeking an abortion—akin to runaway slaves) is already in the works.

In Louisiana, the decision to obtain an abortion is treated “as a criminal homicide.”

How does one enforce that?  What surveillance is required? Do they surveil local clinics?  Doctors’ offices?  Back street alleyways? Film the surgery?

What evidence of pregnancy will be required?  Is the TSA involved at airports?  Who, gets the Texas’ $10,000 reward for reporting these fleeing woman?  To whom? How?  Tip lines? The Dark Web?  Tik Tok?  Hackers?

And who chases them down–not unlike their ancestral runaway slaves–to capture and collect the bounty? Husbands?  Lovers? Abusers?

A massive, even more intrusive, administrative state will be required to oversee these draconian new laws.

Already, state Governors, Attorneys General, U.S. Attorneys, prosecutors, and some judges have decided not to enforce these state laws.

What irony that this occurs during the 200th birthday celebration of the abolitionist leader of the “Underground Railroad,” Harriet Tubman.

Harkening back to those menacing ghosts of that bloody U.S. Civil War, Charlie Sykes writes:

“Abortion will now become the bloody shirt of our politics at every level: Every race for governor and state legislature — and every presidential, congressional, and senate race — will be a referendum on a woman’s right to choose, and her unborn child’s right to life.’

Welcome to the brave new world of vigilantes, violence, and vengeance.

That history professor was right. A police officer on every corner cannot stop what’s coming.

It is unenforceable.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Gravitas June 27, 2022 at 4:50 pm

Slew of court filings against Supreme Court ruling…using the old confederate route….States’ Rights!


Gravitas June 27, 2022 at 4:52 pm

From a friend of mine back east.

When I was in college (2-year girls school Colby Junior College in central NH where my late aunt taught), 1968-70, a woman in my dorm became pregnant.

We raised money ($500?) to send her to Puerto Rico … the boyfriend couldn’t go because we only had enough money for her. She was told to stand in a square sporting a red flower in her lapel. A man found her and took to a garage looking building. She was terrified but once inside people were in medical garb. Painful procedure without anesthesia. Then she came home and was fortunately okay.

There were horror stories at the College of Boston back alley abortions and someone bleeding nearly to death in the dorm bathtub.”


Gravitas August 7, 2022 at 9:01 am



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