Abortion Myth

*Excerpt from Family Research Council brochure, “The Top Ten Myths about Abortion”


Myth: Abortion is legal because the Constitution says so.

Fact: Legal abortion is the fruit of judicial activism.  It has been imposed upon the country by judges.


The word “abortion” does not appear in the Constitution.  Nevertheless, in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that a right to abortion was part of an implied right to personal privacy emanating from various constitutional Amendments –in other words, that a right to abortion is an “implied” part of the Constitution.


It is the chief modern example of judicial activism—judges imposing their own policy preferences rather than interpreting the law as written.  When judges act in this manner, they usurp the role of the legislators, whom the citizens elect to represent them in deciding disputed, difficult policy issues.  Thus, judicial activism undermines the very basis of our representative democracy.


This ruling has been sharply criticized by legal scholars, federal judges, and seven other Supreme Court justices.  Justice Byron White, for example, said the court engaged, “not in constitutional interpretation, but in the unrestrained imposition of its own, extra constitutional value preferences.”  Justice Antonin Scalia said, “The Court should return this matter to the people—where the Constitution, by its silence on the subject, left it—and let them decide.”


Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an outspoken proponent of legal abortion, called Roe v. Wade a “heavy handed judicial intervention: that was “difficult to justify,” and said it was “not the way courts generally work.”