Douthat and Saletan on Compromising on Abortion

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Will Saletan and Ross Douthat have had a bit of a back-and-forth; here’s the latest entry from Saletan. He had proposed a compromise that includes restrictions on abortion in the second trimester. Douthat noted that Roe v. Wade would have to go before that compromise could happen. Saletan is now responding that abortion rights in the second trimester are not fundamental to Roe.

What’s “fundamental” to Roe is a moving target depending on whatever five justices say at the moment (see Casey v. Planned Parenthood). What matters here is that the Supreme Court has to give back some decision-making authority to legislatures before any compromise can move forward. If Saletan wants the pro-Roe Supreme Court justices to move a few notches to the right, he should say so–and keep it in mind the next time there’s a vacancy on the Court.