Magazine November 29, 2021, Issue

The Corruption of History

A demonstrator holds a pro-abortion sign as she listens to speakers at a Black Women Take Action event outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., September 15, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
How abortion activism has falsified the past

To a greater extent than even most of its opponents realize, the reign of Roe v. Wade has relied from the very beginning on a false and sometimes fraudulent version of history. Justice Harry Blackmun’s majority opinion repeatedly cited slipshod scholarship that was already in the process of being discredited in 1973 and has since been comprehensively de­bunked. The Sup­reme Court has, however, never revisited its mistaken historical claims, which have instead taken on a life of their own in academic work, popular journalism, and legal briefs.

This mythology originated in the 1960s, when a legal academic and abortion activist named

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue

Introduction

Politics & Policy

End Roe

In this special issue, we examine the legal arguments, the policy arguments, and the social arguments for finally ending the Roe era in America.

The Law

The Policy

The Social Impact

Books, Arts & Manners

Books

Weird English

A review of Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme — and Other Oddities of the English Language, by Arika Okrent.

Sections

The Week

The Week

Glenn Youngkin unlocked the secret to electoral success in a Virginia that hadn’t elected a Republican statewide in twelve years.

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