Justice Antonin Scalia Says Constitution Neither Allows Nor Bans Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 24, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Justice Antonin Scalia Says Constitution Neither Allows Nor Bans Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 24
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a CBS News interview that will air on Sunday, says the Constitution neither allows legal abortions nor does it prohibit them. Scalia has been outspoken recently about how the Constitution does not guarantee any abortion rights.

During the "60 Minutes" interview with correspondent Lesley Stahl, Scalia said the Constitution is silent on the issue of abortion.

He said he favors overturning Roe v. Wade, which has ushered in 35 years of unlimited abortions, but says states aren’t forced to ban abortions if the case is reversed.

"On the abortion thing, for example, if indeed I were … trying to impose my own views, I would not only be opposed to Roe versus Wade, I would be in favor of the opposite view, which the anti-abortion people would like to see adopted, which is to interpret the Constitution to mean that a state must prohibit abortion," Scalia said.

"And you’re against that?" Stahl asked to clarify his remarks.

Scalia replied, "Of course. There’s nothing" in the Constitution supporting the view.

Earlier this month, Scalia told students at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island that the so-called right to abortion is not found in the Constitution.

If abortion advocates wanted to create a legitimate abortion right, they should rely on passing laws in the legislature rather than asking courts to unilaterally create one, he said.

“You want the right to abortion? Create it the way most rights are created in a democracy. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea — and pass a law,” Scalia said.

Last month, Scalia made the same point in a speech at the University of Central Missouri.

"The reality is the Constitution doesn’t address the subject at all," Scalia said of abortion. "It is one of the many subjects not in the Constitution which is therefore left to democracy."

"If you want the right to an abortion, persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. If you feel the other way, repeal the law," he said.

During the speech, Scalia also rejected the idea that the Supreme Court is bound by precedent — such as in the Dred Scott or Roe v. Wade cases.

"For me, perhaps most important of all, does the precedent allow me to function as a lawyer, which is what a judge is supposed to do?" he asked.