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Roe v. Wade is one of the Supreme Court's more controversial decisions due to the controversial nature of abortion and the creative interpretation of the Constitution to block most regulations of abortion by the states through 'penumbras' of the indirectly stated right to privacy1.

Are there any (or many) current or former prominent US officeholders who have conflicting views on these two parts of the case? For example, a pro-life politician who thinks the Constitution as written protects abortion and would have to be amended; or a politician who thinks abortion needs to be protected, but that Roe v. Wade distorts the Constitution and sets bad precedent for future abuse.

1although Griswold v. Connecticut is probably more to blame for introducing this line of reasoning.

  • "A pro-life politician who thinks the Constitution as written protects abortion and would have to be amended," Roe v. wade specifically says that there is no explicit "right to privacy" in the Constitution. What exactly would you amend? I suppose you mean a constitutional amendment that specifically banned abortion, which I am sure you could find all sorts of Congressman/Senators support. As to the second part, "distorts the Constitution," what do you mean? Have you read the decision? – user1873 Apr 21 '15 at 14:27
  • "We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified, and must be considered against important state interests in regulation." Roe v. Wade – user1873 Apr 21 '15 at 14:28
  • @user1873 You could always pass an 18th Amendment-type thing giving the government explicit power to ban abortion. – cpast Apr 21 '15 at 17:41
  • Trivia type questions are generally not a good fit for SE Q&A Sites. I am sure this question could be amended to ask for some arguements that have been made by people who are of opposite constitution and moral opinions though. – SoylentGray Apr 21 '15 at 23:02
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    @DVK Exactly that. Pro choice = abortion should be allowed by all states in an ideal government. Pro life = abortion should be outlawed by all states in an ideal government. – lazarusL Apr 22 '15 at 20:27
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"For example, a pro-life politician who thinks the Constitution as written protects abortion and would have to be amended"

I do not know US politics in detail but possibly Rand Paul fulfils this criterion. According to this link http://bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com/2010/02/25/gop-candidates-for-us-senate-spar-over-abortion/
he said he is “100 percent pro-life” and favors allowing individual states “to protect life” while the country awaits enough votes on the U.S. Supreme Court to ban abortion or a constitutional amendment is approved to protect life." That seems to imply that he thinks abortion is constitutional.

"or a politician who thinks abortion needs to be protected, but that Roe v. Wade distorts the Constitution and sets bad precedent for future abuse."

I am unable to think of a politician who thinks this way, but pretty much exactly that view was expressed by a much-cited 2005 article by Benjamin Wittes in the Atlantic:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2005/01/letting-go-of-roe/303695/

-which suggests that as a current of opinion it is not unknown.

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    +1 For the Benjamin Wittes article. I'm still interested to see if anyone with political power has said anything positive about the position the article takes. – lazarusL Apr 26 '15 at 22:28
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    I think Rand Paul definitely doesn't fit the bill of a pro-lifer that thinks Roe v Wade was a good decision. Here's an example “When the Supreme Court handed down its now-infamous Roe v. Wade decision, it did so based on a new, previously undefined ‘right to privacy’ which it ‘discovered’ in so-called ‘emanations’ of ‘penumbrae’ of the Constitution,” Paul wrote. “Of course, as constitutional law, it was a disaster. But never once did the Supreme Court declare abortion itself to be a constitutional right.” – lazarusL Apr 26 '15 at 22:30

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