Perry: Abortion Is A States Rights Issue
Rick Perry argues on the basis of the Tenth Amendment:
Despite holding personal pro-life beliefs, Texas Gov. Rick Perry categorized abortion as a states’ rights issue today, saying that if Roe v. Wade was overturned, it should be up to the states to decide the legality of the procedure.
“You either have to believe in the 10th Amendment or you don’t,” Perry told reporters after a bill signing in Houston. “You can’t believe in the 10th Amendment for a few issues and then [for] something that doesn’t suit you say, ‘We’d rather not have states decide that.’”
The 10th Amendment reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The National Right to Life Committee appears to be satisfied:
The National Right to Life Committee responded to Perry’s categorization of abortion as a states’ rights issue in a statement, saying, “Our society has an obligation to enact laws that recognize and protect the smallest members of our human family. Prior to Roe, states had the ability to enact laws that extended full legal protection to unborn children. We look forward to the day when Roe v. Wade is changed, and the states will once again have the ability to pass legislation that fully protects mothers and their unborn children.”
Note that accepting the Tenth Amendment view that it’s a state’s rights issue doesn’t preclude support for a national Human Life Amendment to the Constitution, because such an amendment would have to be approved by 3/4 of the states themselves.