Diversity is a mantra in modern America. Yet when it comes to hot-button public policies, Americans prefer procrustean conformity to state experimentation. Recently enacted state abortion laws are a case in point.
Georgias heartbeat law, set to take effect next year, will prohibit most abortions once a physician detects a fetal heartbeat, which is typically discernible at about six weeks. Hence, the heartbeat law is expected to drastically reduce the number of abortions in Georgia.
The Illinois legislature, on the other hand, has declared abortion a fundamental right and removed sundry regulations on abortion clinics. Fundamental rights, according to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington v. Glucksberg (1997), are deeply rooted in this Nations history and tradition and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed. Based on this state classification, the number of abortions in Illinois will likely rise.
Abortion proponents have called for a boycott of Georgia. Alyssa Milano and other Hollywood celebrities promise to stop filming in the state unless the heartbeat law is repealed. Abortion opponents, such as the Catholic League, have condemned the Illinois bill as Hitlerian. Both sides expectantly wait for some branch of the national government to step in to overturn the laws with which they disagree. Liberals want the federal courts to toe the line on Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1991), while many conservatives urge Congress to use its legislative powers pursuant to Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to outlaw all abortions.