Reversing Roe and the Kelo Effect

Tim Lee has written an interesting blog post arguing that if the Supreme Court should happen to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, it might actually have a beneficial effect on meaningful access to abortion.

Just as eminent domain abuse hasn’t been an issue that voters were focusing on before the Supreme Court ruled in Kelo that the constitution doesn’t protect their property from the state taking it to give to other private parties, so the reversal of Roe might alert people to the many regulations that have caused many abortion clinics to close; leaving many people legal, but not actual, access to abortion.

I’m not sure exactly how this would play out. In the long run, I’m pretty confident that abortion rights will be protected. In the shorter run, it’s hard to say. It will probably vary a lot by region.

In any event, I think it’s an interesting question. And, I’m always happy to see people challenging the conventional wisdom, and thinking about non-obvious consequences of possible changes.


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