The Dred Scott Decision was viewed as wise&good in its day--but horrid now. Will this happen with Roe v. Wade?

In its day, the Dred Scott Decision of the Supreme Court was viewed as wise and appropriately based on previous legal decisions and precedents -- and even fully Biblical and moral to many (but not all) at that time. Nowadays, most people look back to that decision in horror and wonder how it could ever have been ruled by just and reasonable jurists. Before the 1960's, most Americans gave little thought to abortion but in recent decades it has become an increasingly important legal, moral, and religious issue. Considering how a society's views on moral issues can change over time, do you think it likely that decades from now the Roe vs. Wade decision will be viewed with similar horror and ethical consensus? Why or why not?

(Of course, BOTH cases involved the civil rights [or not] of an entity viewed as a PERSON by some and an item of PROPERTY by others. With both cases, lawyers argued passionately on both sides: "person" versus "thing".)



Interesting. Some answers are well worded, insightful, and very carefully reasoned. Some are clogged with dripping self-righteousness and awkward demonization of opponents (as if the maximum amount of venom must be expelled in the allotted space.) Needless to say, the former are much more interesting and helpful (regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum). But I appreciate all contributions to the subject in any case.

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7 Answers

  • MSB
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I think you made the point yourself on how I feel... that society's views and moral stances change. There's no way to know what turns we'll take in the distant future, or what we'll learn that may usher in that change.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Dred Scott Decision was based on the law at the time. It was over turned when slavery was abolished. A different law would have to contradict Roe V Wade. That is why pro lifers are trying to get laws passed that make killing a pregnant woman double murder.

    At the heart of the Roe V Wade decision is the age of a viable fetus. A fetus must be able to survive on it's own. I do not think as time goes on that that will change for a majority of the people. Meaning, there will always be at least(or around) half of the population who believe the mother's rights trumps an incomplete (not fully formed) baby.

    But I'm sure you can say it's possible. I find it unlikely

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No it will not. The reason states gave little thought to abortions before was religious nuts weren't pushing for prosecution, so abortions were safer.

    Now that The Coathanger Gang has returned, we freedom lovers fight back, male and female. It's ludicrous to compare Dred Scott to Roe v. Wade. Politicians ran on anti-abortion campaigns knowing fully well they were protected from acting by the court's decision. By the end of Reagan's term, they were gulping in fear as new Hitlers like Randall Terry emerged.

    You will not drive women into back alleys on my watch.

  • 1 decade ago

    There is one crucial difference between Dred Scott and Roe v Wade. In the former, the decision favored the status quo. In the latter, it did not. The status quo is the easiest to defend at the time, but often more likely to be repudiated in the future as social and intellectual undertanding develops.

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  • neil s
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Only if someone provides *evidence* that distinguishes a fetus from any other lump of flesh. Theoretical arguments do not amount to empirical truth, whether it's insisting that life begins at time X, or that a fetus has the "potential" to become human. So does a wet dream, are we gonna call that murder, too?

    Proposition H8, on the other hand, probably won't make it past the end of February without being overturned by the California judiciary.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are, apparently, millions who already feel this way. They are not, apparently, aware that abortions were taking place whether it was illegal or not - and will continue whether or not it is.

    While I am of the opinion that abortion is not an acceptable method of birth control, I also don't believe that subjecting women to filthy conditions in back alleys is a reasonable alternative because people can't see the reality of terminating unwanted pregnancies.

    Infanticide was a reality much for the same reasons for thousands of years.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Quite the opposite. In time, the opponents of Roe vs Wade will be seen like those who tried to cling to slavery.

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