ObamaCare Overturns Roe v. Wade

This may come as a shock to some of you, but legal scholars and those who have taken the time to read the High Court’s decision know that Roe v. Wade did not guarantee women a right to abortion.


Here is part of the majority opinion of Roe v. Wade: 410 U.S. 113, written by Justice Blackmun:

On the basis of elements such as these, appellant and some amici argue that the woman’s right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree. Appellant’s arguments that Texas either has no valid interest at all in regulating the abortion decision, or no interest strong enough to support any limitation upon the woman’s sole determination, are unpersuasive. The Court’s decisions recognizing a right of privacy also acknowledge that some state regulation in areas protected by that right is appropriate. As noted above, a State may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life. At some point in pregnancy, these respective interests become sufficiently compelling to sustain regulation of the factors that govern the abortion decision. The privacy right involved, therefore, cannot be said to be absolute. In fact, it is not clear to us that the claim asserted by some amici that one has an unlimited right to do with one’s body as one pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously articulated in the Court’s decisions. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of this kind in the past. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) (vaccination); Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) (sterilization).

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.

[Emphasis added by author]

As you can see, the Supreme Court disagreed with the assertion of a woman’s absolute right to terminate her pregnancy, and further agreed that states had a compelling reason to regulate and restrict abortions.

So what was the deciding factor in Roe v. Wade? Privacy.

The court concluded that the “right to privacy includes the abortive decision.”

Enter the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)

This overly-complex, badly written, and seemingly self-contradictory law contain a number of data collection provisions. Here are a few, as laid out in the Federal Register, Vol. 76 Friday, No. 136 July 15, 2011, Part III – Department of Health and Human Services, 45 CFR Part 153, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment; Proposed Rule” by the Department of Health and Human Services which lays out the following:

Subpart D—State Standards for the Risk Adjustment Program
153.340 Data collection under risk adjustment.

As described above, a robust risk adjustment process requires data to support the determination of an individual’s risk score and the corresponding plan and State averages. In paragraph (a) we propose that a State, or HHS on behalf of the State, is responsible for collecting the data for use in determining individual risk scores.

Although the transaction standards promulgated under the HIPAA administrative simplification provisions do not specifically apply to data collections under section 1343 of the Affordable Care Act, we propose in paragraph (b)(1) and (b)(2) to require States to utilize two specific HIPAA transaction standards for risk adjustment data collection: the ASC X12N 837 Health Care Claim transaction standard for any claims-related data including encounters; and the ASC X12N 834 Enrollment and Maintenance transaction standard for any enrollment or demographic data.

Allow me to summarize:

  1. Everyone in the country needs to be insured under the Afordable Care Act;
  2. Rates need to be set based on coverage requirements;
  3. Those requirements can only be known by comprehensive data collection of the insured (everyone in the country);
  4. The data is to be collected by the insurance agency, and must include drug coverage and “encounters” (doctor / hospital / clinic visits);
  5. The patient’s doctors must provide specific detail to the data collection agency, which may remove an individual’s identifiable information after processing.

In short, the privacy between a patient and a doctor has been removed, since insurance agencies, and state and federal agencies will be involved in funding and treatment decisions, and assigning risk scores.

Medical treatments may be approved or disapproved for economic and other reasons not consistent with the recommendations of the patient’s doctor. Thus the further assertion of the court that “Up to those points [second and third trimesters], the abortion decision in all its aspects is inherently, and primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician”, is now also false.

With the right of personal privacy removed, and abortions no longer strictly a “medical decision”, all that remains is a states interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life.

Consequently, the circumstances underlying the Roe v. Wade decision have now been rendered moot.

While no states have challenged Roe v. Wade on these grounds yet, the Obama administration and the congressional Democrats have set the foundation for this decision to overturned.

Now may every living thing, young or old, weak or strong, living near or far, known or unknown, living or departed or yet unborn, may every living thing be full of bliss.

The Dhammapada

Author: Nick Batik (the Cowboy Buddhist)

I was raised a Quaker and later converted to Buddhism around the time I met His Holiness The Dalai Lama in 1981. Along with my parents and family, I have been active in civil rights and women's rights since the 1960s. I am the product of strong women – two grandmothers who owned and ran businesses in an era when women did not own or run businesses. One of whom who was a crippled, non-english speaking immigrant, in a time and place where women couldn’t vote or own property, immigrants were feared and hated, and there were no laws, protections, or support of any kind for the handicapped. Yet, despite all this, she built a business that was franchised on three continents. I have a sister who is a medical doctor, and one who worked the North Sea oil rigs. I have traveled the world, and currently live in Texas.

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