Our U.S. representative, Vicky Hartzler, was one of 207 members of Congress to sign a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court asking that Roe v. Wade be overturned.

This apparently reflects the belief that the Supreme Court is a political body, when, in fact, it deals with legal — not political — matters.

For those who have been asleep for the past 47 or so years (the Supreme Court issued the ruling in 1973), Roe v. Wade is the legal ruling that permitted a woman’s decision on abortion to be between herself and her doctor. It is ultimately the woman’s decision.

The ruling was issued on the basis of the right to privacy in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and rejected a Texas law claiming otherwise.

But Hartzler would throw all that out. Never mind about the Constitution. Never mind about a woman’s right to privacy. Never mind about a woman’s right to choose.

Hartzler, our representative in the U.S. Congress, disregards all that in her apparently fervent belief that negating Roe v. Wade would protect the unborn.

While the virulent opponents and proponents of abortion and the rights of the unborn continue to rile the political environment, neither side has advanced new information since at least 1973, and probably before.

What all the arguments boil down to is a belief, not facts. The opponents of abortion believe that life begins at conception. The proponents believe that life begins at birth. Neither of these rely on scientific facts.

But back to the point: The U.S. Supreme Court is not a political body. It does not consider how many are for and how many are against an issue.

The court does not react to emails and letters from either side in what is essentially a legal matter. Nor does it factor in the number of letters from one side or the other and compare and contrast the numbers for and against.

It does not place the letters of opposition and the letters of support side by side and rule on the basis of the bigger stack.


The U.S. Supreme Court deals strictly in legal issues and does not factor in the number who are for versus those who are against. When considering Roe v. Wade, the court looked only at the U.S. Constitution. It did not consider the political arguments or the beliefs of either side.

That is what Hartzler has ignored. A woman’s right to decide is a U.S. Supreme Court decision based on law, not a letter from members of Congress.

More to the point, it’s unclear whether Hartzler has taken the pulse of citizens in her district or whether she was acting on her belief. The last national poll showed an overwhelming majority (67-75%) of citizens favored keeping Roe v. Wade.

Hartzler appears to be representing herself and not the majority of citizens of her district. But the U.S. Supreme Court does not react to letters of opposition or support. The U.S. Supreme Court acts on legal matters, not political ones,

And that is how it should be.

About opinions in the Missourian: The Missourian’s Opinion section is a public forum for the discussion of ideas. The views presented in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Missourian or the University of Missouri. If you would like to contribute to the Opinion page with a response or an original topic of your own, visit our submission form.

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