Protecting the innocent is not authoritarian
Here is a policy proposal: Decriminalize the murder of children up to one year old. After all, infants are not fully self-aware yet and if they can be euthanized painlessly there is no reason to burden parents who decide they do not want to continue raising a child. Denying parents this choice would be needlessly authoritarian. Who are we to tell parents that they must be responsible for this thing for another 18 years or more? We should allow parents to make their own choices about their reproduction.
Note: That was sarcasm.
A columnist for the New York Times argues that a national abortion ban would be "authoritarian" and that Republicans' claims that they want to return abortion to the states was never believable. But in order to argue that premise, she builds it on a false premise. I have been involved in the anti-abortion movement since 1996, it has never been the position of the movement that abortion should be allowed in any state.
A national abortion ban operates under the same premise as the 13th Amendment: Slavery is a violation of human rights, especially slavery based on kidnapping. Therefore, slavery will not be allowed in any state. Terminating an innocent human life is also a great moral evil, and must not be allowed either. No serious person would argue in 2021 that it is "authoritarian" to make it illegal to force a person to work without pay, and the same logic should apply to protecting unborn babies.
The columnist argues that using the 14th Amendment to protect the unborn is "preposterous," because the amendment "defines citizens as 'all persons born or naturalized in the United States." However, this ignores the rest of Section 1, the txt of which is below:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Note that the "nor shall" phrases do not depend on citizenship. The 14th Amendment defines citizenship, but does not limit civil rights to citizens only. It extends civil rights to "any person" within a state's jurisdiction. This means an immigrant (legal or illegal) cannot be imprisoned, fined or executed without due process or denied equal protection simply because he or she is not a citizen. There is plenty of scientific evidence to define unborn babies as "persons," so providing equal protection under laws against murder would be perfectly consistent with an originalist interpretation.
There is no reason it needs to be difficult to give an unborn baby the same legal protections as a baby one week older (or one week younger) who has been born already. You simply outlaw the procedure. Despite hysterical claims from the pro-abortion side, this does not require "police-state surveillance and coercion." Given that up to 50% of pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage, it is both unnecessary and wildly impractical to investigate every miscarriage as an intentional abortion. That is not being seriously considered, despite the dishonest claims of abortion "rights" advocates.
In the end, the entire premise of the column - that we should value "democracy" when it comes to abortion - is irreconcilable with the basic premise of our nation. That premise is we our endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. Rights are not decided by majority rule. This nation is not and never was a democracy. We are a constitutional republic where the rights of the individual (or the minority) are protected from the tyranny of the majority. That should include unborn babies.