protection to the right to choose an abortion would essentially preserve the status quo as it has been established by Roe v. Wade and its progeny.
Not surprisingly, however, the central historical function of amendments has been to initiate change. Amendments have played particularly important roles in extending voting and other civil rights, in making minor alterations in governmental structures and mechanisms, 70 and in reversing, or attempting to reverse, unpopular Supreme Court decisions. Not since the Bill of Rights has the nation ratified an amendment or set of amendments simply to preserve the status quo or forestall change. While the amending process is thus chiefly an agent of change, the people may just as easily use it to return the nation to a past practice or to sanction or extend a change that has already begun within the states or elsewhere in the political system as to inaugurate something new under the sun.