If someone asked a question about abortion while Roe v. Wade was in effect, and then-accurate Roe-based answers were posted, should new Dobbs-based answers be posted?

2 Answers 2


If relevant, Yes. Any such answer should make clear that it is applying the new decision, and that it only applies to the law subsequent to that decision. In general, I think we should answer what the law is currently, and then optionally updating the set of answers provided when the law changes, if anyone thinks it worthwhile. Of course questions abut what the law was at a particular time in history need not be updated.

To be clear, I am thinking primarily about adding new answers to an existing question, rather than updating existing answers, particularly not updating answers initially given by others. Correcting typing, spelling and formatting errors is one thing, but we do not normally change the sense of answers given by others. Of course, if a user who previously gave an answer wants to update it, that is fine, but no one should feel compelled to do so. I add this paragraph in response to comments by IƱaki Viggers

  • "thus updating answers when the law changes." That is unrealistic and it places too much burden on contributors. Common sense is that case and/or statutory law might have changed since the posting of an answer, especially in regard to controversial issues of law that get extensive coverage in the media. Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 12:11
  • @Iñaki Viggers I don't say that there is any requirement on anyone to do such updates or improved answers, any more than there is a requirement to answer any particular question. I say only that it is appropriate for people to provide such updated answers if they so choose. Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 12:17
  • "I don't say that there is any requirement". You do portray it as corollary of something that contributors are expected to do: "we should [...], thus updating answers when the law changes". Even if the connotation of "requirement" is put aside, that wording amounts to inviting everyone to modify others' answers under the pretext that the law is different now. It also departs from the OP's idea/mention of posting (i.e., publishing a new answer). Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 13:10
  • @Iñaki Viggers Then it seems I wrote my answer poorly, and I shall edit it. Because that was not what I had in mind. Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 14:06

If you like

However, the OP presumably got their question answered (or not) which is the primary purpose of the site. Going back and changing them seems like unnecessary busy work.

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