Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg Says She Does Not Believe Roe v. Wade Will Be Overturned

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sunday during a speech at Ahavath Achim synagogue in Atlanta said that she does not believe the court will overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that effectively barred state abortion bans, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Visser, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/21).

However, Ginsburg told the crowd of 500 people that if Roe were overturned, she does "not believe" it would "prevent women of means from accessing an abortion" but would "have a devastating impact on poor women" (AP/International Herald Tribune, 10/21). According to the Journal-Constitution, if Roe were overturned, middle-class women would be able to travel to states that allow the procedure, just as women who could afford to travel to California, Hawaii and New York -- where abortion was legalized prior to Roe -- did so to obtain an abortion (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/21).

Ginsburg added that divisive issues such as abortion demonstrate the need for a strong, vigorous minority in the court, particularly in light of the more conservative court. She said she hopes the latest court term, which began this month, will be less divided than the last term. One-third of the cases during the last term -- including the case that upheld a ban on so-called "partial-birth" abortion -- were decided by one vote, the AP/Herald Tribune reports. Ginsburg said, "I will continue to dissent if in my judgment the court veers in the wrong direction when important issues are at stake" (AP/International Herald Tribune, 10/21).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the Kaiser Daily Reports online, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/. The Kaiser Daily Reports are published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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