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Martin Garbus

Martin Garbus

Posted: February 22, 2006 11:28 AM

The End of Abortion for Two-Thirds of America


The Supreme Court next term will reverse Stenberg v. Cathart where the Supreme Court found the Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 unconstitutional. Samuel Alito, replacing Sandra Day O'Connor, will now become the swing vote. Justice Kennedy, who previously voted to uphold the act on the grounds that a partial birth abortion shocked his conscience, will go along with Justice Alito. Any illusion that Justice Kennedy would step into Justice O'Connor's "swing position" will be shattered.

A recent study found that 94% of the counties in the Mid-West and 91% in the South had no abortion provider. Thirty-four percent of all women live in counties that do not have one. That is the situation with Roe v. Wade.

This is just the beginning. South Dakota's new law, the most sweeping anti-abortion law passed by any state since Roe v. Wade, will, when it reaches the Supreme Court, also be upheld.

By the time the South Dakota law arrives in the Supreme Court, the probabilities are that two of the present liberal justices will be gone. Justice John Paul Stevens is 85 and the next oldest judge is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The decision in these two abortion cases, the partial-birth abortion case coming up next term and the South Dakota law, give us a window into the next 25 years of Supreme Court decisions. The original anti-abortion plan to eviscerate the present law in small ways - by parental notification rules, waiting periods before abortions, and enormous financial and paperwork requirements for clinics, will soon become unnecessary.

We now will see a frontal attack on Roe v. Wade rather than the attacks solely on restrictions. Encouraged, Conservatives will also start to make a frontal attack on some of the most significant decisions of Roosevelt's New Deal Court and the Warren Court.

The Roberts and Alito nominations are the beginning of a powerful Conservative Court that will dramatically change this country.