January 22, 2013
Forty years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that women had a constitutional right to an abortion. This one sweeping decision transformed abortion from what was often a secret, illicit and dangerous act, sometimes crudely self-inflicted, into a generally legal and safe procedure. But it also turned abortion, always an emotional issue, into one of society's most divisive. Unlike many landmark Supreme Court cases that have become accepted parts of our culture - such as Brown vs. Board of Education, which declared school segregation unconstitutional, or Loving vs. Virginia, which overturned state bans on interracial marriage - Roe did not lead to a clear national consensus on abortion.
January 22, 2013 |
Forty years after the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision struck down laws forbidding abortions, support for a legal right to end a pregnancy has grown, according to new polls released this week. The shift has come largely from increased support for legal abortion among Latinos and blacks, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal survey . The survey for the first time found a majority of Americans supporting legal abortion in all or most cases. The shift among African Americans and Latinos could indicate that both population groups, which have strongly supported the Democratic Party in recent years, have begun taking on the party's views on social issues.
October 2, 2011 |
Because I wrote a book with "Atheist" in the subtitle and I go on political TV shows to hawk that book, well-groomed meat puppets frequently ask me why politicians like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are saying bugnutty Christian stuff. I have an idea why these politicians have gone all religious, but I haven't found a way to explain it in a sound bite, which is why I'm writing this. I think the whole problem comes down to the word "Christian" and what it has come to mean in my lifetime.
April 25, 2010 |
Nebraska's Abortion Pain Prevention Act, signed into law last week, appears to have a quite reasonable aim: to prevent fetuses from feeling pain during abortions. In fact, the law, which bans abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant, is yet another attempt to undo Roe vs. Wade and abolish a woman's constitutional right to a pre-viability abortion. To do this, the law takes a disingenuous path, one well trodden by antiabortion legislation passed in the decades since Roe. Abortion legislation today commonly masquerades as something much smaller than a call to ban all abortions.
September 28, 2009 |
It is one of the enduring questions of religion and science, and lately of American politics: When does a fertilized egg become a person? Abortion foes, tired of a profusion of laws that limit but do not abolish abortion, are trying to answer the question in a way that they hope could put an end to legalized abortion. Across the country, they have revived efforts to amend state constitutions to declare that personhood -- and all rights accorded human beings -- begins at conception.
May 29, 2009 |
The White House scrambled Thursday to assuage worries from liberal groups about Judge Sonia Sotomayor's scant record on abortion rights, delivering strong but vague assurances that the Supreme Court nominee agrees with President Obama's belief in constitutional protections for a woman's right to the procedure.