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Abortion and the Supreme Court

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Decision of the Supreme Court - refusal to consider pro-life organisations as dangerous.
    1. SC and the pro-lifers who demonstrate outside abortion clinics.
  3. The abortion issue as a topical interest.
    1. The situation of South Dakota.
    2. The 2 new judges of the SC and their opinion about abortion.
  4. Understanding what the situation of abortion in the USA.
    1. Abortion in the USA.
    2. Why is the debate reopening today?
    3. Abortion as a political issue.
  5. Conclusion.

Abortion is one of the most controversial topics of the American society. Even after Roe v Wade, a 1973 ruling of the Supreme Court permitting abortion, the debate has always been of topical interest. In this feature of The Economist published on the 4th of March 2006, a South Dakota's bill that would entirely ban abortion is considered. The reconstituted Supreme Court, after the nomination of John Roberts and Samuel Alito as Justices, will probably have to rule on that state decision. But the journalist rather presents this event as a symbol, and insists on the fact that other threats hang over the thirty-three-year-old abortion right. After a summary of the article, I will comment upon abortion in the USA, the role the Supreme Court has to play in this skirmish and the political consequences of a decision concerning abortion.

[...] On the 28th of February, the SC stated that pro-lifers who demonstrate outside abortion clinics cannot, I quote, deemed to be engaged in extortion or racketeering, despite their organising methods and occasional threats of violence?. Pro-lifers are people who defend life and consider abortion as a murder; so they try to prevent women from having an abortion. They are opposed to pro-choicers, who claim the woman's right to decide if she wants a child or not. Pro-lifers sometimes demonstrate outside abortion clinics or use very strong methods: they have already set fire to clinics or even killed doctors practising abortion; in 1998 in Buffalo, doctors Slepian and Press, who were the only ones in the whole area to dare to practise abortion, were murdered. [...]

[...] But, according to estimation, around 20 states would ban abortion if the SC decided to let them rule about it. And the case of South Dakota is not isolated, as seen. A lot of states ban abortion when the foetus is viable; the debate concerns the number of months of pregnancy before the foetus can be considered as viable. But they introduce a lot of controls and authorizations to try and make the process harder. Moreover, abortion is less and less payed off. [...]

[...] Annexe The Economist, March 4th 2006 Abortion and the Supreme Court A pop quiz The views of Samuel Alito and John Roberts will soon be tested. To the extent that most Americans follow the Supreme Court, February 28th was notable for the appearance before the justices of Anna Nicole Smith a blonde widow of a rich nonagerian who complains that she inherited too few of his millions. However, for America's culture warriors, it was marked by another crucial skirmish in the abortion wars. [...]

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