The Bob Jones ruling strikes against religious freedom, and the abortion decision devastates the right-to-life movement.

An article on the Bob Jones decision follows this article.

The Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to opponents of abortion when it ruled last month that state laws restricting abortion-on-demand are unconstitutional. The six-to-three ruling reaffirmed the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. The ruling also extended the 1973 decision considerably by nullifying state laws that require women to be hospitalized for late abortions, to be informed about fetal development, and to be given a 24-hour waiting period before going through with the operation.

However, leading the dissent was Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who wrote a strongly worded rebuttal in which she challenges the underpinnings of the 1973 ruling and points out that it is “clearly on a collision course with itself” due to advances in medical technology. The health risks of later abortions are being reduced, she said, yet at the same time, premature babies are surviving at much higher rates, and surgical procedures on the unborn are becoming commonplace.

Leaders of the right-to-life movement, most of whom opposed O’Connor’s 1981 appointment, praised her decisive stance, one which has brought biting criticism from women’s rights groups. Five of the six justices forming the majority in this ruling are at least 75 years old, and prolife leaders believe just a few more Reagan appointments to the Court could completely alter its stand on the issue.

For the present, though, prolifers concede that prospects for the unborn are grimmer than ever. More clinics will be licensed to do more abortions, and at cheaper rates than have ...

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