The American Bar Association (ABA) has infuriated many of its member attorneys with its official approval of abortion rights and of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

After more than two hours of sharp debate at the organization’s annual winter meeting last month, the ABA’s House of Delegates passed a resolution recognizing “the fundamental rights of privacy and equality guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” and opposing “legislation or other governmental action that interferes with … the decision to terminate the pregnancy at any time before the fetus is capable of independent life.…

The group, which represents some 360,000 lawyers, has taken prochoice stands on individual measures in the past, but this was the first time it has gone on record with regard to the constitutional principles of Roe. A report given to delegates prior to the vote asserted that the resolution was “particularly important in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, and the ensuing efforts by abortion opponents to substantially curtail the scope of the rights originally recognized in Roe.”

Abortion opponents fear the ABA will use the resolution to bolster its political clout in lobbying Congress on abortion legislation and in filing friend-of-the-court briefs before the Supreme Court.

Planned Parenthood president Faye Wattleton, who made remarks during the ABA debate last month, in a statement called it “fitting” that the ABA “has taken a position in support of reproductive choice.”

Not all lawyers agree. “We’re very disappointed that the ABA has gotten involved in a political issue,” said Paige Cunningham of the prolife law firm Americans United for Life. “The ABA membership ...

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