The Corner

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Even Pro-Lifers


misunderstand abortion law, as Alan Dowd’s article on NRO today shows. Dowd believes that “Roe v. Wade did not legalize abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy,” but allowed restrictions after the first trimester. As time went on, he writes, abortion in “the second and third trimesters became as sacrosanct as [abortion in] the first.” Not true. Roe has to be read in conjunction with Doe v. Bolton, the companion case that was handed down the same day. Together they legalized abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Any restrictions in the second and third trimester had to include an exception for health, and Doe defined health so broadly that the exception swallowed the rule.


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