Magazine July 30, 2018, Issue

Life after Roe

Gloria Allred (right) and Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) demonstrate at the Supreme Court in 1990. (Greg Gibson/AFP/Getty Images)
How might its overturning affect our politics?

By the late 1980s, President Ronald Reagan had made three appointments to the Supreme Court. In 1989, the Court upheld restrictions on abortion passed by the Missouri legislature. Then President George H. W. Bush made two additional appointments. When the Court took up another abortion case during the term ending in 1992, many people expected that it would overturn Roe v. Wade.

It didn’t. Instead, three of the justices appointed by Reagan and Bush — Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, and David Souter — wrote an opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that reaffirmed Roe while also modifying it.

Pro-lifers were on

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Wisconsin Spring

Charles J. Sykes reviews The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics, by Dan Kaufman.


The Week

The Week

The Chinese cat that accurately predicted World Cup matches died suddenly. But are they sure it isn’t just flopping?


The Latest



When I saw the chop-suey font in the CNN story I was reminded of a powdered-drink product from my youth: Funny Face.