Magazine September 1, 2021, Issue

Fighting for Life

(Mehau Kulyk/Science Photo Library)
There may never be a better chance to undo Roe

In 1990, after President George H. W. Bush nominated David Souter to the Supreme Court, the president of the National Organization for Women testified that he would be the decisive fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and that as a result “the underworld will flourish with back-alley abortion butchers.” This type of lurid charge has become part of the background noise of American politics. In every presidential election, in every judicial-confirmation fight over a Republican nominee, in every lawsuit that touches on abortion, the 1973 precedent is said to be hanging by a thread, and with it such weighty

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