Thursday, December 14, 2000
Impact on Abortion
Changing law won't be simple or easy
By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer
While the abortion lines were drawn during the election, it is unclear what will happen next.
Although George W. Bush's opposition to abortion is well established, Congress is nearly evenly divided, which could make any legislation tough to pass.
It's just that the situation is so unclear at the moment, said Carole Rogers, director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio. With the numbers being so close, it's hard to know how it might play out.
Some abortion-rights supporters say the stakes could be high in a Bush administration, that the makeup of the Supreme Court could be reshaped for a generation, endangering a woman's right to choose an abortion.
Conservatives, though, hope that if Mr. Bush gets the opportunity to appoint justices to the high court, he will choose those who are hard-line against abortion.
But both sides are beginning to realize that the nomination of a partisan justice would not win Senate approval, where Republicans and Democrats are evenly split.
Mr. Bush stated throughout the campaign that he opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. He also said he would sign a bill that would ban a type of late-term procedure that is often called partial-birth abortion.
He maintains he would not use abortion as a litmus test to appoint justices, though he has indicated the justices he most admires are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Those two justices are widely viewed as the court's two most resolute conservatives and reliable foes of court rulings extending abortion rights.
Dr. John Willke of Finneytown, who founded the Right to Life Movement 30 years ago with his wife, said if any anti-abortion legislation makes it to Mr. Bush's desk he thinks the president would sign it.
He's more pro-life than his father, he said.
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TELL US WHAT YOU THINK
Local voters just glad it's over
Lawmakers talk conciliation
Ohio could reap the spoils
Tristate Republicans could win appointments
Kentuckians see friend in Bush
Tristate scholars consider lessons, impact of election
Impact on Abortion
Impact on Education
Impact on Environment/energy
Impact on Health Care
Impact on Social Security
Bush electors in the Tristate