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Justice Ginsburg: Pro-life laws are a ‘crying shame’ because they make it harder for poor women to get abortions

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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 18, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has called state laws protecting the unborn in the U.S. a “crying shame.”

Ginsburg argued in an MSNBC interview Monday that abortion helps women, specifically poor women, and said that the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade is “the worst case” scenario.

Granting her status as “a champion of reproductive freedom,” the NBC network asked Ginsburg how “it feels” for her to look across the country, seeing “states passing restrictions that make it inaccessible if not technically illegal.”

“Inaccessible to poor women,” Ginsburg responded with a clarification. “It’s not true that it’s inaccessible to women of means. And that’s the crying shame.”

Numerous states have enacted laws in recent years regulating the abortion industry, either requiring that certain health standards be met to protect pregnant mothers, or recognizing fetal pain. The laws are regarded by the pro-abortion movement as an assault on so-called “reproductive rights.”

Ginsburg insisted that the country would not go back to the “old ways” of prohibiting abortion, but still decried the disparity in access to abortion between “women of means” and the poor.

“We will never see a day when women of means are not able to get a safe abortion in this country,” she continued. “There are states – take the worst case. Suppose Roe v. Wade is overruled. There will still be a number of states that will not go back to old ways.”

MSNBC questioned Ginsburg about legislative action closing abortion mills “creating barriers in front of women,” to which she persisted in the theme that inability to access abortion harms poor women.

“Yes, but who does that - who does that hurt? It hurts women who lack the means to go someplace else,” Ginsburg replied, continuing later, “But the situation with abortion right now, by all the restrictions, they operate against the woman who doesn’t have freedom to move, to go where she is able to get safely what she wants.”

Ginsburg said that overturning of Roe v. Wade could happen, but that it is unlikely.

“This court is highly precedent bound,” she said.

The Supreme Court had the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade in the past, said Ginsburg, but the justices ruled in the 1992 Casey decision that they would not deviate from the previous precedent. 

“They did more than that. They gave a reason, a rationale that was absent in Roe v. Wade itself,” she said.  

Ginsburg went on to say that Roe v. Wade was as much about a doctor’s right to practice his profession as he sees fit, and that this mistakenly put that on the par with women’s “reproductive rights.”

“The Casey decision recognized that this is not as much about a doctor’s right to practice his profession,” she said. “But about a woman’s right to control her life destiny.”

Ginsburg’s statements echo remarks she made February 4 to a crowd of Georgetown law students, where she said they might have to fight to maintain legalized abortion for the poor given the new state laws regulating abortion.

A student asked her what can be done in response to the new laws.

"It will depend on women of your age if you care about this," Ginsburg said, according to National Law Journal. "There will never be a time when women of means won't have a choice," said Ginsburg, before again expounding on "the worst case scenario" of Roe v. Wade being overturned, saying that some states will still allow abortion, asserting again this will hurt poor women.

"A woman who can afford a plane ticket or a bus ticket will have a choice,” Ginsburg told the students. “Women who won't have that choice are poor women."

The “we will never go back” on abortion idea has been a recurring theme for Ginsburg, who has established a decidedly liberal track record in her two decades-plus on the high court.

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In 2004, 13 Republican members of Congress wrote urging her to withdraw from rulings involving abortion, saying her involvement with the pro-abortion National Organization of Women Legal Defense and Education Fund disqualified her as an impartial arbiter in these cases.

Ginsburg has also said she won’t attend the annual Catholic Red Mass for lawmakers because she was once offended at a Red Mass by the pro-life homily.

Ginsburg faced some backlash in 2009 for statements echoing the eugenics component of the abortion movement.

“Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of,” Ginsburg had told the New York Times.   

She later appeared to backpedal on the remarks.

Ginsburg officiated a homosexual “marriage” in August 2013, and then again in October of that year, and more recently she famously dissented against the majority of her peers in the 2014 Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision.

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