Tuesday July 13, 2010

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg: ‘We Will Never Go Back’ to Outlawing Abortion

By Kathleen Gilbert

ASPEN, Colorado, July 13, 2010 ( – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg insisted last Thursday that America would “never go back” to outlawing the murder of the unborn, now that a whole generation of women has experienced the effects of Roe v. Wade.

“Over a generation of young women have grown up, understanding they can control their own reproductive capacity, and in fact their life’s destiny,” Ginsburg said in remarks at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “We will never go back to the way it once was.”

Ginsburg went on to point out that, should the Supreme Court restrict Roe, “the only women who would be truly affected are poor women.” “Because even at the time before Roe, women who wanted abortions could have a safe, legal abortion … Women could travel from one state to another and didn’t have to go to Japan or Cuba.”

“Whatever the court may do, it’s only the poor women who will suffer,” she said. “When people realize that, maybe they will have a different attitude.”

Ginsburg has previously lamented the lack of full abortion availability for low-income populations – although her argument was framed in less-than-altruistic terms.

“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 told Emily Bazelon of the New York Times one year ago.

“So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.”

Ginsburg also took a moment to say she was “so glad that Elena [Kagan] is joining us,” although the U.S. Supreme Court candidate’s nomination has not yet been approved by the Senate.