It would not take much to overturn the Roe decision. With four of the nine members of the Supreme Court over 70 years old, the next occupant of the White House could have the opportunity to appoint one or more new justices. If say, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member, retired and Mr. Romney named a replacement hostile to abortion rights, the basic right to abortion might well not survive. […]
Mr. Romney is a vocal supporter of this continuing drive in the states and in Congress to limit the constitutional right, even without overturning Roe. To a large degree, the anti-abortion forces have succeeded. In 1982, there were about 2,900 providers nationwide; as of 2008, there were less than 1,800. In 97 percent of the counties that are outside of metropolitan areas, there are no abortion providers at all.
We do not need to guess about the brutal consequences of overturning Roe. We know from our own country’s pre-Roe history and from the experience around the world. Women desperate to end a pregnancy would find a way to do so. Well-to-do women living in places where abortion is illegal would travel to other states where it is legal to obtain the procedure. Women lacking the resources would either be forced by the government and politicians to go through with an unwanted or risky pregnancy, attempt to self-abort or turn to an illegal — and potentially unsafe — provider for help. Women’s health, privacy and equality would suffer. Some women would die.
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