January 13, 2006


Is Roe v. Wade already collapsing? (Ellen Goodman, January 13, 2006, Boston Globe)

TO KNOW what's at stake in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, it's best to travel 1,200 miles west from the paneled Senate room to a small nondescript clinic in a Great Plains state. [...]

This is the only clinic in the state and this is the only day in the week when a woman can get an abortion in South Dakota. Today, they'll be treated by one of four doctors flown in from Minneapolis because it's impossible to recruit locally. Today's doctor is Miriam McCreary, a mother of four and grandmother of nine, who graduated from medical school in 1958. At 70, she still knows ''how desperate women are to end their pregnancies."

One clinic, one day, one doctor. This is what it's like in South Dakota right now under Roe v. Wade. It's also like this in North Dakota and Mississippi, and not very different in Arkansas or a dozen other states.

Antiabortion lobbyists here boast that South Dakota is the legislative laboratory for testing and imposing state restrictions.

This is exactly the direction we were headed prior to Roe, with abortion being fairly available in the secular Blue states and restricted in the religious Red states and it's where we'll end up after it's overturned. It's unsatisfactory to both sides but inevitable in a democratic society.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 13, 2006 9:32 AM

Oh, Horrors! The residents of my home state are using social disapproval to ensure hardly anyone performs abortions! This infringement on womens' rights MUST BE STOPPED NOW!!!

Oh, wait, it's South Dakota. Or is it North Dakota? Like, I keep mixing up the two.

Ms. Goodman, SoDak may bleed young people after graduation, but it certainly has better prospects than your oh-so-enlightened and proper Massachusetts does.

Posted by: Brad S at January 13, 2006 10:11 AM

1. How James Lileks once described Ellen Goodman and people like her:

I dont read her much, because its a variety of columnist I cant abide - inches and inches of miffed melancholic vague agony over . . . things. . . . worried souls whose columns always make you feel as though youre chewing a damp blanket.

If memory serves me correctly, about 10 years ago Ellen Goodman actually used the phrase "dancing the 'Macarena' on the third rock from the sun."

2. No wonder she's so upset at the prospect that pregnancies might actually be carried to term, and, horror of horrors, babies actually born in South Dakota.

Posted by: Mike Morley at January 13, 2006 10:36 AM

Golly gee! Does this mean that the dismanteling of the death machine will proceed step by step and not with the single stroke of overruling Roe v. Wade?

Who could have predicted such a thing?

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 13, 2006 10:59 AM

There are always women desparate to be rid of their children, it's only when they're born that people like Goodmen agree that there's something wrong with them. Beforehand, it's only right.

Posted by: RC at January 13, 2006 2:33 PM

If a Supreme Court majority rules the Constitution protects the right to life, abortion could be abolished in all 50 states. Orrin, do not give up hope just yet.

Posted by: Vince at January 14, 2006 12:14 AM

Abortion will not be abolished in all 50 states, not even 25.

Hope, however, is a comfort to hold, as long as one doesn't confuse "hope" with "destiny".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 14, 2006 4:37 AM