WASHINGTON -- May 23 -- The Supreme Court's decision today to hear New Hampshire's appeal of two lower court decisions that struck down the state's law restricting young women's access to abortion is a reminder to Americans that the constitutional protections of Roe v. Wade hang in the balance of a 5-4 court.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the courts decision to take up this case comes at a time when the U.S. Senate is debating the "nuclear option," a proposal by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to make it easier to clear the way for a Supreme Court nominee from Bush who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"The Supreme Court is once again going revisit the fundamental principle surrounding a woman's right to choose. The American values of freedom and responsibility are on the line whenever a case on this issue is heard. With such a closely divided court, the risk to women's health and freedom underscores the importance of not giving President Bush a blank check to pack the court with whomever he pleases," Keenan said. "The decision to hear this case comes on the eve of the Senate's vote on the 'nuclear option,' which would make it easier for President Bush to pack the Supreme Court with justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Americans oppose the nuclear optionand oppose the President's push to outlaw abortion. The Supreme Court needs to continue to protect womens health and uphold the constitutional right to privacy."
The New Hampshire appeal is the first abortion-related case since the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Stenberg v. Carhart in 2000 that struck down Nebraska's abortion ban.
For access to NARAL Pro-Choice America's fact sheet on abortion-related Supreme Court cases, please click here.