Abortion: Politicians' Nightmare

January 26, 1990

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Last summer, when the Supreme Court ruled that some state regulation of abortion was permissible, anti-abortion activists were ecstatic. Their ecstasy soon turned to concern, however, as they watched their opponents use the decision as a catalyst. Now, far from seizing the opportunity to restrict abortion further, most politicians are running away from the explosive issue altogether. The public would like it to go away, too, having already made up its mind. But activists on both sides are itching for battle, and they will get one in many places. Abortion is likely to play a substantial role in the 1990 political year.

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After such a heady victory as Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, one might assume the state of Missouri would want to test the anti-abortion waters even further. After all, in upholding Missouri's law restricting abortions, the high court issued an invitation to the states to challenge the very essence of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized most abortions.

But when the Missouri Legislature returned to work on Jan. 3 for the first time since Webster, there was no mention of abortion at all on its agenda. Bridges and budgets, roads and schools, yes. But not abortion. “We did not see any need for added legislation in this area at this particular time,” Bob F. Griffin, the Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, dryly told reporters.

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Sep. 22, 2006  Abortion Showdowns
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Nov. 28, 1997  Roe v. Wade At 25
Apr. 07, 1995  Abortion Clinic Protests
Jul. 05, 1991  Teenagers and Abortion
Jan. 26, 1990  Abortion: Politicians' Nightmare
Oct. 16, 1987  Abortion Policy
Jan. 14, 1983  Abortion: Decade of Debate
Oct. 22, 1976  Abortion Politics
Jul. 24, 1970  Abortion Law Reform
Oct. 06, 1965  Abortion in Law and Medicine
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