It's scary to think that without the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, many states might still outlaw abortion today. This ruling, and no written law, is the only thing guaranteeing that the government cannot restrict a woman's right to an abortion whatsoever before viability. But it might not be a lifetime guarantee.
As the fervor around the abortion debate demonstrates, many people want to do away with this status quo, and since some on today's court willingly overrule precedent, no one should regard Roe v. Wade as safe. Thus, as with other presidents, abortion concerns will surely influence President Obama's upcoming Supreme Court nomination. He said yesterday: "I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women's rights."
Clearly many states disagree that women have a right to abortion, and some lawmakers are doing their best to restrict access. Nebraska blatantly challenged Roe v. Wade this month by passing a law that prohibits abortion before viability. If that case found itself in front of a Supreme Court majority that supports the "right to life," guaranteed abortion rights could significantly change throughout the country. What's more worrisome? As Newsweek reports, young people who agree with Roe seem growingly apathetic about defending a woman's right to choose.
Do you ever worry that you may no longer have a right to legal, and thus safe, abortion?