Abortion, Politics, and the Courts: Roe v. Wade and Its Aftermath

By Eva R. Rubin | Go to book overview

4

The Politicization of Abortion

The first signs of reaction came quickly. The Court's decision was greeted with elation by women's organizations that had been fighting a generally unsuccessful battle to get restrictive state abortion laws repealed. They thought this was the most far-reaching constitutional and legal advance for women's rights since women had gained the right to vote. 1 Women congratulated themselves on having had a great deal to do with producing this favorable decision. Teach-ins, speak-outs, picket lines, demonstrations, lobbying, and class action suits had paid off handsomely. The secret to success, they believed, had been the change from the futility of ladylike lobbying efforts in legislative committee rooms to dramatic, direct-action tactics that demonstrated the strength of public opinion in favor of legal change and also helped give women, singly and in groups, the courage to bring the problem out into the open. 2 Women's rights advocates realized that the victory would not be complete until abortions were freely available for poor women as well as for rich women. They also predicted that ingenious maneuverings would be tried to forestall compliance with the Court's ruling. 3 More litigation would probably be necessary to require hospitals to perform abortions, to bring

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Abortion, Politics, and the Courts: Roe v. Wade and Its Aftermath
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in American Studies - Series Editor: Robert H. Walker *
  • Abortion, Politics, and the Courts - Roe V. Wade and Its Aftermath *
  • Contents *
  • Preface *
  • Introduction *
  • I - Conflict and Constitutional Decision *
  • 1 - Reformers and Legislatures *
  • 2 - Into the Courts: Litigation for Social Change *
  • 3 - In the Supreme Court *
  • 4 - The Politicization of Abortion *
  • II - Aftermath: the Conflict Restructured *
  • 5 - The State Legislative Response *
  • 6 - On the National Level: Federal Action and Inaction *
  • Afterword *
  • Chronology 1980-1986 *
  • Notes *
  • Selected Bibliography *
  • Index to Cases *
  • Subject Index *
  • About the Author *
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