Appeared in Fall 1993, Vol. XIX, No. 2,3

A recent issue of crisis contains an interesting article by Russell Hittinger entitled ‘Et tu, Justice Kennedy?”,1 which provides a detailed historical review of the juridical iter and thought processes leading up and subsequent to Roe v. Wade. The principal thesis of that work is that the interpretation of Roe is centered upon a reaffirmation of what is commonly termed the “central holding” of Roe. The content of the “holding” notion includes two primary arguments: i) the Fourteenth Amendment understanding of “liberty” includes a woman’s decision to abort a pre-viable fetus, and ii) overturning Roe poses a threat to “social stability,” “the rule of law,” and the “integrity of the judiciary.” Hittinger comments that “what makes Casey different from our previous judge-made laws on abortion is the migration of the abortion right from privacy to liberty.” The three cited justices explain that “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of life.”

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