Letters to the editor
Saturday, February 5, 2005
Monday's excellent Commentary column by Terry Eastland ("Abortion fandango"), discussing the extreme nature of the abortion right created by Roe v. Wade, itself stopped short of the mark. It is true that Roe made abortion legal for any reason before viability and for maternal health reasons after, but this description fails to note the court's definition of "health."
According to Doe v. Bolton, a decision issued the same day as Roe, "health" reasons for post-viability abortion include "physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age." That is why it's fair to say that there are no significant legal barriers to abortion during any stage of pregnancy in the United States. Most people, Republican and Democrat alike, think an unlimited right to abortion is wrong.
CATHY CLEAVER RUSE
Director of planning and information
Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops