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2007-04-18

Right now, go to the Supreme Court's web site and read Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissenting opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart. (It begins on page 49 of the PDF file.) Her writing is clear and incisive, and is an excellent discussion and review of why abortion rights are so important.

Here are some especially quotable highlights from her opinion:

"Today's decision is alarming." (Page 3)

"Legal challenges to undue restrictions on abortion procedures do not seek to vindicate some generalized notion of privacy; rather, they center on a woman's autonomy to determine her life's course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature." (Page 4)

"Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety. This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution---ideas that have long since been discredited." (Pages 17-18)

"In sum, the notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational." (Page 24)

"In candor, the Act, and the Court's defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court---and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives." (Page 24)

Ginsburg was joined in this opinion by justices John Paul Stevens, David Hackett Souter, and Stephen G. Breyer. Remember those names. And remember the names of the five men who are eroding women's equality in the United States: Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. And when you vote in 2008, remember who appoints Supreme Court justices.