Supreme Court Control on Abortion Will be Key 2008 Election Issue

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 13, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Supreme Court Control on Abortion Will be Key 2008 Election Issue Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 13,

Washington, DC ( — With the Supreme Court perhaps just one vote away from having a majority of justices willing to reverse the Roe v. Wade decision, the 2008 elections could be the deciding factor in determining if legalized abortion will be stopped or continue for decades. Both sides of the abortion debate are already preparing for battle.

Although the high court upheld a ban on partial-birth abortions this April, most observers believe the court is, at best, split along a 5-4 line in favor of upholding Roe.

President Bush has appointed two judges in Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito whom pro-life advocates believe would join Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in reversing the landmark decision.

However, it appears the president will not likely get another chance to appoint a Supreme Court justice unless someone passes away.

As a result, the next president will likely shape the future of the court on abortion — a fact not lost on both sides of the abortion divide.

Ralph Neas, president of the pro-abortion activist group People for the American Way, told the news web site Politico on Monday that abortion advocacy organizations like his are focusing on both the presidential campaign and top Senate races.

He wants control not only of the White House but of the Senate and the confirmation process on its Judiciary Committee, which pro-abortion Democrats currently control by a one vote margin.

“When you are dealing with hypotheticals, when you talk about civil rights, privacy, Roe v. Wade, many people didn’t take it seriously," he told Politico of the potential that the 2008 elections could determine the fate of abortion. “Now, it is no longer a hypothetical, but it is real. That makes a big difference.”

“At stake in the 2008 election is what the law of the land will be for the next three or four decades,” Neas added.

John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, recognizes the tenuous nature of the 2008 elections as well and said pro-life advocates "are in big trouble" if they sit out next year.

“We might have a chance to elect a conservative who could produce historical pro-life and pro-family victories in battles many of us have been fighting all of our lives,” Stemberger wrote on TownHall recently.

As with Neas, NARAL, Planned Parenthood and others plan to not only target the presidential race but to go after pro-life senators such as Norm Coleman of Minnesota, John Sununu of New Hampshire, and Pete Domenici of New Mexico.

If abortion advocates can retain the House and Senate and capture the White House as well, they will also likely threaten many of the pro-life policies that protect taxpayers from funding abortions or embryonic stem cell research.

Pro-life advocates would do well to get organized now for the 2008 elections because, as Ramona Oliver, a spokeswoman for EMILY’s List, told Politico, abortion will be a "major motivator" for pro-abortion activists next year.