Gonzales v. Carhart: One Year Later
Letting the People Decide
By Denise M. Burke
Vice President & Legal Director, Americans United for Life
One year ago, the public debate over abortion was irrevocably altered. In the landmark Gonzales v. Carhart decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion and, more importantly, abdicated, at least in part, its role as the “National Abortion Control Board.”
In its decision, the Court signaled an increasing willingness to blunt attempts by abortion extremists to use the courts to unilaterally impose their radical agenda on the American public, and an increasing willingness to let the people decide abortion policy. The immediate reaction of activists, state legislators, and the public confirmed this critical shift.
While abortion extremists hastily recycled the hyperbolic rhetoric of the 1970s, legislators and the public increasingly considered prudent responses to the mounting evidence of the negative impact of abortion on women. [more]