Abortion and American Politics

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Chatham House, 1993 - Political Science - 382 pages
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How the deeply divisive abortion controversy has played out on state and national levels during the past two decades provides an illustrative portrait, even if in some ways a disappointing reflection, of the operation of American government and politics. In Abortion and American Politics, Barbara H. Craig and David M. O'Brien tell the story of this explosive social issue, from the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, through the years of grass-roots activism and public debate that led to the de-turning 1989 decision in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services and to the no less controversial 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Against the background of ambiguities of public opinion polls, the authors trace the strategic maneuvering of interest groups in bringing litigation and in pushing for legislation and executive action. And they underscore the prospects for further changes in the national debate over abortion with the Clinton administration's policies and its judicial appointees. Without attempting to resolve the abortion controversy or to advocate one or another position, Craig and O'Brien present a comprehensive analysis of the complex interaction of interest groups, the states, the courts, Congress, and the president and the executive branch. As a case study of institutional conflict over public policy, Abortion and American Politics demonstrates the enduring vitality of the Founders' vision of a system of constitutional politics that allows for incremental change as a means to ensure stability in the face of unyielding social controversy.

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Contents

Roe v Wade the Burger Court and
1
1 The Texas Abortion Law
11
Interest Groups Battle over Roe 3 5
35
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Barbara Hinkson Craig is Professor of Governement, Wesleyan University and the author of "The Legislative Veto: Congressional Control of Legislation.

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