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An Abortion Rights Perspective on Alito

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Now on to Marcia Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women's Law Center.

Ms. MARSHA GREENBERGER (Co-President of the National Women's Law Center): While Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, it's important to remember that legislatures do have to follow it and therefore litigation in Federal Court will still remain a strategy, as will litigation in state courts because there are state constitutions that give women some protections, too.

A second big strategy, however, is to begin an extremely intensive focus in the states and in Congress and with respect to the Executive Branch and the president as well so that the American public, men and women, know what kind of power would be in the hands of elected officials who are hostile to Roe v. Wade and women's rights. And that they would have enormous power if elected.

BLOCK: When you look at the laws that have been passed in the last year, I think over fifty laws restricting some access to abortion. Do you look at that and say the other side is winning. They've gotten what they wanted and they're working at the state level and they're getting it done.

Ms. GREENBERGER: Well, I certainly take very seriously the increasing threats from many of those laws that are being passed and the change in the federal courts. I also think because the public, in poll after poll, question after question, shows that they do support Roe v. Wade and sternly support protecting women's health, that they really haven't won the hearts and minds of the American public.

BLOCK: The same polls that you refer to where a majority of Americans show a support for Roe v. Wade also show support for a number of restrictions, things like spousal notification, parental notification and I think also show a great deal of opposition to certain late term abortions that the opponents call partial birth abortions. What do you do about those public attitudes and the laws that seem to emanate from them?

Ms. GREENBERGER: Well, the kinds of support for things like parental notice are things, those kinds of restrictions have been upheld under Roe v. Wade, really for decades. And they're not really at issue. What we're seeing now are restrictions, not that the public supports, but it with being labeled as if they're restrictions that the public supports but really have a much more nefarious agenda behind them.

BLOCK: That's Marsha Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center talking about the future of the fight over abortion. We also heard from Mary Spaulding Balch of the National Right to Life Committee Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.