There's no question a Romney presidency could spell the end of Roe v. Wade, President Obama said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Romney has said he'd like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that said abortion is legal. And if he wins in November, he might be able to tilt the balance of the court to make that possible.
"I don't think there's any doubt," Obama said when asked whether he fears that Roe could be overturned. "Governor Romney has made clear that's his position. His running mate has made this one of the central principles of his public life. Typically, a president is going to have one or two Supreme Court nominees during the course of his presidency, and we know that the current Supreme Court has at least four members who would overturn Roe v. Wade. All it takes is one more for that to happen."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen as the most likely of the current justices to retire in the near future. At 79, she is the oldest member of the court. Kennedy and Justice Stephen Breyer, also a liberal, are also in their 70s.
None of the justices have given any indication that they plan to retire, but the ages of the justices nevertheless raises the stakes for the next four years.
Groups that support and oppose abortion rights have highlighted the importance of the presidential election for just this reason.
A recent story in The Associated Press noted that the Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion rights, has run ads criticizing Obama that are entitled "Abortion Radical."
The story quoted Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, as saying the GOP ticket would be "extremely dangerous to wormen's health."
Obama also said he wasn't surprised by the Supreme Court's ruling in the healthcare decision in the interview, though he said he disagreed with its reasoning.