Justice Ginsburg: Roe v. Wade provided 'target' for abortion-rights opponents

The Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision gave abortion-rights opponents a "target" that a narrower ruling might not have produced, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said this weekend.

Ginsburg said she would have preferred to see a narrower ruling that would not have cut off the political process of defining abortion limits, according to the Associated Press.

"That was my concern, that the court had given opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly," she said Saturday. "My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change."

ADVERTISEMENT
Ginsburg addressed the historic decision during a speech at the University of Chicago law school.

By ruling that abortion was legal, the Supreme Court cut off a political debate in the states that was trending toward broader access to abortion.Interrupting a more democratic movement, Ginsburg said, gave abortion-rights opponents a single "target" for the next 40 years.

"The court can put its stamp of approval on the side of change and let that change develop in the political process," she said, according to the AP.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have invoked Roe v. Wade in the court's current cases over same-sex marriage. Declaring a broad constitutional right to same-sex marriage would remove the decision from elected officials in the states — which are increasingly open to same-sex marriage.