The Law: Ambivalence on Abortion

By legislative repeals and lower-court decisions, U.S. abortion crusaders have lately seemed to be winning their case for liberalized laws all over the country. But one big question remained: What would the Supreme Court say? Last week, in its first abortion opinion, the court gave an ambivalent answer. Friends and foes of abortion could all find support in the court's ruling.

At issue was the case of Dr. Milan Vuitch, arrested three years ago under the anti-abortion law in Washington, D.C. Judge Gerhard A. Gesell ruled the law unconstitutionally vague because it permitted abortions only to preserve a mother's "life or health."...

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