The Law: Abortion and Privacy

The core of the argument against anti-abortion laws is that every woman has a fundamental right to decide what happens to her own body, at least until after the quickening of the fetus. In recent years a few courts have given a sympathetic hearing to this argument, but legal reformers have kept trying to get a clear-cut judicial declaration that women are constitutionally entitled to a freedom of medical choice. Last week a three-judge federal court sitting in New Jersey provided exactly that.

In a 2-1 decision, the court said flatly, "We hold that a woman has a constitutional right of privacy...