The Battle over Abortion

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have all but ended; they have dropped from 295,000, the year of the first Hyde amendment, to 2,400 in 1979. Supporters of abortion rights concede the federal funding issues have been lost, a defeat they feel is somewhat softened by the fact that many clinics, on humane grounds, will now waive part of the $200 average fee.

Meanwhile the arguments over funding legislation and other restrictive laws are being waged fiercely in numbers of states. Examples:

New York. Legislators are debating this week whether to budget Governor Hugh Carey's requested $12.3 million for some 50,000 welfare abortions. Carey, a Catholic with twelve children, told 300 pro-choice lobbyists from the National Organization for Women (NOW) who converged on the state capital last week: "The Supreme Court has squarely put the responsibility for funding Medicaid abortions on the state government. I clearly intend to see that we do that." Republican State Senator James Donovan, the Hyde of Albany, plans to offer an amendment that would assure Carey will not have his way. Says Donovan of his antiabortion mission: "I think of Abe Lincoln, who freed the slaves when they were treated as little different from unborn children today—as non-persons." The legislature will probably appropriate the money. Carey, however, also told the NOW lobbyists he endorses the Supreme Court decision to allow a state to require notification of the parents of dependent minors seeking abortions. Said he: "If some procedure is going to be performed on my children, I want to know about it."

California. The state supreme court ruled two weeks ago that California must pay for welfare abortions because the state constitution explicitly guarantees the right of privacy. Said the court: "The decision whether to bear a child or to have an abortion is so private and so intimate that each woman in this state—rich or poor—is guaranteed the constitutional right to make that decision as an individual." Said Planned Parenthood President Faye Wattleton: "This continues California's role as a national leader in this area."

Massachusetts. The state supreme court last month struck down the legislature's ban on abortion funding. But pro-lifers won a round by pushing through a law that requires unmarried minors to have either the consent of a parent or a Superior Court judge before getting an abortion—a restriction that goes one step beyond Utah's parental notification statute. A federal court of appeals upheld the consent law, but struck down provisions requiring pregnant woman to read, in advance of the operation, a detailed description of her unborn fetus.

Virginia. Republican Governor John Daton last week vetoed a hotly contested bill that would have provided funds for abortions in cases of rape, incest or gross fetal abnormality. The Governor felt the bill was too liberal. Lieutenant Governor Charles Robb, a probable Democratic nominee for Governor this year, had cast the tie-breaking vote in the state senate for the bill. Baptist Preacher Jerry Falwell of Lynchburg, leader of the Moral Majority, called Robb's vote "shocking and unexpected" and vowed it would end Robb's chances of election.

Georgia. With the approval of a federal Court of Appeals, the state two weeks ago cut off funding for most abortions. In response,

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