This one is a couple of weeks old, but I neglected to blog it at the time – an LA Times examination of the intentions and consquences related to Roe v. Wade

Last year, on the fifth anniversary of Blackmun’s death, the opened his papers to the public. His thick files on the abortion cases tell the little-known story of how Roe vs. Wade came to be. It is the story of a rookie justice, unsure of himself and his abilities, who set out to write a narrow ruling that would reform abortion laws, not repeal them.

It is also the story of a sometimes rudderless court led by Chief Justice Warren Burger. On the day the ruling was announced, Burger said, "Plainly, the court today rejects any claim that the Constitution requires abortion on demand."

Blackmun proposed to issue a news release to accompany the decision, issued Jan. 22, 1973. "I fear what the headlines may be," he wrote in a memo. His statement, never issued, emphasized that the court was not giving women "an absolute right to abortion," nor was it saying that the "Constitution compels abortion on demand."

In reality, the court did just that.

It’s an honest piece, and on Yahoo News, not behind the LAtimes firewall.

From Michael Barone, on the contemporary politics of abortion:

I wrote the other day that if Roe v. Wade were reversed, probably only three jurisdictions—Utah, Louisiana, and Guam—would criminalize abortion. That tends to be supported by the Survey USA poll that shows "pro-life" and "pro-choice" opinion in each state. Utah and Louisiana are Nos. 1 and 2, 61 percent and 57 percent antiabortion respectively. (Guam, a territory, is not included in the survey.) In the following states, between 51 percent and 55 percent are rated as "pro-life": Arkansas, Idaho, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. So I suppose it’s possible that their legislatures would vote to criminalize abortion (though it’s also possible that the Democratic governors of West Virginia and Tennessee would veto such laws).

Helpfully points out, of course, that the most pro-choice states are predominantly Catholic ones. Good job, guys.

Please don’t forget to check After Abortion for news related to abortion and post-abortion healing. Do look at an extended post from a day or so ago about public comment on the morning-after pill.

More from Beliefnet and our partners