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Overruling Roe vs Wade: What Would it Mean

Thomas More Society Announces Release of First Book to Offer State-by-State Analysis of Abortion Law

Contact: Tom Ciesielka, TC Public Relations, 312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net; Tom Brejcha, 312-782-1680

CHICAGO, Sept. 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm based in Chicago, has announced the release of a critical new book titled "Abortion Under State Constitutions," written by noted constitutional scholar and the Society's special counsel, Paul Benjamin Linton. This book dispels the notion that overturning Roe vs. Wade would make abortion illegal throughout the U.S. Instead, in a post-Roe America, the focus of legal and political debate would merely shift to new and relatively unfamiliar battlegrounds - the courts and legislatures of each of our fifty states - where legal skirmishes about state-based abortion rights already have been fought, or will break out sooner rather than later. Paul Linton's new book provides the first full-length analysis of the relevant constitutional issues in this newest phase of our ongoing, nationwide "abortion wars."

As voters explore their options in this critical election year, no doubt abortion will figure as one of the pivotal issues that could turn the tide in a close race for the Presidency. The pro-abortion forces fear that the Supreme Court may overrule Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion issue to the states where many people - pro-life and abortion advocates alike - assume that abortions would be outlawed as they were before Roe was decided in 1973. Yet according to Linton's carefully researched new book, more than one-half of all the abortions performed in the United States each year would still be "constitutionally protected" even if Roe v. Wade is overruled. Moreover, more than three-fourths of the states have repealed their pre-Roe laws, which would not be revived by a decision overruling Roe.

According to the author, "Abortion advocates have undertaken a long-term, national strategy to persuade state supreme courts to recognize abortion rights under state constitutions. They have already succeeded in twelve states, including several of our most populous states, where more than half of all abortions in the country are performed. The book reviews those decisions and, more importantly, it provides a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the arguments that are likely to be made in the remaining thirty-eight states."

For each state, Linton discusses:

  • The possible sources in a state constitution from which abortion advocates might try to derive a right to abortion (privacy, due process of law, equality of rights, equal protection, privileges and immunities, as well as other provisions)
  • State court decisions interpreting those provisions
  • The relevant state constitutional history
  • Pre-Roe prohibitions of abortion and their interpretation by state courts
  • Post-Roe regulations of abortion
  • What rights state law has conferred upon unborn children outside the context of abortion

"We were pleased to provide major financial support for Paul Linton in his tireless effort to complete this significant and timely project," states Tom Brejcha, president & chief counsel of Chicago's Thomas More Society. "Paul's book is a road map for the pro-life movement in every state of the nation. We must prepare to stand up against an epidemic of state constitutional decisions, or mini-Roe's, that would threaten to wipe out even modest abortion restrictions and pave the way for new onslaughts of abortion-on-demand."

Likely to become the standard reference work on the subject, "Abortion under State Constitutions" should be of interest not only to lawyers who litigate state abortion rights claims and judges who decide those cases, but to anyone on either side of the abortion debate who wants to have a better understanding of the status of abortion under state constitutions. The book may be ordered through Carolina Academic Press by visiting www.cap-press.com.

To speak with Paul Linton or receive a review copy of his book, please contact Tom Ciesielka at (312) 422-1333 or tc@tcpr.net or Tom Brejcha at (312) 782-1680.

About Paul Benjamin Linton
Paul Benjamin Linton is a constitutional scholar retained as special counsel for the Thomas More Society. Graduating in history (B.A., Honors, 1971) and law (J.D. 1974) from Loyola University of Chicago, Paul was a prosecutor and appellate law clerk before joining Americans United for Life, serving as its general counsel. Paul also has published a dozen law review articles on a variety of issues, including abortion law and history, and has served as a legal consultant and constitutional expert for state legislators and state attorneys general.

About the Thomas More Society
The Thomas More Society is a public interest law firm that counsels and defends those who work to protect innocent human life, defends those who proclaim faith-based values in our nation's public square, and strives to protect the institution of marriage as a union of man and woman formed to beget, bear and nurture new human lives. For more information, please visit: www.thomasmoresociety.org.