UC Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky argued last week that the recent Alabama abortion bill is “unconstitutional.”
“The Alabama law is clearly unconstitutional,” Chemerinsky said in the interview. “And it’s what’s next. Whatever federal district court, whatever (U.S.) Court of Appeals, hears it would have to declare it unconstitutional. Now, that doesn’t mean that the court will have to take the case. It could be that the lower courts declare it unconstitutional, and the (Supreme Court) decides not to take this (Alabama) case.”
Chemerinsky may not be an impartial analyst on this topic. In 2008, Chemerinsky argued in an interview with a legal blog that he believes the court made the right decision in Roe v. Wade.
“I believe the Supreme Court got it right in Roe v. Wade. I agree that a fundamental right for a woman’s right to privacy is the ability to decide whether to have a child,” he argued.
However, he told Berkeley News that he believes that the conservative justices on today’s Supreme Court are likely to overturn the landmark 1973 decision.
“Overturning Roe has been a key part of the conservative movement since 1973,” Chemerinsky explained. “You now have five justices who grew up as part of this movement. They are not going to resist the chance to do that.”
If the abortion bill is to be upheld by the courts, Chemerinsky predicts that abortion would immediately become illegal in about half of American states.
“Abortion will become illegal in about half the states,” he said. “And women who have resources will be able to travel to those other states for abortions. For women who don’t have those resources, for teenagers, they are going to have illegal, unsafe abortion or the unwanted child.”
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