Abortion: An Eternal Social and Moral Issue, 2010 Edition by Sandra M. Alters

By Sandra M. Alters

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Senate confirmation. JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS AND POLITICS When the president and most of the Senate are of the same political party, and when they are in agreement about the direction public policy should take, confirmation of a judicial nominee is relatively easy. The opposition party, however, is sometimes able to use procedural practices, such as filibusters (prolonged speeches), to delay or prevent the confirmation vote. However, Segal’s coauthor Lee Epstein adds, ‘‘During the first four years of justices’ tenure, their voting behavior correlates at a rather high level with their appointing president’s ideology, but for justices with ten or more years of service, that relationship drops precipitously.

Hyde’s proposed change was met with opposition from pro-choice Democrats. They protested that the new law would negatively affect privately insured women whose insurance companies contracted with the states. It would also affect Medicaid recipients in those states where abortions were subsidized. The revised version eventually passed with the provision that federal funds would not be used to purchase managed-care packages that included coverage of abortion. States that covered abortion with their own funds would be able to continue doing so under a separate program.

Forbade the use of public employees and facilities for abortions not necessary to save the mother’s life. • Prohibited the use of public funds, employees, or facilities for the purpose of counseling a woman to have an abortion not necessary to save her life. Lower courts struck down these restrictions, but the Supreme Court did not. In 1989 the court upheld the Missouri law in Webster v. S. 490). This ruling was the first case in which a majority of the justices generally opposed abortion, and it revealed the court’s willingness to adopt a more lenient attitude toward state limitations on abortions.

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