“Frankly I had thought at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.”

Justice Ginsburg’s comments were made in the context of comments about her hopes for feminism and her anticipation of being joined at the court by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, then about to begin confirmation hearings. The larger context of Justice Ginsburg’s comments do not provide much assistance in understanding whether she was speaking of her own personal convictions or describing what was being thought by others at the time.

Of greatest importance is the fact that Justice Ginsburg’s comments reveal the racial, economic, and ethnic discrimination that was at the very heart of the push for abortion on demand throughout much of the 20th century. Also revealed is Justice Ginsburg’s virtually unrestricted support for a woman’s right to an abortion. In the interview, she goes so far as to lament the fact that the language of Roe v. Wade mentioned abortion is a decision made by the woman and her physician. As Justice Ginsburg told The New York Times, “So the view you get is the tall doctor and the little woman who needs him.”

The American conscience remains deeply divided over the question of abortion. Tragically, we have never experienced a sustained, reasonable, and honest discussion about abortion in the society at large. One step toward the recovery of an ethic of life would be an honest discussion about the actual agenda behind the push for abortion on demand. Proponents of abortion rights do everything they can to hide the ugliness of the agenda behind the comments made by President Nixon and Justice Ginsburg.  Nevertheless, the truth has a way of working itself into view.

Just take a good look at the comments made by the late President and the current Justice. Furthermore, ask yourself why there is such racial disparity in abortion. Those comments turn more chilling by the day.


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Originally published on October 8, 2009.