Ginsburg Endorses Right to Choose Abortion, ERA

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By Joan Biskupic
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 22, 1993

Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg said yesterday that a right to choose abortion was essential to women's equality and that an equal rights amendment should be added to the Constitution, at least for its "symbolic" value.

"This {abortion} is something central to a woman's life, to her dignity," Ginsburg said. "It's a decision that she must make for herself. And when government controls that decision for her, she's being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices."

The comments by Supreme Court nominee Ginsburg, though consistent with her earlier writings, were among her only definitive responses during two days of otherwise vague testimony.

Her endorsement of a right to end a pregnancy also was a step toward clearing the air of questions that have arisen from her criticism in speeches of the underpinnings of Roe v. Wade -- the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal nationwide.

But overall, the first two days of the Ginsburg hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee have offered less an examination of a nominee's constitutional views than theater without drama.

Ginsburg, like most recent Supreme Court appointees, has been careful in all of her answers not to go beyond what she already had written.


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© 1993 The Washington Post Company

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