Justice Ginsburg: Roe v. Wade Dealt With the 'Most Extreme Law in the Country'

February 11, 2013 - 11:00 AM
Supreme Court Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the Texas law at the heart of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling was the "most extreme law in the country."

The Texas law outlawed abortions except in cases where the mother's life was in danger.

“I should say—because I’ve been criticized for [it], ‘She’s against Roe v Wade.’ No I’m not. I’m very much for the judgment the Court rendered, dealing with what was the most extreme law in the country, where a woman could get an abortion only if it was necessary to save her life," Ginsburg said last week during a discussion at Harvard Law School.

However, Ginsburg said the Supreme Court may have moved too fast in applying its decision not only to the Texas law, but also to abortion restrictions across the country.

“This is an unusual judicial decision because it made every (abortion) law in the country, even the most 'liberal,' unconstitutional in one fell swoop,” Ginsburg said. “And that’s not the way the Court ordinarily operates. My critique was not of the judgment, but of the giant step that the Court took, instead of proceeding by slow degrees.”

A year ago, Ginsburg said something similar at a Columbia University symposium: "It's not that the (Court's) judgment was wrong, but it moved too far too fast," she said.

"The Court made a decision that made every abortion law in the country invalid, even the most liberal," Ginsburg said. "We'll never know whether I'm right or wrong ... things might have turned out differently if the court had been more restrained."

Ginsburg, one of the court's most liberal members, turns 80 on March 15.