The Supreme Court's decision to uphold a ban partial-birth abortions is a gauntlet thrown down by the Roberts court, reports Linda Greenhouse in the Times. Samuel Alito, the newest justice, was the deciding factor in the 5-4 turnaround. While it will affect a small subset of abortion procedures, the focus on "ethical and moral concerns" signals a major shift.
“The act expresses respect for the dignity of human life,” Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority, adding that banning the procedure protects women from a decision they might come to regret later. Justice Ginsburg objected vehemently, arguing that the majority position reflects "ideas that have long since been discredited.”