Getting abortion behind us

January 07, 1991

If the acrimonious battle over abortion in the General Assembly last year proved nothing else, it proved conclusively that there is nothing left to debate on this issue. At the end of a prolonged filibuster, no minds had been changed on either side, but the residue of bitterness spilled over into the 1990 election with disastrous consequences for many of those who took part in the filibuster.

So it is welcome news that leaders of both houses are determined to dispose of the issue early. It seems a foregone conclusion that the unlimited right to early abortion as guaranteed by Roe vs. Wade will be approved this year; the last remaining issue probably will be over the requirement of notification of parents of minors who seek abortions.

Our own view is that the legislature should remain silent on this question, leaving it to patients and doctors to determine who should be notified when an abortion is performed. But again, debate is not likely to change any minds on this aspect of the abortion controversy, so we would urge that whatever action is to be taken be taken swiftly, with full awareness that the issue will eventually be submitted to the voters. The lawmakers can then address issues which are amenable to the political process.

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