Author:Bopp, James Jr.

In the lead article, attorney and scholar Paul Benjamin Linton explores the legal status of abortion in the States if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973), as modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992). Although an overruling decision eventually could have a significant effect on the legal status of abortion, the immediate impact of such a decision would be far more modest than most commentators believe. More than two-thirds of the States have repealed their pre-Roe laws or have amended those laws to conform to Roe v. Wade, which allows abortion for any reason before viability and for virtually any reason after viability. Of the slightly less than one-third of the States that have not repealed their pre-Roe laws, most would be ineffective in prohibiting abortions, either because the laws, by their express terms or as interpreted, allow abortion on demand for a broad range of reasons, including mental health or for undefined reasons of health, or because of state constitutional limitations. In yet other States, the pre-Roe laws prohibiting abortion may have been repealed by implication with the enactment of comprehensive post-Roe laws regulating abortion. In sum, no more than eleven States, and possibly as few as seven, would have enforceable laws on the books that would prohibit most abortions in the event Roe, Doe and Casey are overruled. In the other States and the District of Columbia, abortion would be legal for most or all reasons throughout pregnancy.

The second article, by economics professor David L. Kaserman, Ph.D., reviews the successes and failures of more than fifty years of organ transplantation. During that time, substantial progress has been made in both surgical techniques and immunosuppressive drug therapy. As a result, transplant success rates have improved dramatically, and thousands of recipients of kidneys, hearts, livers, and lungs have been granted both longer and healthier lives. At the same time, however, many more thousands of patients have died while waiting in vain for a cadaveric donor organ to become available due to a severe and persistent shortage of such organs. That shortage, in turn, is directly attributable to the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, which proscribes payment to potential organ donors, even if that would increase supply. But the tide of medical opinion may be turning on this issue and some form of donor...

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