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A better test of legalizing abortion is needed than the Hatch amendment to the Constitution just passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It seeks to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on abortion by giving both Congress and the states power to curb or prohibit abortion. Only state laws more restrictive than national laws would take precedence over the latter. This approach is unacceptable to the pro-choice supporters of the Supreme Court but doesn't satisfy those who believe there should be no choice in such a fundamental matter. Even if passed it would invite endless litigation. More clear-cut would be the often suggested amendment to ban abortion. A vote on this could plumb what the prevailing sentiment of the country actually is.

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