August 13, 2014

Those who attended this Symposium disagreed in many ways regarding abortion, but I doubt that anyone disagreed with our title, Roe at 40: The Controversy Continues. A tiny sampling of the public comments made in January 2013, Roe’s actual fortieth anniversary, confirms this fact. University of Chicago Law Professor Geoff Stone described Roe as “a triumph of American constitutional law.” On the other hand, New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith labeled Roe “infamous, reckless and inhumane.”

How should one organize a symposium about a subject that evokes such dramatically conflicting points of view? Our principal objective was balance. Symposium attendees and the readers of this volume must be the ultimate judges, but I believe that we succeeded. Why, though, was balance thought to be a worthwhile goal?