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Election could change abortion balance

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The fate of legalized abortion in the United States is hanging in the balance with the outcome of the presidential election, abortion rights advocates say.

With the possible retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the leader of a 5-4 majority for abortion rights on the high court, a victory by Republican U.S. presidential nominee John McCain could lead to the appointment of conservative justice who could change that equation, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

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McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, says the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision allowing legalized abortions must be overturned. But because abortion rights leaders have been guilty of prematurely raising the alarm about dwindling court support in the past, many of their supporters may not be aware of the gravity of the current situation, some activists say.

But Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network, which supports conservative Supreme Court judicial choices, told the Globe: "I think the consensus is Roe will fall slowly and incrementally, not in one decision. And the day after Roe is reversed, abortion still will not be illegal," since, she said, many states wouldn't outlaw it.

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