It's not so much that abortion is legal - Roe v Wade simply established that laws against
abortion violated the woman's constitutional right
If I'm understanding correctly (and I'm just a humble Brit, so forgive me if I get this wrong), the ambiguity surrounds two issues; the first being
that the Constitution doesn't explicitly provide for a right to privacy, and the second surrounding the question of whether or not an unborn fetus is
a person and would thus be afforded the same rights as any other person.
The first is a very grey area. On the one hand, the Supreme Court has indeed stated several times that the Constitution does contain
which grant the right to privacy against government intrusion (ahem...Patriot Act...hmmmm), and the right to privacy in certain
civil liberties cases.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court has also ruled that the assumed right to privacy doesn't exist in certain instances - the most obvious example
currently being that what you throw in your trash no longer has any expectation of privacy. So it's up for grabs - obviously as the Constitution
makes no explicit allowance, it's become very subjective.
The second issue is much more difficult to decide from a legal standpoint, it seems - there are now laws which make violently causing harm to a fetus
illegal (in the case of Scott Peterson, who was found guilty of murdering their unborn baby)...though "Laci and Conner's Law" explicitly excluded
abortion, it's not unreasonable to predict that it's going to draw trouble from both sides in the future.
To quote John Kerry, "I have serious concerns about this legislation because the law cannot simultaneously provide that a fetus is a human being and
protect the right of the mother to choose to terminate her pregnancy".
He has a jolly valid point there. Can we seriously expect to do both?
Anyway, with the resignation of O'Connor, and the death of Rehnquist, Roe v Wade is inevitably going to be revisited in the Supreme Court.
I can only hope that religion doesn't become the basis of the decision.
(I also hope that this actually makes sense....)