An Abortion Law's Dramatic Passage

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Morning Edition, April 11, 2000 · Melissa Block looks back on New York State's historic abortion law. The measure legalizing abortion in the state passed in 1970, three years before the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide, after one legislator's last-minute, pivotal vote change.

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Robert, who listens to WFSU in Florida.

"[George Michaels'] speech, in which he described the reasons for his vote, knowing full well that his decision would result in his not being re-elected, was an act of political courage we rarely see today. That speech, plus the heartfelt comments of the legislatorís son, who discussed the reactions to his fatherís decision, were spellbinding and actually brought me to tears. Several years later, when I was asked to deliver a layperson 'sermon' at my synagogue, I played this story and many of the congregants had the same reaction that I had."

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