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THORNBURGH PREDICTS ROE VS. WADE REVERSAL

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Attorney General Dick Thornburgh predicted Saturday the U.S. Supreme Court would eventually act to overturn its historic decision that legalized abortion 16 years ago.

Thornburgh was commenting on the court's abortion decision Monday that weakened but did not overturn the protections afforded to women in its 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling."Clearly they did not overturn Roe vs. Wade, but they began a process of easing up on the absolutes that are implicit in Roe vs. Wade with regard to state action," Thornburgh said in an interview on the Cable News Network show "Evans and Novak."

Asked if he thought the court would ever overturn the landmark 1973 abortion decision, Thornburgh replied, "I think they will take actions that have the effect of overruling."

By a 5-4 vote, the court gave anti-abortion forces a partial victory by upholding most parts of a controversial Missouri law that makes it more difficult to obtain an abortion in the state.

But the high court, in one of the most emotionally charged and politically explosive cases in years, rejected President Bush's pleas to take the step of overturning completely the Roe vs. Wade decision.

Thornburgh, the administration's most senior legal officer, said he was not disappointed with the court's decision.