As the '08 elections approach, what are the views of Republicans, Democrats and the general public on "social values" issues? And how have they changed over time?
A Pew Forum legal backgrounder examines the new direction in jurisprudence charted by the Supreme Court's April 2007 ruling that the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act does not violate the constitutional right to abortion.
Prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court's approval of a federal ban on partial-birth abortion, activists on both sides of the abortion battle are aiming their sights at state capitols, where new campaigns already are under way.
Although the court did not entirely eliminate the health exception, Wednesday's 5-4 Supreme Court decision upholding a federal law banning a controversial abortion procedure probably made the waiver less meaningful. This will almost certainly energize both sides in the abortion debate and put pressure on presidential contenders to take clearer positions on the issue.
No hot-button issue currently dominates in the presidential campaigns, but court decisions and other events could change that quickly.