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  •  from the Wall Street Journal (4.00)
    "Legal Beat: Bar Association Votes to Back Abortion Rights" August 12, 1992

    SAN FRANCISCO -- After a contentious debate, the policy-making body of the American Bar Association voted to take a pro-abortion rights position at the organization's annual meeting.

    The decision by the ABA, which followed Monday's vote by convention attendees to endorse the proposal, was a victory for abortion-rights advocates. At its annual meeting two years ago, the ABA adopted a neutral position.

    Before the 276-168 vote yesterday, the ABA's new president, Michael McWilliams of Baltimore, told reporters that the ABA could no longer remain neutral.

    "You can't dodge an issue just because it's tough," said Mr. McWilliams, a Baltimore lawyer, in remarks to reporters. "And you can't call abortion a non-legal issue."

    The ABA's perceived alliance with one side or the other in the abortion debate was a matter of concern to lawyers attending the annual meeting here this week. Both the National Abortion Rights Action League and the National Right-to-Life Committee have been closely monitoring the ABA action, spokeswomen for the groups said.

    "People who support this abortionrights resolution want the prestige of the ABA behind the pro-choice movement," Texas bar President Harriet Miers said Monday, arguing against adoption of the resolution supporting abortion rights.

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