Slate--what would I do without Slate?--offers more evidence that Bush's odd Dred Scott reference in the debate was code for the anti-abortion movement, which often likens Roe v. Wade to Dred Scott. It's quite clever, really--reaching out to the social conservatives without sending a signal to moderates. Unfortunately, Bush's overall answer to the question of what kind of judges he would appoint was so rambling--Kerry's wasn't much better--that his reference to the infamous slavery case seemed particularly bizarre and invited much scrutiny.
It is important to note that not every person who thinks Roe v. Wade was a bad decision opposes legalized abortion. The court in Roe v. Wade could merely have ruled on the Texas law in the case before them, rather than issuing a sweeping ruling that negated every state's abortion laws. By the time Roe was decided, many states were relaxing their abortion laws--the most oft-cited example is California, where Republican governor and future president Ronald Reagan signed of the nation's most liberal abortion law. A more narrow decision would have sent a signal to other states that their abortion laws might not pass constitutional muster, but it at least would have allowed the question to be decided by elected officials. Instead, the court ended all debate, leaving abortion opponents feeling alienated and voiceless. The rest is history.