The woman known as “Roe” in the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down all state laws restricting abortion is filing a motion in federal court today to overturn the 1973 decision.
The Roe v. Wade ruling should be set aside because of changes in law and new research that make the prior decision “no longer just,” argues Allan E. Parker, Jr., lead attorney for the San Antonio, Texas-based Justice Foundation.
Parker is representing the former “Jane Roe,” Norma McCorvey, who has the right to petition for reopening the case because she was party to the original litigation.
McCorvey announced in 1995 she had become a Christian and now has a pro-life ministry called Roe No More.
“I long for the day that justice will be done and the burden from all of these deaths will be removed from my shoulders,” McCorvey said in a statement. “I want to do everything in my power to help women and their children. The issue is justice for women, justice for the unborn, and justice for what is right.”
McCorvey will ask for a reversal of the judgment today in the federal district court in Dallas. The Texas attorney general’s office and Dallas district attorney each have 20 days to respond.
In an interview with WorldNetDaily two years ago, McCorvey said she was “used” by pro-abortion attorneys in their quest to legalize the procedure.
Seeking an abortion at the age of 21, McCorvey made up a story that she had been raped. She was put in touch with two attorneys who aimed to challenge the Texas abortion statute.
“Plain and simple, I was used,” she said. “I was a nobody to them. They only needed a pregnant woman to use for their case, and that is it. They cared, not about me, but only about legalizing abortion. Even after the case, I was never respected – probably because I was not an Ivy League-educated, liberal feminist like they were.”
Parker notes the Supreme Court has overturned its own precedents, citing the 1997 Agostini v. Felton decision in which the high court used a post-judgment motion by a party to overturn two 12-year-old precedents.
The legal question in the case, he said, is, “Is it just to continue giving Roe v. Wade future application?”
He asserts three major arguments for reopening and overturning the case on the basis of Rule 60(b)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows for relief on the basis of new evidence, errors or fraud:
- The Roe v. Wade decision deprived women of protection from dangerous abortions and exposed them to a much greater risk of being pressured into unwanted abortions. Studies, he says, indicate between 30 and 60 percent of abortions result from the pregnant woman submitting to pressure from her male partner, parents, physicians or others.
Parker will present affidavits from more than 1,000 women who testify having an abortion has had devastating emotional, physical and psychological effects. This is 1,000 times more evidence than presented in the original case, he says. Also, new scientific evidence indicates abortion is associated with more physical and psychological complications for women than were known about in 1973. In contrast, there have been no scientific studies measuring any significant benefits abortion has produced in women’s lives.
- While the question, “When does life begin?” was treated as an unanswered philosophical question in 1973, “an explosion of scientific evidence on human life” since then “conclusively answers the question that life begins at conception,” Parker argues.
- Under a 1999 law, Texas provides for any woman’s unwanted child from birth to 18 years of age with no questions asked, which means women should no longer be forced to dispose of “unwanted” children by ending a human life, insists Parker. Forty states have similar “Baby Moses” laws.
“The result of granting the motion would be to set aside and annul Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, its companion case,” Parker explained. “This would return the issue of protecting women and children to the people with Baby Moses laws serving as a safety net.”
Parker and McCorvey will appear at a press conference in Dallas today along with women who will testify to abortion’s harmful effects in their lives.
The testimonies of those women will be the “convincing factor” in this case, Parker believes.
“What we really need is an open-minded judge who will consider the evidence,” he told WorldNetDaily.
The first decision will be whether or not to grant a hearing based on the evidence submitted, he said, noting opposing groups may attempt to intervene.
His team has asked for a three-panel judge.
“If granted, there is a direct appeal to the Supreme Court,” Parker said.
Meanwhile, a leading abortion-rights group, NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, has launched a $3 million ad campaign to warn of a day when the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade.
The group says the campaign coincides with recent passage of the partial-birth abortion ban by Congress and potential retirements by Supreme Court justices.
“Together these spots serve as a stark reminder of what could happen if we don’t stop this tidal wave of anti-choice activity that is emanating right out of our own White House,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Kate Michelman in a statement.
NARAL television ad
One 15-second television commercial opens with ominous music and a woman who looks in horror at a newspaper headline that reads: “Abortion outlawed! Court overturns right to choose.”
The ads have begun airing on cable channels but will be shown on broadcast stations in three key states in two weeks. Iowa, Wisconsin and Oregon were chosen because they were narrowly decided in the 2000 presidential election.
During the 2000 presidential election campaign, then-President Bill Clinton said he expected Roe v. Wade to be overturned if George W. Bush won.
“If Gov. Bush gets elected, he’ll appoint judges more like the ones appointed by the … Reagan and Bush administrations,” Clinton said in a National Public Radio interview. “And if they get two to four appointments on the Supreme Court, I think Roe v. Wade will be repealed.”
Speculation has arisen in the last several years about departures by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 78, Sandra Day O’Connor, 73, and John Paul Stevens, 83.
Rehnquist has been the focus of most of the attention. But his recent decisions to hire staff for the court’s next annual term, beginning in the fall, and to schedule an important hearing Sept. 8 suggest he will not be leaving soon.
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