A district court ruled it’s “too late” for the former plaintiff “Jane Roe,” Norma McCorvey, to reopen the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down all state laws restricting abortion.
But McCorvey’s lead attorney told WorldNetDaily she still is on track to see the Roe v. Wade decision overturned, although he was surprised by the quickness of the decision late last night in Dallas by Judge David Godbey.
“We’re going to talk with our client and decide whether to file a motion for rehearing or file an appeal to the 5th Circuit,” said Allan Parker, Jr., of the San Antonio, Texas-based Justice Foundation. “But we will take the case ultimately to the Supreme Court.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, McCorvey filed a motion Tuesday to reopen the case based on changes in law and new scientific research that make the prior decision “no longer just.”
Godbey rejected the request because it was not made within a “reasonable time” after the 1973 judgment.
“Whether or not the Supreme Court was infallible, its Roe decision was certainly final in this litigation,” Godbey wrote in the ruling, according to the Associated Press. “It is simply too late now, thirty years after the fact, for McCorvey to revisit that judgment.”
Parker contends Godbey misunderstood the motion, arguing the case is about changes in the relevant factual conditions, not a submission of new evidence.
One of the most relevant changes in law, he says, is the 1999 “Baby Moses” statute which allows a mother to hand over her child to the care of the state, meaning she no longer is forced to disposed of “unwanted” children by ending a human life.
Texas is among 40 states with such legislation, which didn’t exist in 1973, Parker notes.
Among McCorvey’s 5,437 pages of evidence are affidavits from more than 1,000 women who testify having an abortion has had devastating emotional, physical and psychological effects.
“It’s a shame that the courts are unwilling to listen to women’s testimonies about what abortion does to women,” he said.
Parker also contended Judge Godbey made an error in his determination of what is a reasonable time within which to reopen a case.
Godbey said court opinions are measured in terms of weeks or months, not in decades.
But Parker points to 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.
McCorvey announced in 1995 she had become a Christian and later launched a pro-life ministry called Roe No More. She told WorldNetDaily two years ago she was “used” by abortion-rights attorneys in their quest to legalize the procedure.
One of her attorneys in the 1973 case, Sarah Weddington, expressed delight but not surprise at the judge’s decision to dismiss McCorvey’s request, the AP reported.
“It never should have been filed,” Weddington said. “Those who filed it got publicity but the publicity actually has been very helpful for those of us who believe the government should not be involved.”
Since announcement of the motion, she has received about two dozen offers to help defend the Roe v. Wade decision, the AP said.
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