Skip to comments.Court to revisit abortion stance
Posted on 01/30/2004 10:34:38 PM PST by HAL9000
Lawyers seeking to overturn the 1973 landmark ruling that legalized abortion will get another day in court.
In June, U.S. District Judge David Godbey of Dallas tossed out a motion to re-open and overturn the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision.
Friday afternoon, supporters of re-examining the ruling were ecstatic that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had agreed to consider the motion. A hearing was scheduled for March 2.
"It would have been a significant setback if they hadnt agreed to even hear the case," said Dr. Virginia Armstrong, a retired Hardin-Simmons University political science professor who is serving as the constitutional issues specialist on the media advisory committee for attorneys who filed the motion.
Armstrong said three of the 16 judges on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will conduct the hearing. A ruling isnt expected immediately, she said.
One reason is the sheer volume of evidence the panel of judges must examine. It includes 5,400 pages of evidence supporting three arguments:
- Abortion hurts women, based on testimony of post-abortive women in more than 1,000 affidavits filed with the motion.
- Human life begins at conception, based on what attorneys called scientific data that has materialized since the 1973 ruling.
- No women need give birth to an unwanted child because of the Texas "Baby Moses" law that allows the state to assume responsibility for the baby until the child reaches age 18.
"There will finally be a ruling on the validity of all the 5,400 pages of evidence the judge wouldnt hear last June," Armstrong said.
The motion was unusual because it was filed by attorneys for Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade. McCorvey publicly identified herself in 1980.
She later converted to Catholicism and in 1995 stunned the abortion rights community by joining the anti-abortion forces.
In dismissing McCorveys motion in June, Godbey said it wasnt made within a reasonable time after the 1973 judgment.