Skip to comments.'Roe vs Wade' legalized abortion in US 35 years ago
Posted on 01/20/2008 4:09:56 AM PST by Sub-Driver
'Roe vs Wade' legalized abortion in US 35 years ago
by Fanny CarrierSun Jan 20, 1:12 AM ET
Thirty-five years ago on Tuesday the US Supreme Court handed down a decision in the Roe versus Wade case, legalizing abortion and introducing some of the world's least restrictive abortion laws.
On January 22, 1973, the nine Supreme Court justices voted seven to two that a law in Texas that banned abortion, except to save a woman's life, was unconstitutional under the right to personal privacy.
It was a bombshell decision that galvanized religious opposition into action, and set the scene for abortion to become the most divisive issue between the country's political left and right.
"It had a tremendous impact on American culture and politics and society," said Michele Dillon, a sociology professor at New Hampshire University.
"It took a lot of people by surprise, and it really galvanized the impact of religious organizations on the American political life. It motivated religious organizations to get actively involved in trying to set the political agenda."
The case had been brought before a court in Dallas, Texas, three years earlier by two women lawyers seeking the right for homeless, 22-year-old single mother Norma McCorvey to terminate her third pregnancy.
McCorvey, the plaintiff, was given the pseudonym Jane Roe. The defendant was Henry Wade, the district attorney.
After going through the appeals process, the case finally ended up before the Supreme Court in Washington in late 1972.
By the time the Supreme Court decision was handed down, "Jane Roe" had already had her third child, which she put up for adoption.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
In January 2000, this article by Barbara Curtis was published in the Washington Times. It remains one of the most eloquent things ever written on the subject:
The Washington Times
The sisterhood, 27 years later
January 24, 2000
by Barbara Curtis
Twenty-seven years ago, nine black-robed men handed feminists a triumph that would try our souls, and - I have come to believe - find them wanting.
On Jan. 22, 1973, when the “Sisterhood is Powerful” crowd rejoiced at the outcome of Roe vs. Wade, I was with them - a Washington radical feminist scholar/abortion rights advocate, much in demand as a spokeswoman by virtue of my motherhood. After all, who better to illustrate the righteous need for abortion than a young woman with a future, already encumbered by a 3-year-old in day care?
Five years later in San Francisco, that same little girl clutched my hand as we struggled against the chilly Van Ness Avenue wind on our way to some euphemistically styled “women’s health clinic.”
“Samantha,” I explained, ever the politically vigilant parent, “Mommy is pregnant. But since Jasmine’s only 2 and I’m not married anymore, this just isn’t a good time to have a baby. We’re lucky women have a choice.”
I was proud of the legacy we would leave my daughter’s generation. Thanks to the second wave of feminism, abortion was now available, accessible and not much worse than a trip to the dentist. Paid for by the state of California, to boot. And on the morning of my own abortion, I was feeling a little extra righteous. After years of posturing and sloganeering, I finally had an opportunity to demonstrate my core beliefs - like a rite of passage.
Or a sacrament.
And in the 27 years since Roe vs. Wade, isn’t that what it’s now become? Consider the sacred ground around abortion temples, free speech suspended so as not to hinder partaking of the ritual within and abortion providers occupying pedestals for their noble efforts. Heretics dare not blaspheme by calling a fetus a baby or what happens to it murder. And as though in the grip of a state religion, the media use only sanctioned terms: pro-choice, reproductive rights, products of conception.
Consider: While every other political group is permitted to baptize itself and demonstrate publicly, those who call themselves pro-life are branded by the media anti-abortion extremists and charged with racketeering.
But who’s extreme? For all the left’s vaunted respect for multiculturalism, pro-abortion evangels - like missionaries of old - spend vast amounts of time, energy and taxpayer money crusading into the Third World to bring the “good news” of “family planning” to primitives whose backward belief systems stand in the way of their salvation. Like religious zealots arriving on your doorstep when what you really need is an ambulance, they rush to ravaged lands such as Kosovo with abortion kits aplenty for those in dire need of more life-sustaining commodities such as medicine, food and water.
And what about here at home? In the United States, according to the very pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute, 34 million abortions took place from 1973 to 1996. That’s a million and a half per year. Who knows what genius men and women were whooshed away from our midst and with them what art, what music, what inventions, what cures.
How about it, sisters? Especially those of you who rode the crest of the second wave with me: Did you ever dream that this was where we were headed? Did you ever dream we would call a politician a friend to women - no matter how flagrantly he exploited them - as long as he continued to back abortion on demand? Did you ever dream we would enter the realms of denial required to condone a procedure in which a perfectly viable infant is pulled feet first through the birth canal until all but herhead is exposed, then stabbed in the skull to suck out her brains, delivered dead and sold to the highest bidder for body parts?
That’s “a certain type of late-term procedure,” according to modern feminists, who have twisted themselves like pretzels to pretend the dream did not turn into a nightmare.
Perhaps it’s time to wake up and slap some cold water on our faces. Time to stop the hypocrisy, to sever the ideals of feminism - dignity for women, equal status, equal opportunity, equal pay - from what has become a religious devotion to death.
We should have listened to our mothers - the feminist ones, that is.
Susan B. Anthony, now featured on our currency, wasn’t thinking of political correctness when she referred to abortion as “child murder.” Nor when she wrote: “No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with her anti-slavery perspective, wrote, “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.”
Mattie Brinkerhoff said: “When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society - so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.”
Think that one over next time you’re standing in line at the grocery store - as I was recently - and overhear a teen-age girl nonchalantly discussing with a friend the abortion she’s having tomorrow.
I strongly suspect it does not bode well for Harry Blackmun.
As for the original protagonists in the Rove v Wade case, McCorvey finally revealed her true identity in the 1980s, and in the 1990s converted to Catholicism and became an active and highly visible pro-life advocate.
“I believe that I was used and abused by the court system in America. Instead of helping women in Roe v Wade, I brought destruction to me and millions of women throughout the nation,” McCorvey told lawmakers in 2005.
“I wanted an abortion at the time, but my lawyers did not tell me that I would be killing a human being.
“My lawyers did not tell me that I would later come to deeply regret that I was partially responsible for killing 40-50 million human beings,” said McCorvey, stressing that she has “never had an abortion.”
Associate Justices Byron R. White and William H. Rehnquist wrote emphatic dissenting opinions in this case. Justice White wrote:
I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court's judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.
Rehnquist elaborated upon several of White's points, by asserting that the Court's historical analysis was flawed:
To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. While many States have amended or updated their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today.From this historical record, Rehnquist concluded that,
"There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted."Regardless of one's religious or other objections to abortion, Roe v Wade was a Constitutionally bad decision, and should be struck down.
"the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter."
I didn’t realize that Roe “legalized” abortion. I thought we already had abortions prior, and Roe, more or less, “mandated” abortions.
Something the muzzies no doubt are taking a close look at to protect certain aspects of their religion, such as the performance of ritual beheadings, dis-memberments, and stonings in the privacy of their own bedrooms.
Does anyone see any difference?
If the muzzies pick up on that they can claim their ritual dis-memberments, female circucision and other bloody rites are a sacrement.
That's actually not true.
What it did was to enjoin enforcement of existing laws, many of which remain on the books.
A court cannot "legalize" anything.
If a court says laws against “x” are impermissable, it effectively legalizes “x”.
Abortion was illegal in my state the day before Roe, but legal the day after, so something obviously happened.
The court system in our nation is operating far outside the scope of its constitutional authority. All you have to do is look at the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s brazen declaration that marriage is an “evolving paradigm” to see that.
I do the dhue would legalize post birth abortion and we could abort the left at will.
How do you like them apples?
How many murderous abortions of convenience have occurred since then? I somehow want to see the holocaust of unborn souls that may have contributed to the betterment of humanity. One of them might have found the cure to cancer, or aids. We will never know.
Only four states had legalized abortion for cases other than rape, incest or the mother's life being endangered before Roe.
Radical feminist women destroy families as well.
My brother and sister-in-law just had a baby girl this Friday. My boss and his wife welcomed a son on Saturday. Praise the Lord! Every life is precious.
I used to be a pro-choice feminist. Jesus turned it all around.
48,000,000 Souls that Man decided not worthy of being here. That is the biggest Holocaust in Human History, and it is sanctioned by our Government.
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So true. Hitler killed 6 million; Stalin obliterated 10 million. We are at 48 million and counting. That the Lord can shine His face on this country amazes me.
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