|VOL. 5, NO. 11||Aug. 28, 2003|
|"Roe" and "Doe" Return to Court: "Stop the Carnage!"|
Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman, Court Watch
The U. S. Supreme Court's elevation of abortion-on-demand to the status of a "fundamental constitutional right" was accomplished with two decisions on January 22, 1973. The more famous of the two cases is the Texas case of Roe v. Wade. But of immense significance also is the neglected step-sister of this devastating decisional duothe Georgia case of Doe v. Bolton. Now, after the passage of thirty years and the murder of over forty million unborn children, the original plaintiffs are asking the courts to correct the fatal constitutional flaws of the two 1973 decisions and stop the carnage.
Both women reveal in their sworn affidavits that they were manipulated and duped by their attorneys and had no intention of trying to legalize abortion. The former "Roe," Norma McCorvey, on June 17, 2003, asked U. S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas to reconsider her case and rule the 1973 decision no longer valid. With almost blinding speed, Judge Godbey denied McCorvey's motion. That denial will soon be appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, the former "Mary Roe," Sandra Cano, is asking for her day in court, petitioning the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to reconsider the 1973 constitutionalization of abortionone of the most barbaric of all medical procedures.
The Georgia law which was originally thrown out by the U. S. Supreme Court in Doe was significantly different from the Texas law invalidated in Roe. The Texas law, basically a "prohibitive" type of legislation, prohibited an abortion except when "necessary to protect the life or the health of the mother." The Georgia law also criminalized abortion, but included several exceptions which were "permissive"i.e., permitted abortion under much broader circumstances than in Texas. Two differences in the Roe and Doe rulings are fundamental.
The San Antonio attorney now representing Roe and Doe, Allan Parker, is employing an unusual legal vehicle to reach the U. S. Supreme Courta "Rule 60 Motion." A Rule 60 motion asserts that the continued application of an existing judgment is "clearly erroneous" and/or will be productive of a "manifest injustice" due to a change in law or factual circumstances. Parker's procedure is in line with the 1997 U. S. Supreme Court decision in Agostini v. Felton, an establishment of religion case. In that case, the Court granted the Rule 60 motion and over-turned two decisions it had made twelve years earlier.
McCorvey and Cano now present to the courts a massive array of evidence documenting fundamental changes in both law and factevidence not available in 1973. Because of these changes, the continued application of the original Roe and Doe ruling will wreak severe injustice, they contend, and the original rulings should be voided.
Because of the recent emergence of much of this evidence, the motions for reconsideration of the two 1973 decisions are timely and should be granted. Denial of the motions would perpetuate the injustice of current law and the deception under which this law was framed. The most vulnerable members of societythe unborn child and, very often, their unprotected motherswill continue to be abandoned by the justice system. Well should the courts reflect on the fact that pregnancy is for nine months; abortion is forever.
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