Roe v. Wade

News: Commentary
by Paul Brock  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 29, 2021   

Killing the most innocent

You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Sign in or Sign up today!

After Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, George Herman of CBS News predicted, "If the experience of New York State is any guide, America will eventually have one abortion for every two births." 

Image
Cdl. Terence Cooke

Although this prediction has not come to fruition around the whole country, it has been far surpassed in the State of New York.

According to Guttmacher Institute, which is the research arm of Planned Parenthood (the largest abortion provider in the United States), in 2017, New York killed over 105,000 babies through abortion. That very same year, there was a total of only 117,000 live births. That means one abortion for almost every live birth in New York — and specifically with regard to the Black community, more Black babies are aborted than are born in New York City.

When Roe v. Wade was decided, Cdl. Terence Cooke, who was the archbishop of New York at the time, said in response: "How many millions of children prior to their birth will never live to see the light of day because of the shocking action of the majority of the United States Supreme Court today?"

Still using Guttmacher's numbers, there have been almost 63 million surgical abortions in America since 1973 — and that's just the number of reported abortions.

That's an average of about 1.3 million per year, 3,500 per day, 150 per hour and 2.5 per minute.

Supreme Court: Abortion for Any Reason

On Jan, 22, 1973, seven U.S. Supreme Court justices voted to give women the so-called constitutional right to abort their children. 

The two dissenters who opposed legalizing abortion on demand were Byron White and William Rehnquist. 

Rehnquist states in his dissent that "the asserted right to an abortion is not so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental ... the 'right' to an abortion is not so universally accepted as the appellant would have us believe."

How many millions of children prior to their birth will never live to see the light of day because of the shocking action of the majority of the United States Supreme Court today?

White joined Rehnquist saying in his dissent: "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."

Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the Court's opinion, which stated there would be "virtually no restriction" on abortions in the first trimester. 

With regard to the second trimester, the opinion makes clear that exceptions would be made only if they "related to maternal health."

And finally, with regard to the third trimester, exceptions would be with relation to "the health of the mother."

The "health of the mother" basically means a woman can still get an abortion for any and every reason, and this language comes from the Supreme Court case Doe v. Bolton

Free clip from CHURCH MILITANT Premium

This case was decided the same day as Roe and listed the "factors that may relate to health" as physical, emotional, psychological, familial and even the woman's age. 

Going back to Roe and applying this definition of "health" to the new law of the land, this meant that women could seek an abortion at any stage if the reason was related to their age or their physical, emotional, psychological or familial health.

'Privacy' Precedent

Along with forcing the definition of health to mean virtually anything, the opinion also hid the so-called right to slaughter the unborn under the "right to privacy." This terminology comes from the Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut

Image
(L to R) Justices Hugo Black and Potter Stewart

This case was decided eight years prior in 1965 and it, like Roe, had seven justices who voted in favor. Griswold legalized contraception between married couples, and the two dissenters were Justices Hugo Black and Potter Stewart.

In Black's dissent, he quoted from the Supreme Court of Georgia to clarify the right of privacy, saying it's "derived from natural law [and] thoroughly in accord with natural justice, with the principles of the law of every civilized nation."

Stewart says in his dissent, "I can find no such general right of privacy in the Bill of Rights, in any other part of the Constitution, or in any case ever before decided by this Court."

Justice William Douglas wrote the Court's opinion, saying there are "specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights" and these guarantees have "penumbras formed by emanations" — and these guarantees create "zones of privacy" which then give us the "right of privacy." 

Key Players

Some key figures in getting abortion legalized in the United States were: Lawrence or Larry Lader, Bernard Nathanson, Alan Guttmacher, Betty Friedan, Norma McCorvey, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee

Lader was referred to by Betty Friedan as "the father of abortion rights."

Lader was a Marxist who helped found the National Abortion Rights Action League or NARAL, which is the biggest so-called abortion rights organization in America. 

Guttmacher was one of the signers of the 'Humanist Manifesto II,' which rejects God and also pledges allegiance to 'the right to birth control, abortion and divorce.' 

In 1955, he wrote a biography of his mentor, Margaret Sanger, who was an outspoken racist and eugenicist and founded Planned Parenthood. In 1966, Lader also wrote the book Abortion, which was cited eight times in Roe v. Wade

Bernard Nathanson was also extremely influential in Roe v. Wade. Nathanson was another co-founder of NARAL, and from 1970–1978, he was responsible for around 75,000 abortions — this earned him the nickname "the abortion king." 

Nathanson converted later in his life, and in 1984, he narrated the highly controversial "Silent Scream," which showed the world for the first time what a first trimester suction abortion seen on an ultrasound looks like. 


 

Alan Guttmacher was another key player in Roe v. Wade. Guttmacher succeeded Margaret Sanger as he was the president of Planned Parenthood from 1962–1968. He was also the vice president of the American Eugenics Society

Guttmacher, by nature of his promotion of eugenics at the time, also spent the bulk of his time as a birth-control lecturer.

He said, "when you give the kids the keys to your car, be sure to give them contraceptives, too."

In 1973, the same year as Roe and one year before he died, Guttmacher was one of the signers of the "Humanist Manifesto II," which rejects God and also pledges allegiance to "the right to birth control, abortion and divorce." 

McCorvey later in her life admitted she lied — she never even got the abortion — and converted to Catholicism.

After Betty Friedan authored The Feminine Mystique in 1963, this made her the leading feminist at the time. The abortion movement needed her influence and got it as she was another co-founder of NARAL.

In her book, Friedan also looked to Margaret Sanger's promotion of birth control as a basis for her feminism.

Image
(L to R) Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee

Another key element to her feminist movement was getting mothers out of the house. She referred to the role of a housewife as "comfortable concentration camps" and called for "American women to break out of the housewife trap." 

Who Was 'Roe'?

Norma McCorvey was "Roe" from Roe v. Wade. In 1969, she was a young, vulnerable, drug-addicted, single mom from Texas who was pregnant with her third child. She sought an abortion and even lied about being raped to increase her chances of getting an abortion. Because she was in Texas with no money, she was out of luck.

Two young lawyers who couldn't find work anywhere else closed in on the vulnerable McCorvey. Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee convinced her to challenge the Texas abortion laws, which resulted in them filing suit against Henry Wade, who was the district attorney of Dallas County at the time. The district court sided with McCorvey, Weddington and Coffee, saying the Texas abortion laws were unconstitutional. The state then appealed, and that's how the case ended up in the Supreme Court.

Like Nathanson, McCorvey later in her life admitted she lied — she never even got the abortion — and converted to Catholicism.

Watch the full episode — Roe v. Wade.

--- Campaign 32075 ---

 

Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.


We rely on you to support our news reporting. Please donate today.
By commenting on ChurchMilitant.com you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines