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‘Jane Roe’ of Roe v. Wade goes to court for the unborn

WASHINGTON (BP)–Nearly three decades after the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide, the original plaintiff in the landmark Roe v. Wade case is urging a federal court to reconsider the 1973 Supreme Court decision.

“My case was wrongfully decided and has caused great harm to the women and children of our nation,” said Norma McCorvey, better known as “Jane Roe,” who had a change of heart about abortion in the years after the Supreme Court ruling.

McCorvey and Sandra Cano (of the Roe companion case Doe v. Bolton) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a class action lawsuit May 31 in the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals, CNSNews.com reported June 1

McCorvey and Cano want their respective cases overturned so that the class action suit against abortion providers can proceed.

The two are represented by the Texas Justice Foundation, a San Antonio-based public interest law firm. Their brief states that their cases were improperly applied by the lower court in dismissing the class action suit, which is now on appeal to the Third Circuit.

Allan Parker, CEO and founder of the Texas Justice Foundation, said the class action lawsuit alleges in part that neither the state of New Jersey nor abortion providers adequately protect the health of women and the life of the unborn child.

In the case of one plaintiff, her parents allegedly forced her to have an abortion. On top of that, the abortion clinic allegedly never asked for her consent.

The other two plaintiffs allege that abortion clinics gave them false or misleading information, not telling them that the abortion would “take a human life.”

“There are other states that … have allowed you to sue for the loss of life in the womb,” Parker said. “We call that a denial of equal protection. Some women in some states whose children are injured while in the womb can recover legally for damages.

“In this case, in New Jersey, they’re not allowed to recover for injuries to children in the womb,” Parker said.

Abortion law expert Michael Scaperlanda of the University of Oklahoma College of Law said that whatever the legal merits of the case, the court of public opinion may be more important for the time being.

“You’re fighting this battle on two fronts: the courts and public opinion,” Scaperlanda told CNSNews.com.

“If they can get the courts and or the public, and preferably both, to see that abortion really is in many instances coerced — either legally or just persuaded — then maybe that will turn the tide of public opinion more and more against abortion,” he said.

The court probably will not give weight to the fact that Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano have filed amicus briefs, Scaperlanda said. “But it is a value added, and that is whether the court pays attention to it and the extent that the media pays attention.

“Also,” Scaperlanda added, “if they can successfully sue doctors, it raises the cost and makes it more likely doctors won’t want to pursue it.”

Abortion foes should pursue a strategy similar to the one employed by civil rights activists that toppled segregated schools and led to Brown v. Board of Education, Scaperlanda said.

“You do it incrementally at first. You go after the things that all of society is going to agree are the most egregious things.”
Hall is a staff writer with CNSNews.com. Used by permission.

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  • Christine Hall