WASHINGTON (BP)–The woman whose challenge of a Texas law resulted in the legalization of abortion in the United States has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse that 1973 ruling.
Norma McCorvey announced recently she has asked the justices to review and overturn their landmark Roe v. Wade opinion. McCorvey, who was identified as “Jane Roe” in that case but is now a pro-life advocate, has been rebuffed by two lower federal courts in her effort as the original party to invalidate a decision that has produced more than 40 million legal abortions in the last 32 years.
“America is slowly dying of a holocaust of abortion that began with Roe v. Wade,” McCorvey said Jan. 18 in announcing the filing with the high court, CNS News reported.
Her effort is given little hope of succeeding by most observers. The court has reaffirmed the Roe opinion and maintains a 6-3 majority in support of the ruling. It is unknown when the justices will announce their response to McCorvey’s appeal.
A federal judge in Dallas rebuffed McCorvey’s request in 2003. In September 2004, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously dismissed her case.
One of the appeals court judges, however, criticized Roe. Judge Edith Jones said McCorvey’s suit no longer had merit because the Texas law banning abortion has been repealed in effect, but she described the Roe decision as an “exercise of raw judicial power.”
“Because the court’s rulings have rendered basic abortion policy beyond the power of our legislative bodies, the arms of representative government may not meaningfully debate McCorvey’s evidence,” Jones wrote in a concurring opinion. “The perverse result of the court’s having determined through constitutional adjudication this fundamental social policy, which affects over a million women and unborn babies each year, is that the facts no longer matter.”
Jones said that the high court someday should re-examine the Roe decision.
“Hard and social science will of course progress even though the Supreme Court averts its eyes,” she wrote. “It takes no expert prognosticator to know that research on women’s mental and physical health following abortion will yield an eventual medical consensus, and neonatal science will push the frontiers of fetal ‘viability’ ever closer to the date of conception. One may fervently hope that the court will someday acknowledge such developments and re-evaluate Roe and Casey accordingly.”
After working for an abortion rights organization, McCorvey became a Christian in 1995. She also became a pro-lifer and later converted to Catholicism.
The Supreme Court’s Roe decision, decided by a 7-2 vote, overturned all state laws prohibiting abortion. In combination with the Doe v. Bolton opinion released at the same time, the ruling had the effect of permitting abortion for any reason throughout pregnancy.
Justice Foundation President Allan Parker, who is representing McCorvey, said his team has more than 1,000 women as witnesses who have been harmed physically and/or emotionally by legal abortion, CNS News reported.