Reviewing ROE

Last month, justice blindly refused to look at plain facts. On June 17, Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" in Roe v. Wade, filed a motion to re-open her famous case and request that the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion-on-demand be overturned in light of new facts. But two days later, a federal district court dismissed her petition, ruling that it wasn't filed within a "reasonable time." Judge David Godbey wrote, "It is simply too late now, thirty years after the fact, for McCorvey to revisit that judgment." McCorvey's attorney, Allan Parker, thinks the judge misunderstands the case. "This is not a case of newly discovered evidence, which must be brought in a short amount of time," he said. "It's a case of changed factual conditions and law." "Changed factual conditions" include far better prenatal imaging than was available three decades ago. What showed up as a fuzzy "blob of tissue" inside the womb in 1973 imagery, now through 3D and 4D ultrasound shows up clearly as a baby. Even the popular press makes that obvious now -- take, for example, cover stories in the June 9 Newsweek and last November in Time. Regarding "changed law," Parker pointed out that one factor in the Supreme Court's decision was that an unwanted child placed a burden on the woman. But since then, forty states have alleviated that burden -- enacting so-called "Baby Moses" laws, that authorize states to assume responsibility for the care of children whose parents don't want them. A judge might justifiably get bogged down in the 5,400 pages of evidence McCorvey's attorneys filed. But one pivotal part of that evidence deserves notice: the affidavits from one thousand women who regret their abortions, probably including some affidavits filed as a result of our January 16 BreakPoint. An Atlanta woman reported, "Ten years after the abortion, I almost had a nervous breakdown -- have suffered emotionally for twenty-five years." A Knoxville resident said, "I went from being on the Dean's List in college to getting Fs, incompletes, and withdrawals. I attempted suicide." A third woman reported, "Guilt -- lack of ability to deal adequately with true love and sex in marriage," and a fourth, " . . . complications in [later] becoming pregnant and carrying a child." Maybe the court was unimpressed with these one thousand women, thinking that that is an inconsequential percentage of the tens of millions of women who have had abortions. If you have had an abortion, please add your voice to those who have already filed. And if you know someone who has had an abortion or who went beyond the suicide "attempt" and actually took her life following an abortion, please report that as well. You'll find affidavits and other information on our website,, or you can call us here at BreakPoint (1-877-3-CALLBP). This issue is not going to go away. Noted Yale law professor Stephen Carter has written an excellent article in this month's Christianity Today. "ROE," he writes, "was a bad decision in a legal sense, something the Court will one day realize." Norma McCorvey said just speaking out about her role in legalizing abortion had lifted a crushing weight from her conscience. Post-abortive women can clear their consciences -- first, by asking God's forgiveness, then by writing out their story and submitting it to help others avoid the abortion mistake, and one day to help overturn a very bad law. For further reading and information: Visit this page to obtain affidavit forms for the case to overturn Roe v. Wade. Those who have not had an abortion may fill out the Friend of the Court affidavit form. Women who have had an abortion may fill out either the Question Form or Story Form to submit their testimony. Please let friends and family know about Operation Outcry so that they may participate in this effort. Stephen L. Carter, "Roe vs. Judicial Sense," Christianity Today, July 2003. BreakPoint Commentary 030116, "Operation Outcry: Good News for Abortion Victims." BreakPoint Commentary No. 021015, "Whose Choice Is 'Pro-Choice'?: Abortion and the Violated Conscience." BreakPoint Commentary No. 020815, "Project Cuddle: Saving America's Abandoned Babies." "History in the Making," The Justice Foundation press release, 17 June 2003 (includes "Legal Evidence Entered Into Court," excerpts from the more than one thousand women who have filed sworn affidavits as part of the Rule 60 court challenge). Adobe Acrobat Reader required. Debra Rosenberg, "The War Over Fetal Rights," Newsweek, 9 June 2003 (includes three-dimensional photos of the baby in the womb). For information on post-abortion research and healing, visit the Elliot InstituteRachel's Vineyardholds weekend retreats for post-abortion healing. Ramah International also ministers to and provides resources for post-abortive women. Ted Olsen, "Weblog: 'Roe' Files Motion to Have 1973 Decision Annulled," Christianity Today, 17 June 2003. Art Moore, " 'Roe' sues to overturn Roe v. Wade decision," WorldNetDaily, 17 June 2003. Lisa Falkenberg, " 'Roe' Seeks Reversal of Abortion Ruling," Washington Post, 18 June 2003. Lisa Falkenberg, "Fed Court Declines to Reopen Roe v. Wade," Washington Post, 21 June 2003. Charles A. Donovan, "Good Things to Life: Ultrasound Goes Deeper," BreakPoint Online, 15 April 2003. Karla Dial, "Bringing Good Things to Life," Citizen, June 2003. Read about the conversion of Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe): Norma McCorvey with Gary Thomas, "Roe v. McCorvey," Roe No More Ministry. For more information and discussion about abortion, see the January 14, 2003 ("Abortion and the Holocaust"), December 3, 2002 ("What's the Big Deal about Abortion?"), and November 19, 2002 ("Fearfully and Wonderfully Made"), editions of the "Worldview for Parents" page. "Baby's death divides small Iowa town," USA Today, 9 March 2002. Scott Klusendorf, Pro-Life 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Case Persuasively (Stand to Reason Press, 2002). "Building a Culture of Life: A Call to Respect Human Dignity in American Life" by Family Research Council includes practical ideas for changing the culture of American society to respect the sanctity of human life.


Chuck Colson


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