Roe v. Wade was the landmark Supreme Court decision that struck down state laws prohibiting abortion. I’m going to use a word in this article that I don’t believe is entirely accurate when applied to this case. That term is “legalized.” It is said that Roe v. Wade “legalized” abortion. And in a sense, that is correct. Though if we simply consider the form of government that we have, you will realize that it is not the job of the Supreme Court to make law. That dirty work is supposed to be left to the legislative branch of government. Yet, despite overstepping their jurisdictional boundaries, the Supreme Court has, in effect, legalized elective abortion for all nine months of pregnancy for any reason whatsoever.
Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973. The plaintiff was an anonymous “Jane Roe.” The defendant was District Attorney of Dallas County Henry Wade. The case revolved around Jane Roe, later identified as Norma McCorvey who claimed she had been raped and desired an abortion. Texas law denied her the abortion. Attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington jumped at the opportunity to advance their own agenda at the expense of McCorvey. They filed suit on her behalf. Norma McCorvey is now an outspoken pro-life advocate, though she was once a worker in an abortion mill. She admits that she lied about being raped. In her book, Won By Love, she details how a little seven year old girl, a daughter of a pro-life protester loved her unconditionally. Emily would constantly tell Norma, “Miss Norma, we’re praying for you.” At the time Norma’s identity was still protected. This small group of protesters had no idea they were talking with the very Roe of Roe v. Wade. The little girl’s persistence finally paid off when Norma McCorvey repented of her sin and turned to Christ. Norma McCorvey now leads a pro-life ministry called “Roe No More.” Listen to her testimony about the effects that this little girl had on her.
As my mind was challenged to consider the truth of the Gospel, God began working on my heart through a 7-year-old girl named Emily, the daughter of O.R. volunteer Ronda Mackey.
Quite understandably, I had difficulty relating to children. I had given birth to three, all of whom had been placed for adoption (one of them against my will). And because I worked in an abortion clinic, I was fearful of bonding with anyone so young. It was part of my denial. When you know what is happening to the children behind closed doors, it's difficult to become attached to them outside.
Emily's blatant affection, frequent hugs, and direct pursuit disarmed me. The little girl's interest was all the more surprising considering Emily made it very clear that her acceptance of me wasn't an acceptance of my lifestyle. Early on in our relationship, I explained to Emily, "I like kids and wouldn't let anyone hurt little kids," to which Emily responded, "Then why do you let them kill the babies at the clinic?"
On another occasion, I invited Emily into my office. As I made appointments, Emily kept herself occupied. During one phone call, I lost my temper and said to a caller, "I'd just as soon see you in hell as see you in here," and Emily responded, "You don't have to go to hell, Miss Norma. You can pray right now and Jesus will forgive you."
This childlike faith cut open my heart, making me receptive to the truth being shared by the adult volunteers at Rescue. I wasn't won over by compelling apologetics. I had a ninth grade education and a very soft heart. While the O.R. adults targeted my mind, Emily went straight for the heart. And over time, Emily began to personify the issue of abortion--especially when Ronda broke down and told me that Emily had almost been aborted.
If any of you are familiar with this case, or you have been told that Roe v. Wade only prohibited abortions in the first three months, you have been fed a half truth. Roe indeed declares that abortion is legal for any reason for the first three months. However, it also allows for abortions after the three month time period for reasons of rape, incest, or the health of the mother. There is a much less publicized companion case, Doe v. Bolton that was also decided on the same day as Roe. This case defined “health of the mother” to be anything that a woman and her doctor decide it to be, including psychological health. Here is the official statement:
Whether, in the words of the Georgia statute, "an abortion is necessary" is a professional judgment that the Georgia physician will be called upon to make routinely. We agree with the District Court… that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age - relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.
So, with the supported of the companion case, Roe indeed legalizes abortion for all nine months of pregnancy for any reason whatsoever. This is also why pro-lifers are so adamant about not including exceptions in any pro-life legislation that is proposed. We are particularly opposed to any language that makes “health of the mother” a valid exception. As a side note, “Mary Doe,” later identified as Sandra Cano, identifies herself as pro-life and claims that her attorney, Margie Pitts Hames, lied to her in order to have a plantiff.
Roe v. Wade did not come to us in a vacuum. Like most bad law, it came from bad precedent. In 1965 another egregious case was decided in Griswold v. Connecticut. This is the Supreme Court decision that struck down state prohibitions on birth control. In this decision the Supreme Court somehow “discovered” a secret “right to privacy” that had been hidden in the "penumbras" and "emanations" of other constitutional protections besides the original Bill of Rights. What most of the American people do not understand is that chemical forms of birth control often cause spontaneous abortion. How appropriate then, for it to be the precedent used for the outright killing of children through mechanical means. This assertion is thoroughly documented in Randy Alcorn’s book, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortion? Sadly, just like the abortion issue today, the churches of 1965 had already failed to speak out against the deadly effects of chemical birth control. When God’s people are silent, depraved human nature takes over and commits terrible sins.