After his ignoble disgrace, Satan was being expelled from Heaven.
As he passed through the Gates, he paused a moment in thought, and
turned to God and said, "A new creature called Man, I hear, is
soon to be created." "This is true," He replied.
"He will need laws," said the Demon slyly.
"What! You, his appointed Enemy for all Time! You ask for the
right to make his laws?"
"Oh, no!" Satan replied. "I ask only that he be
allowed to make his own."
It was so granted.
But the new [abortion] decisions come so close to allowing what the
average man would call "abortion on demand" that Justice
Burger might have saved his breath. By neatly dividing pregnancy into
three trimesters and subjecting a woman only to medical restrictions
imposed in good faith in the first two trimesters, the Court has given
the abortion movement practically what it asked for.
Paul Blanshard and Edd Doerr. "A
Glorious Victory." The Humanist, May/June 1973, page 6.
Anti-choice people have shown how unwilling they are to compromise by
attempting to tamper with the abortion decision Roe v. Wade. This
decision was a reasonable compromise, and it effectively and fairly
balances the rights of the woman and the fetus.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of
The Declaration of Independence.
For more than three decades, the United States Supreme Court has been
the vehicle by which sweeping Neoliberal reforms have been forced onto
After all, it is much easier to convince nine people of your position
than it is to persuade thousands of legislators at the state level,
particularly when those elite nine persons share your general social
agenda to begin with. In fact, these nine Justices have even displaced
God as the ultimate source of authority for pro-abortionists. As Lucinda
Finley, lawyer for the Pro-Choice Network of New York, has asserted,
"Federal court judges are supreme over God."
It is fascinating to see how the Supreme Court is bound by the same
immutable laws that constrain society at large. In particular, the
inevitable progression from artificial contraception to abortion to
euthanasia is followed neatly in the Court's opinions.
The Role of the Supreme Court.
The lawyers, not the philosophers, are the clergy of liberalism.
Alasdair MacIntyre. Whose Justice? Whose
Supreme Court Associate Justice Holmes once opined that "Laws
are beliefs that have triumphed and no more." And, in
contemporary America, the beliefs of the anti-life forces have been
hammered into law by the blacksmiths (blackguards?) of the United States
In the hands of such an establishment, the Constitution of the United
States fixes no set limits or boundaries, but is simply a set of rather
As Roe v. Wade author Justice William Brennan has baldly
stated, "The Supreme Court is not bound to those precise, at times
anachronistic contours" of the Constitution.
Legal scholar Edward L. Fike has noted that such an attitude has
transformed the Supreme Court into a "robed Politburo from which
there is no recourse." This renders somewhat moot constitutional
historian Charles Warren's observation that "However the Court may
interpret the provisions of the Constitution, it is still the
Constitution which is the law, not the decisions of the Court."
Much was revealed by Judge Robert Bork's 1988 lynching at the hands
of the Neoliberal establishment. Bork has stated that, to the extent we
have "judicial activism" we will have "... a small group
of unelected, unrepresentative judges making the basic law of the
nation, quite irrespective of the desires of the electorate, and quite
irrespective of the Constitution. That would bring minority tyranny in
Tyranny it is, and tyranny in spades. More than 360 years ago, Robert
Bacon stated that "Their [judges] office is jus dicere, and
not jus dire; to interpret law, and not to make law, or to give
It is the job of the Congress and State legislatures to make
law as our official and elected representatives. They reflect the will
of the people in what the laws are that we want to govern us.
It is the job of the Courts merely to interpret that law in
light of precedent and the United States Constitution.
What the Neoliberal judicial activists want to do, of course, is
discard the historic meaning of the Constitution and turn it into an
abstract concept that has no specific meaning and can be molded to suit
the whims of judges who want to enact a social agenda. In other words,
the ultimate goal is a kind of ultraflexible written mandate for
unlimited situational ethics.
This is no conservative paranoid fantasy; the Supreme Court has
already handed down several Constitutional amendments in practical
effect, including the No-Prayer Amendment of June 25, 1962, when the
Supreme Court amended the Constitution to read "No prayer shall be
offered in a public school;" the Uniform Method of Electing State
Legislatures Amendment of June 15, 1964; and, of course, the Abortion
Amendment of January 22, 1973.
Naturally, the famed Neoliberal double standard is hard at work here.
Now that the United States Supreme Court is taking on a decidedly
conservative hue, Neoliberals are suddenly concerned about
'court-packing' and 'court balance,' concepts they seemed blissfully
unaware of while a Neoliberal Court was enacting their agenda over the
Up until the election of Bill Clinton, every Federal conservative
presidential court appointee now undergoes a merciless grilling which
never happened as President Carter appointed his 264 Federal judges to
the bench 258 (98%) of which were Democrats!
There will be no such problem under the Clinton regime, because
"Slick Willie" will make sure that no conservative justices
make it to the Federal bench.
Pro-lifers have also become sick of hearing Neoliberals whine about
how the Reagan and Bush administrations have applied an "anti-Roe
v. Wade litmus test" to Federal judgeship appointments, while
they seem to have no trouble at all with President Bill Clinton's
pre-election promise that no he would appoint no judge that did not
support the abortion decision.
Supreme Court Abortion
There is no better way of exercising the imagination than the study
of law. No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer
French playwright Jean Giraudoux.
This chapter briefly describes the more important abortion-related
decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court. Figure 89-1
shows pertinent information on the individual Supreme Court justices and
their voting records regarding abortion. The cases described below are
numbered, so that votes may be more easily tabulated by case in Figure
THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT RECORD ON MAJOR ABORTION DECISIONS
[A medium text size on your computer's 'view'
setting is recommended, otherwise, the tables may be discombobulated.]
Sandra Day O'Connor
votes (O) votes (X)
Key to Decision Numbers
(1) Roe v. Wade
(2) Doe v. Bolton
(3) Bigelow v. Virginia
(4) Planned Parenthood v. Danforth
(5) Carey v. Population Services International
(6) Maher v. Roe and Beal v. Doe
(7) Poelker v. Doe
(8) Coalutti v. Franklin
(9) Poelker v. Doe
(10) McRabe v. HEW and Zbarez v. Quern
(11) Williams and Diamond v. Zbarez
(12) Harris v. McRae
(13) H.L. v. Matheson
(14) Akron v. Reproductive Health
(15) Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft
(16) Bowen v. American Association of Hospitals
(17) Thornberg v. ACOG
(18) Conn v. Conn
(19) Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
(20) Rust v. Sullivan
(21) Planned Parenthood v. Casey
NOTE: An asterisk (* ) denotes that the justices, in making
the primary decision regarding the case in question, ruled on a
procedural point of law that cannot be interpreted decisively to be
either pro-life or anti-life in nature. In the Casey decision,
there was wide dissention as to what constituted a genuine
"pro-life" or "pro-choice" vote, so only those
votes that were clearly one way or the other are included.
Life Life Year
Votes Votes Birth
By On Court
William O. Douglas
William Brennan, Jr.
Lewis Powell, Jr.
John Paul Stevens
Sandra Day O'Connor
All bad precedents began as justifiable measures.
Gaius Julius Caesar.
On May 3, 1971, the United States Supreme Court agreed to consider
the abortion cases Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.
This worried pro-lifers intensely, because they knew that
pro-abortion activists had stated in workshops that the only way they
would obtain abortion on demand was through the court system.
Pro-life fears, as it turned out, were well founded. On January 22,
1973, the country's daily newspapers were filled with the details of
Richard Nixon's inauguration for his second term as President. Almost
unnoticed by many was a news story that would have a much greater impact
on the nation than either Nixon's inauguration or his resignation under
a cloud of suspicion and disgrace: The Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade
decision, which ushered in the American Holocaust in earnest.
The Court had miraculously discovered in the Constitution a sweeping
new right that had gone unnoticed by Congress, the legislatures of all
50 states, all previous Supreme Court Justices, and everyone else for
Roe v. Wade stated, in effect, that not one of the fifty
state legislatures had ever understood the Constitution correctly in the
area of abortion.
Of course, the good Justices were a just a bit foggy about just where
in the Constitution this shiny new right could be found Justice Blackmun
said that "We feel that the right [to abortion] is located in the
Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty," but it might
be instead "... in the Ninth Amendment's concept of personal
This unseemly thrashing around in search of an abortion right that
had heretofore remained undetected for more than 200 years was
subsequently exposed by the Legal Times; "Looking back on
that argument, [Sarah Weddington] laughs as she recalls that Justice
Potter Stewart asked her where in the Constitution she found the right
[to abortion] for which she had so fervently argued. "Any place we
find it will be okay with you, right?" Stewart asked Weddington."
Not only was there no constitutional basis for the abortion
"right," but the very case set up by the pro-abortionists was
phony. Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe") claimed that she was raped,
but later admitted that she lied. This incident demonstrates how rare
the real "hard cases" really are. Pro-abortion author Marian
Faux acknowledged that "It certainly was not [Sarah] Weddington's
first choice to use a kind of trumped-up defendant, but if no one else
turned up, she realized it might be her only option."
January 22, 1973 was, to the few active pro-lifers of the time, many
things. Black Monday Pearl Harbor for the unborn the opening of the
bloodgates. The slaughter of the preborn could now begin in earnest.
What Did Roe Really Say?
For years, the pro-aborts and their willing media puppets have been
feeding the public a string of blatant lies crowned with the biggest
whopper of them all: That abortion is only legal through the first three
months of pregnancy. In reality, during the entire nine months of
pregnancy, the state, with very few exceptions, must leave the abortion
decision entirely to the woman and her aborter.
The actual 'restrictions' set up by the Roe v. Wade decision
depend entirely upon an arbitrary trimester system as follows.
For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first
trimester, the abortion decision and the actual procedure must be left
to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician.
For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the
first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of
the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways
that are reasonably related to maternal health.
For the stage subsequent to viability, the State, in
promoting its interest in the 'potentiality' of human life, may, if it
chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is
necessary, in appropriate medical judgement, for the preservation of the
life and health of the mother.
Note the language in the third paragraph very carefully. It says that
the State may allegedly prohibit abortion except when the doctor
determines that the mother's health requires otherwise. However, the
companion Supreme Court decision Doe v. Bolton expanded the
definition of maternal 'health' to mean virtually anything. This means
that a woman may have an abortion, even in the third trimester, if she
can convince the abortionist that it is in her own best interest.
Obviously, this is no problem at all; the late-term abortions are the
In June 1983, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee published
its official report on the Hatch Amendment. The third page of this
report contains the following statement; "The Senate Judiciary
Committee observes that no significant legal barrier of any kind
whatsoever exists today in the United States for a woman to obtain an
abortion for any reason during any stage of her pregnancy."
The most important aspect of Roe was its tremendous extension
of the "right to privacy" suddenly discovered by the Supreme
Court in its 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut ruling (described later
in this chapter).
Justice Harry Blackmun wrote that
The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right to privacy.
In a line of decisions, however, the Court has recognized that a right
of personal privacy ... does exist under the Constitution. In varying
contexts, the Court or individual Justices have indeed found at least
the roots of the right in the First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, and
in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, Griswold v. Connecticut ...
The Roe v. Wade decision and its entrained "privacy
right" has spawned a plethora of hideous and illogical anti-life
decisions in virtually every field.
Judges and attorneys have used Roe as justification for;
wrongful birth suits (Beaman v. Allen, 80 N.J. 421,
404 A.2d 8 (1979));
letting handicapped newborns die a horrible death of
starvation and thirst (American Academy of Pediatrics v. Heckler,
561 F.Supp.395 (D.D.C. 1983));
the denial of heart surgery to a mentally handicapped toddler
(Bothman v. Warren, 445 U.S. 949 (1980));
the denial of cancer treatment to an elderly person (Supt.
of Belchertown v. Saikewicz, 373 Mass. 728,370); and
the cessation of respiratory aid to a comatose teenager
(N.E.2d 417(1977), in re Quinlan, 70 N.J., 355/A.2d 647 (1976)).
The Question of Viability.
From the beginning of the second trimester until 'viability'
(undefined by the Court), the state may only enact laws which regulate
abortions in ways "reasonably related to maternal health."
This means only that a state may determine who is qualified to perform
abortions and where abortions may take place. The state, however, may in
no way restrict abortion access.
In a memorandum written to the other Supreme Court justices on
November 21, 1972, Harry Blackmun, author of Roe, stated that;
"You will observe that I have concluded that the end of the first
trimester is critical. This is arbitrary, but perhaps any other selected
point, such as quickening or viability, is equally arbitrary."
No Real Restrictions.
After viability, the law may forbid a woman to have an abortion that
is not determined to be necessary to preserve her "life or
health," which is subsequently defined in such broad terms by the
Court i.e., social well-being that it is impossible for a state to
protect the unborn child at any time during pregnancy.
This is reflected in the fact that about 15,000 third-trimester
abortions per year are performed in this country.
Turning Away from Precedent.
The Roe v. Wade decision effectively wiped out a series of
Supreme Court decisions that not only protected the rights of the unborn
child, but also held that the 'right to procreate' (including the father's
right to procreate) was inviolable.
As long ago as 1923, the Court held in Meyer v. Nebraska that
"The right to conceive and raise one's children has been deemed
The state of Oklahoma, in the late 1930s and early 1940s,
involuntarily sterilized hundreds of criminals convicted of certain
crimes. The Supreme Court's Skinner v. Oklahoma decision, handed
down in 1942, expanded upon Meyer by stating that "Oklahoma
deprives certain individuals of a right which is basic to the
perpetuation of the race, the right to have offspring."
And in 1953, the Supreme Court stated in May v. Anderson that
the right to bear and raise children is "far more precious than
Only one year before Roe, the justices made it quite clear
that even unwed fathers have parental rights. In Stanley v. Illinois,
the justices struck down a law that automatically took children away
from an unwed father if the mother died thereby nullifying legislation
that assumed that unwed fathers were, by definition, unfit parents.
Invoking the due process clause, the justices said that
The State cannot, consistent with due process requirements, merely
presume that unmarried fathers in general ... are unsuitable and
neglectful parents. Parental unfitness must be established on the
basis of individualized proof ... The denial to unwed fathers of a
hearing on fitness ... constitutes a denial of equal protection of the
Most incredibly, the Supreme Court turned its back on the very
decision that defined unborn babies as persons the 1946 case Bonbrest
v. Kotz, where the Court defined "child" as "an
unborn or recently born human being."
And so, with one fell swoop, the justices fulfilled a cherished
social agenda, and swept away their own decisions which
established the rights of the unborn and their fathers.
Now, of course, pro-aborts are telling pro-life activists that the
Court must abide by stare decisis (the doctrine of following
principles laid down in previous legal decisions), in spite of the fact
that Roe itself violated a huge galaxy of legal precedent. In any
case, the Constitutional Handbook that sits in every legislator's
office notes that more than 184 decisions of the Supreme Court have been
overruled by the Court at a later date.
The lies and fabrications concocted by the pro-abortionists to keep Roe
on the books would be laughable if they were not so effective. For
instance, in his amicus brief of September 1985, Harvard Law
Professor Laurence Tribe made the imbecilic assertion that; "State
efforts to ferret out prohibited abortions as defined by the Government
would require not only searches of bedrooms for telltale 'morning-after'
pills, but also searches of women's bodies for intrauterine
Anyone who believes such drivel is obviously either insane or
fanatically pro-abortion (perhaps, after all, these terms are
Decisions" Were Based Upon Lies.
Court activity required less support (and certainly tolerated no
lobbying) than attempts to change the laws through state legislatures.
Roe v. Wade.
Homosexual Norma McCorvey claimed that she was a victim of a
gang-rape incident, which she later admitted was a barefaced lie. She
never did obtain her abortion, but instead gave her daughter up for
It is instructive to note that, despite her obvious disreputable
nature, she is still a heroine and mindless tool of the pro-abortion
movement nearly two decades later. She is not intelligent or articulate
enough to debate or answer questions from the press unaided, so she
always travels with a retinue of pro-abortion experts who carefully
coach her in every situation.
Even more repulsive than this charade is her expressed 'desire' to
locate the daughter that she wanted to abort. When asked whether or not
she would have aborted her daughter if she had been given the chance,
McCorvey replied "Absolutely ... If I have a chance to talk to her,
I'll explain what happened, and why I did what I did and said what I
said. If she doesn't get it, I'll tell her to get out of Dodge City,
Pro-life activists wonder what that daughter will say to the 'mother'
who wanted so badly to kill her.
Doe v. Bolton.
This case overturned Georgia's already-permissive abortion law.
The plaintiff in the companion case to Roe, Doe v. Bolton, had
identified herself as Mary Doe. Her real name was Sandra Kay Race
Bensing, and she was invited to file the original suit by Legal Aid of
Atlanta, in return for free help in obtaining a divorce and for help
from feminist attorney Margie Pitts Haimes in regaining custody of her
two children. She happened to be pregnant at the time, but had no
intention whatever of getting an abortion (nor did she). In fact, she
told the Atlanta Constitution on December 9, 1988, that
"Mary Doe didn't want an abortion, Mary Doe didn't have an
abortion, and Mary Doe won't ever have an abortion."
As background, Cano was pregnant and trying to escape from her
abusive husband. Her stepfather, while babysitting her previous
children, had one day delivered them into the hands of juvenile
authorities, who immediately classified them as "abandoned."
She had planned to remarry, but discovered that her divorce from her
abusive husband was not finalized.
In desperation, she turned to the Legal Aid Services Corporation, and
lawyers from the National Organization for Women (NOW) saw in her a
The NOW lawyers promised Cano that they would obtain a divorce for
her and regain custody of her children. In return, they asked her for
the "small favor" of acting as the anonymous plaintiff in the Doe
v. Bolton abortion case.
The NOW lawyers initially assumed that Cano wanted to abort the child
she was carrying without even consulting her, but when they encouraged
her to get an abortion, she recalled that "I made it immediately
clear I couldn't do that."
Despite Cano's refusal, the NOW lawyers simply made her an
appointment to abort her 25-week baby with Dr. Donald Block at Georgia
Baptist Hospital. Under extreme stress, Cano said that "I know no
matter what it cost I could not let them take my baby, so I ran
Cano commonly describes to pro-lifers how she was viciously and
relentlessly pressured to abort by the people who dishonestly refer to
themselves as "pro-choice," solely because her abortion would
make her much more believable as a plaintiff in the case.
It was obvious to all involved that Sandra Cano did not want to abort
her child, and, in fact, was against abortion in general. Cano had been
used as an ignorant tool by the abortionists to get what they wanted
abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
This case helped reveal the true face of the abortionists. While they
simper that they "care deeply about women," they use
vulnerable women ruthlessly whenever it suits their deadly purpose.
As Cano herself stated, "I was told this suit would help me to
get my children back and I signed papers as they were put in from of me
with that explanation I was led by the nose and never told that the
price they intended to exact from me was to legalize the murder of
The NOW attorneys naturally had the records of the case sealed,
allegedly to "protect their client's privacy,' but the real reason
was so that nobody could research the details of their deceptive and
unscrupulous practices. In 1980, Cano petitioned the Court to have the
records of the Doe v. Bolton case unsealed in order to prove that
she was the authentic "Mary Doe."
Upon examining the records, she found that the pro-abortion lawyers
had fabricated quotes and attributed them to her. "I was in shock
at what I read. The contents did not contain my words or my wants,
nothing I said or felt was there." Cano eventually went public with
her story and became a well-known pro-life activist.
The reaction of the pro-abortionists was typical.
Cano endured dozens of death threats, and her car was even shot at
twice. The car eventually was stolen, her telephone wires were cut and
illegally tapped, and her home was repeatedly scrawled with pro-abortion
obscenities and splattered with blood and rotten eggs.
In retrospect, the NOW lawyers made lavish promises to Cano in order
to get her cooperation, but never bothered to help her with a divorce or
with her child custody problems. As far as the National Organization for
Women was concerned, Sandra Cano was nothing more than an unwitting tool
to be used and discarded when her usefulness expired.
Both of the January 22, 1973 abortion decisions were based upon lies.
They were both supposedly brought to aid two 'hard-luck' abortion cases,
but one plaintiff was lying for her own benefit, and pro-abortion
lawyers were lying for the other plaintiff. It is extremely
significant that the plaintiff's attorneys could not even find a real
'hard case' to pursue.
In reality, of course, it matters little that these decisions were
based upon lies and biased, inaccurate medical information. There was an
objective (unlimited abortion), a tool (a willing Supreme Court), and
That is all that anti-lifers ever need ever need to ram through their
Will Roe v. Wade Save This Country?
Justice is the sanction of established injustice.
French novelist and poet Anatole France.
There is no question that Roe v. Wade is an evil decision that
has cost this nation tens of millions of innocent lives. However, one
little-known theory holds that the Supreme Court, on January 22, 1973,
may have indirectly saved this country by short-circuiting our slow
slide down the slippery slope and plunging us into the cold waters of
the abyss in a single day.
Prior to 1973, the anti-life forces in this country had been making
small but very steady advances all over the country with their deadly
abortion and euthanasia agendas. In the absence of Roe, they
probably would have continued this slow advance, taking advantage of the
principle of incrementalism. This principle states that, if a group
proceeds slowly and carefully enough, and takes small, well-calculated
steps, it can accomplish anything if it is patient enough, because its
natural opposition will be less likely to perceive a threat.
Roe v. Wade changed all of that. In one day, abortion on demand
was swept into all 50 states. The pro-life movement took a decade to get
over the shock and begin to react properly. This reaction, delayed as it
was, might never have taken place if abortion had slowly crept into
place with little fanfare. If Roe had not been handed down, we
might have had abortion on demand with virtually no pro-life movement to
fight it in this country today.
In other words, Roe v. Wade violated the immutable law of
social incrementalism and gave the pro-life movement a focusing point.
Without Roe, pro-lifers really could not properly focus on the
thousand little steps that the anti-lifers would have used to gain the
same result of abortion on demand.
For further information on the process of incrementalism or
gradualism, see Chapter 7 of Volume I.
Other Supreme Court
The care of human life and happiness, and not its destruction, is
the first and only legitimate object of good government.
The following paragraphs very briefly summarize the major abortion
and abortion-related decisions handed down by the United States Supreme
Court. These decisions very clearly show a progression first toward
unlimited abortion on demand, and then, since about 1985, a reversed and
accelerating trend towards protecting the unborn.
Hopefully, a decision that will protect the preborn will eventually
be written by a newly-conservative Supreme Court. Under current
conditions, however, the pro-life movement might have to wait another
twenty years for such an event.
Figure 89-1 shows how each Supreme Court justice voted on most of the
cases described below.
Griswold v. Connecticut
381 U.S. 479
June 7, 1965
Of all human pursuits, murder has the most deadly need of privacy.
Man will go to any length
to preserve the solitude in which he takes life, even to homicide,
yet by no act can he more completely and irrevocably destroy it.
William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust, 1948.
This decision created for the first time the mythical "right to
privacy," while overturning a Connecticut law prohibiting the sale
or distribution of artificial birth control devices. This "right to
privacy" was quickly and inevitably expanded from married persons
to unmarried persons, then to fornicating teenagers, then to abortion on
demand, and eventually to infanticide and euthanasia.
This case demonstrated that Planned Parenthood has been deeply
involved in the judicial re-engineering of our country's sexual ethics
right from the very beginning.
Estelle T. Griswold, the executive director of the Planned Parenthood
League of Connecticut, and her medical director, were convicted under an
1879 Connecticut statute that forbade counseling and advising on or
prescribing birth control devices for married persons.
Griswold challenged the law, arguing that the Connecticut law was in
violation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and
an appellate court and the Supreme Court of Connecticut agreed with her.
This is the most important Supreme Court decision ever made
(surpassing in significance even Roe v. Wade), because it
established the "right of privacy" which would be used later
by numerous courts to justify both abortion and euthanasia.
Justice William O. Douglas, who delivered the Court's opinion, wrote
that "... specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras,
formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and
substance ... Various guarantees create zones of privacy ..."
"The present case, then, concerns a relationship lying within
the zone of privacy created by several fundamental guarantees ..."
Pro-life activists immediately recognized that this wording could be
used to justify any "right" whatever.
In one sweeping motion, the court had transformed the concept of
privacy from an aspect of the common-law right of private property the
"general right of the individual to be let alone" to the new
legal concept of an individual's "inviolate personality."
In establishing such a 'right,' the court turned its back on
precedent set in several of its own decisions, including Prudential
Insurance Company v. Cheek [259 U.S. 530 (1922)], which was a case
that involved the validity of service letter contract laws.
An excerpt from the majority opinion in Prudential read
"But, as we have stated, neither the 14th Amendment nor any other
provision of the Constitution of the United States imposes upon the
states any restrictions about 'freedom of speech' or the 'liberty of
silence,' nor, we may add, does it confer any right to privacy upon
either persons or corporations."
In his dissent, Justice Potter Stewart expressed the heart of the
pro-life argument when he wrote that
In the course of its opinion, the Court refers to no less than six
amendments to the Constitution: The First, the Third, the Fourth, the
Fifth, the Ninth and the 14th. But the Court does not say which of
these amendments, if any, it thinks is infringed by this Connecticut
What provision of the Constitution, then, does make this law
invalid? The Court says it is the right of privacy 'created by several
fundamental constitutional guarantees.' With all due deference, 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
At the oral argument in this case we were told that the Connecticut
law does not 'conform to current community standards.' But it is not
the function of this Court to decide cases on the basis of community
standards. We are here to decide cases 'agreeable to the Constitution
and laws of the United States.
United States v. Vuitch
402 U.S. 62, No. 84
April 21, 1971
In this case, the United States Supreme Court addressed abortion
directly for the first time. The Court upheld the District of Columbia's
abortion statute and declared it "not constitutionally vague."
This was an extremely important decision in that it upheld a
Washington, DC statute that prohibited abortion except to preserve the
mother's life or health.
Abortionist Milan Vuitch was indicted for producing and attempting to
procure abortions in violation of a statute that prohibited abortions
except to preserve the mother's life or health.
As a result of this ruling, the Supreme Court included "mental
health" for the first time in the overall definition of
This definition was, in effect, a prescription for abortion on
demand. As described in Chapter 51, "Health Indications for
Abortion," under such definitions it has been historically shown
that more than 90 percent of all abortions are performed for
Eisenstadt v. Baird
408 U.S. 438
March 22, 1972
Long-time pro-abortion activist Bill Baird was convicted of violating
Massachusetts law by exhibiting contraceptive devices at a Boston
University talk on overpopulation and birth control. He also gave a
young unmarried woman a package of vaginal foam at the end of his talk.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld Baird's conviction for giving
away the foam.
In overturning this conviction, the Supreme Court's majority opinion
It would be plainly unreasonable to assume that Massachusetts has
prescribed pregnancy and the birth of an unwanted child as punishment
for fornication, which is a misdemeanor under Massachusetts law ...
whatever the rights of the individual to access to contraceptives may
be, the rights must be the same for the unmarried and the married
If under Griswold the distribution of contraceptives to married
persons cannot be prohibited, a ban on distribution to unmarried
persons would be equally impermissible ... If the right to privacy
means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single,
to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so
fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether or not to
beget a child.
In effect, then, this decision extended the "right to
privacy" found in the Griswold ruling, stating that no law
could forbid unmarried persons from obtaining contraceptives.
Roe v. Wade
January 22, 1973
This decision stripped the States of their lawful authority to
regulate abortion. It built upon Griswold's mythical "right
to privacy," allegedly based in the United States Constitution,
which is also the legal foundation of other anti-life practices such as
infanticide and euthanasia. It has changed our society profoundly, and,
since the United States is considered a world leader in ethics and
morals, has done incalculable damage to other nations as well, including
Canada, our neighbor to the North.
For a more detailed description of this decision, see the first half
of this chapter.
Doe v. Bolton
January 22, 1973
This decision and Roe are generally known as the "Abortion
Decisions" by legal scholars.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court stated that abortions could
be performed in the second and third trimesters for the 'mother's
physical or mental health.' In Doe v. Bolton, the companion
decision to Roe, the Court expanded this definition so that the
abortionist has legal discretion to kill children for virtually any
reason whatever throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy;
"... the medical judgement 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. This allows the attending physician the room he needs
For a more detailed description of this decision, see the first half
of this chapter.
Bigelow v. Virginia
421 U.S. 809, No. 73-1309
June 16, 1975
Jeffrey C. Bigelow, editor of the Virginia Weekly, was
convicted of advertising for out-of-state abortions in New York, where
they were legal. On May 13, 1971, Bigelow was charged under a Virginia
law making it a misdemeanor to publish any material that would encourage
the procuring of abortions. His conviction was upheld by the Supreme
Court of Virginia.
The Supreme Court held that a state may not prohibit or regulate in
any manner publications relating to out-of-state services, including
(No Case Number)
T__H__ v. Jones
425 Fed. Supp. 873
July 23, 1975
Utah law forbade the distribution of contraceptives to minors and the
provision of information and advice on contraceptives to minors, without
This regulation was challenged by an anonymous teenaged girl who had
requested birth control devices from the Utah Planned Parenthood
Association. She was a member of a family receiving Medicaid and Aid to
Families With Dependent Children (AFDC).
The 'Right to Privacy' Again.
The three-judge panel of the District Court of Utah decided that the
Utah parental consent requirement violated the 'right to privacy' of the
minor as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the United States
Among his other arguments, the Utah State Attorney General held that
it was absurd for the State to expect parents to have a legal
responsibility for their children, and then ban the parents from
involvement in such a sensitive issue.
Judges Ritter and Lewis, writing for the majority, stated that
"If, as Roe teaches, the 14th Amendment protects a woman's right to
decide whether she will terminate her pregnancy, it must also, we
believe, protect her right to take measures to guard against pregnancy
... We believe that, in appropriate cases, the state's interest in
enforcing parental prerogatives must yield to the fundamental rights of
minors ... these youths will be aided by the mature judgment of trained
[Planned Parenthood] adults before making important decisions regarding
The Supreme Court Action.
On May 24, 1976, the United States Supreme Court let stand the lower
Federal court ruling.
Once again, the mythical "right to privacy" had been
extended this time, to fornicating teenagers.
Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth
(428 U.S. 52)
July 7, 1976
On June 14, 1974, a Missouri abortion limitation statute passed by
the state legislature went into effect.
The elements of this statute were;
Abortion in the first trimester is prohibited except when
performed by a physician, with the consent of the woman's husband if
she was married, and with informed consent;
Abortion may not be performed on viable preborn babies except
to save the life of the mother;
The preborn baby or premature newborn may not be used in
experimentation, except to preserve its life or health;
Saline abortions are prohibited after the first twelve weeks
Reporting of certain elements of abortion statistical data is
Three days after the law took effect, Planned Parenthood of Central
Missouri and two abortionists filed for injunctive relief in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
In July of 1976, the United States Supreme Court upheld the
provisions for viability, informed consent, and reporting. However, the
Supreme Court also held that;
Any requirement that a husband or parent be informed about
a wife's or minor's abortion is unconstitutional;
Any prohibition of the salt poisoning method of abortion to
increase the baby's chances of survival, or to decrease its suffering,
Blanket parental consent laws are unconstitutional. However,
States may require informed consent in certain narrowly-defined
This decision stripped fathers of any legal right whatever to protect
their own preborn children. The father therefore has less of a right to
protect his own child than abortion referral agents have to
arrange its death, the abortionists to kill it, or the State to declare
his slightest opposition unconstitutional and punishable. His
relationship to his own child is deemed much less important than his
relationship to a piece of property say a car stereo.
According to a national poll, more than half of all fathers including
married men are not even told that their child has been
aborted. In one case the Conn v. Conn litigation described
later in this chapter one father desperate to save his child filed suit
to stop an abortion, and found that the only reason his wife wanted to
kill their child was so that she would look good in a bikini when they
went on summer vacation!
On the other hand, the Danforth decision enforced
"mandatory fatherhood" for those men who did not want a
child. In summary, a father has literally no voice whatever in the
decision to have or not have a child. And this glaring and hurtful
inequality is ignored by the same Neofeminists who are demanding
In his dissent, Justice Byron White stated that "It is truly
surprising that the majority finds in the United States Constitution, as
it must in order to justify the result it reaches, a rule that the State
must assign a greater value to a mother's decision to cut off a
potential human life by abortion than to a father's decision to let it
mature into a live child."
Interestingly, Justice Potter Stewart, in his concurring opinion,
stated a fact that pro-lifers had known for some time; "It seems
unlikely that a woman will obtain adequate counsel and support from the
attending physician at an abortion clinic, where abortions for pregnant
minors frequently take place."
The Canadian Supreme Court, which has fallen into the bad habit of
aping their morally crippled brethren to the South, has generally
advanced the abortion 'right' along the same lines as in the United
States. In Canada, a man may be prosecuted under the Criminal Code by
failing to provide the "necessities of life" to his wife (if
she does not hold a job) by failing to pay for the "necessary
medical treatment" of abortion! Under the same Code, some parents
have been prosecuted for "child neglect" for failing to pay
for their daughter's abortions, and those parents who are adamant in
their refusal to allow their daughters to have abortions lose them to
the voracious provincial child care authorities.
Carey v. Population Services International
(431 U.S. 678, No. 75-443)
June 9, 1977
A New York State law restricted the sale and distribution of
contraceptives to minors. This law was challenged by Population Services
International, Population Planning Associates (PPA), and others. PPA
sold contraceptives through the mail from North Carolina and advertised
its services in New York publications.
PPA was advised several times that its activities violated New York
law when it continued to sell contraceptives to minors.
Three judges from the District Court for the Southern District of New
York found the law unconstitutional in its entirety under the First and
14th Amendments to the United States Constitution.
The Supreme Court wrote that "Griswold may no longer be read as
holding only that a state may not prohibit a married couple's use of
contraceptives ... The teaching of Griswold is that the Constitution
protects individual decisions in matters of childbearing from
unjustified intrusion by the state."
Echoing its language in Eisenstadt, the majority opinion went
on to say that "The reason for this unanimous rejection [of the New
York law] was stated in Eisenstadt v. Baird: 'It would be plainly
unreasonable to assume that (the state) has prescribed pregnancy and the
birth of an unwanted child as punishment for fornication."
Maher v. Roe and Beal v. Doe
(432 U.S. 438, No. 75-554 and
432 U.S. 464, No. 75-1440)
June 20, 1977
Neither the Federal Constitution nor the Federal Medicaid statutes
require the Federal and state governments to fund elective abortions.
The Maher decision specifically upheld the constitutionality of
the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited Federal funding of abortion except
in certain cases.
Justice William Brennan, in his bitter dissent, made the following
famous (and utterly soulless) statement; "Abortion and childbirth,
when stripped of the sensitive moral arguments surrounding the abortion
controversy, are simply two alternative medical methods of ending a
Maher v. Roe.
The Supreme Court held that Pennsylvania's refusal to fund
non-therapeutic abortions under its Medicaid program was not
inconsistent with Title XIX of the Social Security Act.
The majority opinion stated that
[W]hen Congress passed Title XIX in 1965, non-therapeutic abortions
were unlawful in most states. In view of the then-prevailing state
law, the contention that Congress intended to require rather than
permit participating states to fund non-therapeutic abortions requires
far more convincing proof than respondents have offered.
Beal v. Roe.
Two anonymous plaintiffs attacked the validity of a Connecticut
regulation that limits state medicaid abortions for first trimester
abortions. The crux of their argument was that the state may not give
"preferential treatment" to childbirth by funding it and not
abortion. They also claimed that they were being discriminated against,
as part of a 'class of women seeking abortions,' an alleged violation of
the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Supreme Court held that "Title XIX of the Social Security
Act does not require the funding of non-therapeutic abortions as a
condition of participation in the joint federal-state Medicaid program
established by that statute."
It also significantly stated that "Roe did not declare an
unqualified 'constitutional right to an abortion, ... It implies no
limitation on the authority of a state to make a value judgment favoring
childbirth over abortion, and to implement that judgment by the
allocation of public funds ..."
Poelker v. Doe
(432 U.S. 419, No. 74-442)
June 20, 1977
This decision held that a city may refuse to provide
publicly-financed abortions to indigent women in a public hospital.
Yet another anonymous plaintiff brought suit against the mayor of St.
Louis, Missouri because she could not get a free abortion at Strakloff
Hospital, a city-owned facility. Under staffing practice, the doctors
and medical students in the obstetrics/ gynecology department at this
facility were drawn from the St. Louis University of Medicine, a
Catholic medical school.
This essentially meant that the plaintiff in this case was trying to force
Catholic doctors to commit abortions.
After a trial, the District court ruled against Doe, but was
subsequently reversed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Court's majority stated that "We agree that the
constitutional question presented here is identical in principle with
that presented by a state's refusal to provide Medicaid benefits for
abortions while providing them for childbirth. This was the issue before
us in Maher v. Roe ... For the reasons set forth in our opinion in that
case, we find no constitutional violation by the City of St. Louis n
electing, as a policy choice, to provide publicly financed hospital
services for childbirth without providing corresponding services for
Coalutti v. Franklin
In a particularly terrifying decision, the Court held that any
abortionist can decide on his own whim when viability is. The practical
effect of this was to redefine the Roe v. Wade 'viability'
criteria as any time before birth. In other words, as long as the baby
is in the womb, it is nonviable by definition.
This decision actually stated that, should the abortionist become
aware that the unborn baby is viable, he is under no obligation to try
to save its life or even to decrease its suffering.
Belotti v. Baird II and
Hunerwald v. Baird, 1979
(443 U.S. 622, No. 78-392)
July 2, 1979
These decisions upheld a state requirement that minors obtain
parental consent for an abortion. This bill was passed by the
Massachusetts state legislature over its governor's veto on August 12,
1974. It was challenged by abortionist Gerald Zupnick, abortion pusher
Bill Baird, and anonymous plaintiff Mary Moe. Joining the suit as amici
were the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and the Crittenton
Hastings House & Clinic.
However, those unable or unwilling to secure parental consent must be
provided with an alternative procedure for obtaining permission to get
an abortion if the minor demonstrates that she is sufficiently mature to
make the independent decision, or if she is immature, to obtain an
opinion that states that the abortion would be in her best interests.
This decision is basically useless, since it is almost unheard of for a
minor to be denied an abortion though the above mechanisms.
The Court said that "A pregnant minor is entitled in such a
[court bypass] proceeding to show ... even if she [the minor] is not
able to make this [abortion] decision independently, the desired
abortion would be in her best interests."
Once again, the definition of the minor's "best interests"
is infinitely flexible and expandable.
However, the Court held that
While we do not pretend any special wisdom on this subject, we
cannot ignore that central to many of these theories, and deeply
rooted in our nation's history and tradition, is the belief that the
parental role implies a substantial measure of authority over one's
children. Indeed, 'constitutional interpretation has consistently
recognized that the parent's claim to authority in their own household
to direct the rearing of their children is basic in the structure of
McRabe v. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare
Zbarez v. Quern
The Hyde Amendment (banning Federal funding of abortions, except for
certain specified instances) was found to be constitutional. The Supreme
Court found that the Federal government may refuse to fund abortions for
women on welfare. If such Federal funds are withdrawn, the States are
under no obligation to replace them in whole or in part.
Williams and Diamond v. Zbarez
(448 U.S. 297, No. 79-4)
June 30, 1980
This case was the companion to Harris v. McRae, described
The Supreme Court ruled that the state of Illinois may refuse to fund
"medically necessary" abortions without violating the Equal
Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The plaintiffs included two abortionists and the usual anonymous
"Jane Doe." Doe alleged that she was indigent and wanted to
abort in order to safeguard her health, but not her life.
The District Court found, not only that the applicable Illinois
statute was unconstitutional, but the Hyde Amendment as well. This
latter judgment was beyond its jurisdiction, according to the Supreme
Court (the Hyde Amendment restricted Federal funding of abortions).
The Court concluded that "As to the appellee's statutory
argument, we have concluded in McRae that a participating state is not
obligated under Title XIX to pay for those medically necessary abortions
for which federal reimbursement is unavailable under the Hyde
Harris v. McRae
(100 U.S. 267, No. 79-1268)
June 30, 1980
In this case, the Supreme Court held that the Hyde Amendment was
The Hyde Amendment went into force in September of 1976, and it
prohibited the use of federal funds to reimburse the cost of abortions
under the Medicaid program.
The history of the Hyde Amendment is contained in Chapter 60,
"Medicaid Funding for Abortion."
After a hearing, Judge John Dooling of New York City enjoined the
Secretary of Health and Human Services from enforcing the Hyde
Amendment, and ordered that federal payments for abortions continue as
if the Amendment had never existed. He did not, however, rule on the
constitutionality of the Hyde Amendment.
Dooling promulgated perhaps the most egregious example of legal
pro-abortion propaganda ever seen in this country's court system. His
rambling 642-page opinion stated, among other things, that;
for the purposes of determining health criteria for
abortion, "poverty is a medical condition;"
that the court system will control the allocation of funds in
abortion-related matters, not the Congress;
that abortion is a "basic necessity of life" (talk
about an oxymoron)!;
"The physicians who reject all direct abortions do so on
grounds other than a medical evaluation of condition and
"a constitutional wrong to citizens must be held to be
irremediable if the wrong takes the form of a deliberate congressional failure
to appropriate funds;
and finally, as the crowning touch, the famous statement that
"A woman's conscientious decision ... to terminate her pregnancy
... is nearly allied to her right to be."
On remand, the District Court permitted the intervention of several
additional plaintiffs, who, among other arguments, held that the ban on
abortion funding violated the religion clause of the First Amendment and
the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. In keeping with their
long and dishonorable history of anti-Catholic bigotry, the plaintiffs
asserted that the Roman Catholic Church was trying to impose its own
opinion on when life begins on society at large.
Following a long trial, the District Court invalidated all portions
of the Hyde Amendment due to the free exercise clause of the First
Amendment and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
The Supreme Court's majority opinion stated that
The Hyde Amendment, like the Connecticut welfare regulation at
issue in Maher, places no governmental obstacle in the path of a woman
who chooses to terminate her pregnancy, but rather, by means of
unequal subsidization of abortion and other medical services,
encourages alternative activity deemed in the public interest ... it
simply does not follow that a woman's freedom of choice carries with
it a constitutional entitlement to the financial resources to avail
herself of the full range of protected choices.
... It is the appellee's view that the Hyde Amendment violates the
establishment clause because it incorporates into law the doctrines of
the Roman Catholic Church concerning the sinfulness of abortion and
the time at which life commences ... It does not follow that a statute
violates the establishment clause because it 'happens to coincide or
harmonize with the tenets of some or all religions ' (McGowan v.
Maryland). "... In sum, we are convinced that the fact that the
funding restrictions in the Hyde Amendment may coincide with the
religious tenets of the Roman Catholic Church does not contravene the
... This Court has held repeatedly that poverty, standing alone, is
not a suspect classification.
The remaining question then is whether the Hyde Amendment is
rationally related to a legitimate government objective. It is the
government's position that the Hyde Amendment bears a rational
relationship to its legitimate interest in protecting the potential
life of the fetus. We agree ...
H.L. v. Matheson
(450 U.S. 398, No. 79-5903)
March 23, 1981
The anonymous "H.L." was a fifteen-year old girl living
with her parents who became pregnant after fornicating. An abortionist
advised her to kill her preborn child "in her own best
interests," but because of a Utah statute requiring that parents be
notified a week before their minor daughter has an abortion, did not
kill the child himself.
The anonymous plaintiff filed a class action suit on behalf of all
unmarried minors who "are suffering unwanted pregnancies" as a
result of fornication.
The trial court and the Utah Supreme Court upheld the statute.
The Supreme Court also upheld the statute, noting that the plaintiff
and all members of her "class" were not mature and were not
emancipated, and therefore did not have standing to challenge the
Chief Justice Burger delivered the majority opinion, which stated
As applied to immature and dependent minors, the statute plainly
serves the important considerations of family integrity and protecting
adolescents ... In addition, the statute serves significant state
interest by providing an opportunity for parents to supply essential
medical and other information to a physician.
That the requirement of notice to parents may inhibit some minors
from seeking abortions is not a valid basis to void the statute as
applied to appellant and the class properly before us.
Unfortunately, the Court's opinion actually furthered the ability of
"mature" minors to get abortions, because it stated that the
parents must be notified a week before their daughter has an abortion by
the abortionist, "if possible." Of course, "if
possible" can be so loosely defined by any abortionist as to be
City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, Inc.
June 15, 1983
In February of 1978 the City of Akron passed an abortion regulation
ordinance that required that;
All first-trimester abortions must be committed in a
An unmarried minor needs parental consent before an abortion;
The attending abortionist must make certain statements that
constitute full informed consent;
There be a 24-hour waiting period before abortions; and
The remains of aborted babies must be disposed of in a
"humane and sanitary manner."
Within two months, three abortion mills and an abortionist filed suit
to challenge all of the provisions of the ordinance. In August 1979, the
District Court invalidated all provisions of the ordinance except
hospitalization for abortions after the first trimester, the
24-hour waiting period, and informed consent as far as certain risks to
the woman are concerned.
Plaintiffs and defendants both appealed the District Court's
judgment, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and
reversed in part.
The United States Supreme Court reversed the judgement of the Court
of Appeals that upheld Akron's hospitalization requirement, and affirmed
the rest of the judgment, which struck down various of the ordinance's
provisions. The Court held that the requirement to be hospitalized for
second- and third-trimester abortions was "a significant obstacle
in the path of women seeking an abortion."
The Supreme Court also affirmed the District Court decision that a
requirement that any information given to women regarding fetal
development, alternatives to abortion, and even information on
possible abortion complications is unconstitutional.
This last portion of the Supreme Court's decision caused Akron
to become known to pro-life legal activists as the "ignorance on
In summary, the Supreme Court stated that the preborn babies who are
killed by; abortion don't even have the right to be buried. They are
nothing but 'biological waste,' commonly left in trash cans and on
loading docks to be food for rats and roving packs of dogs.
Planned Parenthood Association of Kansas City, Missouri v. Ashcroft
June 15, 1983
This is the companion decision to Akron, above.
A Missouri statute required that abortions after the 12th week of
pregnancy be performed in a hospital; parental notification or judicial
bypass for minors seeking an abortion; the presence of a second doctor
at abortions performed after viability in order to preserve the life of
the baby; and pathology reports for each abortion.
Planned Parenthood Association of Kansas City, Missouri, challenged
these rules in court. The Supreme Court ruled that all of the
requirements were constitutional except the one that stated that
second-trimester abortions be performed in hospitals, because, as the
Court held, such a restriction would "unreasonably infringes upon a
woman's constitutional right to obtain an abortion."
The Supreme Court upheld the following requirements: a pathology
report for each abortion, the presence of a second physician when
viability has been attained by the baby, and parental consent or
juvenile court consent for minor's abortions.
Bowen v. American Association of Hospitals, Inc.
June 9, 1986
The Court struck down Reagan Administration regulations which were
intended to prevent non-treatment of handicapped newborns. These
regulations were commonly known as the Baby Doe Regulations, and were
based upon the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Court found a parent's
'right' to refuse treatment for their children, based upon the 'right to
privacy.' This right to privacy is paramount even over the child's right
to be spared an agonizing death by thirst and starvation.
Thornberg v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
June 11, 1986
A Pennsylvania law that required informed consent, abortion
reporting, and the protection of viable unborn children was found to be
Conn v. Conn, November 14, 1988
In the first 'father's rights' case brought before the Supreme Court,
it ruled unanimously by refusing to hear a lower court case that a
father has no rights or claim whatsoever to his unborn child.
James Bopp of the National Right to Life Committee represented Erin
Andrew Conn of Elkhart, Indiana, who won a court order in June 1988
barring his wife, six weeks pregnant, from having an abortion. A state
appeals court overturned this ruling, and the Indiana Supreme Court
upheld the appeals court ruling. A dissenting judge stated that "At
least up to now, no right has been determined to be absolute."
Jennifer Conn had her abortion.
It is not surprising that the United States Supreme Court refused to
hear this appeal, because even it is constrained by its own prior
rulings, in particular the Danforth decision.
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, Inc.
July 5, 1989
In the most publicized Supreme Court decision of all time, the
Justices upheld portions of the Missouri law designed to protect life
from conception and place other restrictions upon abortion. A record 74 amicus
briefs were filed in this action, and a "March for Reproductive
Rights," drawing more than 300,000 participants, took place a week
before oral arguments were heard on April 26, 1989.
Most importantly, Chief Justice William Rehnquist asserted that the
"key elements" of the 'abortion right' the right to privacy
and the "Constitutional right to abortion" simply do not
exist. Justice O'Connor hinted that there would be "plenty of
time" to re-examine (and possibly overturn) Roe in future
cases. Justice Scalia stated outright that Roe should be
scrapped. Harry Blackmun wrote his usual scathing and bitter dissent
and, as the Court recessed for the summer, he even left by a separate
exit from the rest of his colleagues. Justice Stevens, in a separate
dissent, wrote that the Missouri law was a First Amendment violation in
that it adopts a particular religious view of when human life begins.
The Court sidestepped the Missouri statute that proclaimed that life
begins at conception. There was no need to address its Constitutionality
because it would not be used to restrict access to abortion.
The Court ruled that physicians may now make tests to determine the
viability of any unborn baby past 20 weeks. Additionally, state funds,
employees, and hospitals may not be used to provide or counsel for
Although this ruling would directly affect only about one percent of
all abortions (those performed in publicly-funded facilities), the
uproar was deafening. The pro-aborts promised extensive civil
disobedience and illegal activity.
Rust v. Sullivan
May 23, 1991
This decision upheld the constitutionality of the government's
decision to cut off Title X family planning funds to those organizations
that promote or perform abortions. Planned Parenthood lost tens of
millions of annual tax dollars due to this decision because it stated
that it would rather give up this money that stop providing the
"complete range of family planning services."
Planned Parenthood officials also whined that the decision would
"hurt poor women." However, PP apparently loves abortion so
much that it was willing to give up millions just to be able to continue
killing preborn babies.
After the Supreme Court's Rust v. Sullivan decision, the
National Organization for Women (NOW) blew all of its fuses and elevated
itself to a comical degree of hysteria. Among other activities, it
formally accused the "Rehnquist Five" (who voted on the
pro-life side) of the "crime" of "high treason" and
for "failure to support and defend the Constitution of the United
States of America."
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
June 29, 1992
Previous Abortion Control Acts. The Pennsylvania legislature had been
trying since shortly after Roe v. Wade to enact protective
statutes for preborn children.
The original Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act took effect on October
10, 1974. This statute held that;
Written consent of the husband prior to an abortion is
Parental consent for a minor's abortion is required;
Reporting of the above information by abortion clinics is
Licensing of all abortion facilities by the State of
Pennsylvania Health Department is required;
The definition of "viability" would mean the
ability of the preborn baby to live outside the mother's womb, even with
No abortions are allowed after viability except to preserve
the life or health of the mother;
Disposal of aborted preborn babies in a dignified and humane
manner is required;
Abortion advertising is prohibited, except in the Yellow
No state funding for abortions is allowed, except to save the
life of the mother.
The law was immediately challenged by Planned Parenthood of
Southeastern Pennsylvania and most of its meaningful controls were held
unconstitutional by a three-judge federal district court in the case
known as Planned Parenthood v. Fitzpatrick (401 Fed. Suppl. 554,
Civil Action No. 74-2440, U.S. District Court, Eastern District,
Pennsylvania, decided September 4, 1975).
The elements of the Abortion Control Act that were held
unconstitutional by the federal court were the spousal and parental
consent and reporting provisions, the definition of
"viability," and the restriction on funding.
Significantly, Planned Parenthood argued that "menstrual
extraction" is a true abortion procedure, asserting that
"Under certain circumstances, the procedure known as menstrual
extraction can be, and desirably is performed prior to the time when an
average facility can determine with absolute certainty whether or not
the patient is pregnant."
The Case At Bar.
In 1988, the Pennsylvania state legislature amended the state's 1982
Abortion Control Act. After the Supreme Court's July 1989 Webster
decision, it amended the Act a second time to include several portions
that had been held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in its June 6,
1986 Thornberg v. ACOG ruling (described above).
After the modified Abortion Control Act was passed, five abortion
clinics (including Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania) and
an abortionist obtained an injunction preventing implementation of some
of its provisions.
The Pennsylvania legislature amended the Abortion Control Act once
again in 1989, and the plaintiffs asked the court to extend the 1988
injunction to cover the new aspects of the law. This request was
Elements of the Abortion
At issue in this case were four central components of the
Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act. These are listed below.
Informed Consent and Waiting Period.
At least 24 hours prior to aborting, a woman must be given certain
information by the abortionist or the doctor referring for the abortion.
These facts include information on the development of her child, on the
risks of the particular abortion procedure she would be undergoing, and
the medical risks of carrying the child to term. The woman must also be
told that alternatives to abortion are available. After this counseling
is finished, the woman must sign a form stating that she has received
These articles are not applicable if a "medical emergency"
exists, or if the abortionist can show that the provision of such
information would have a "severely adverse effect on the physical
or mental health of the patient."
Unemancipated minors must obtain the consent of one of their parents.
In seeking this consent, the information that is required under the
informed consent portion of the statute must be provided to the parent(s).
A judicial bypass provision is available. As with informed consent,
parental consent is not required in a "medical emergency."
A married woman must present to the abortionist a signed statement
that she has notified her husband of her decision to abort. This article
is not necessary if she is pregnant by another man, if her husband could
not be located after "diligent effort," if the pregnancy was
the result of spousal rape that has been reported to law enforcement
agencies, or if the woman believes that spousal notification will result
in bodily injury to her. Once again, notification is not required in
Abortion mills must file quarterly reports with the state detailing
how many abortions they performed. If the mills receive public funds,
this information will be made public. For each abortion performed, the
abortionist must file with the state public health department, among
other items, the basis for determining the gestational age of the child,
the basis of any judgment declaring a "medical emergency," and
the justification for third-trimester abortions.
Higher Court Decisions.
The Federal district court judge ruled all of these articles
unconstitutional, but was partially reversed by the 3rd Circuit Court of
Appeals on October 21, 1991. The Circuit Court found all articles of the
Abortion Control Act except spousal notification to be constitutional.
On June 29, 1992, the Supreme Court handed down its decision. It
agreed with the Circuit Court in finding all portions of the
Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act constitutional except for the spousal
However, the Court adopted Justice O'Connor's "undue
burden" criteria, which means that states may not pass a law that
creates "absolute obstacles or severe limitations on the abortion
Justice Harry Blackmun, author of the genocidal Roe v. Wade
decision, simpered that "Now, just when so many expected the
darkness to fall, the flame has grown bright." Perhaps he was
referring to the flames of the abortuary ovens.
Justices Sandra O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter wrote
that "The woman's right to terminate her pregnancy before viability
is the most central principle of Roe v. Wade. It is a rule of law and a
component of liberty we cannot renounce."
Justice Souter spoke from the bench, taking the strictly utilitarian
viewpoint and claiming that to overrule Roe v. Wade "would
subvert the court's legitimacy beyond any reasonable question. If the
court were undermined, the country would also be so ... Roe has
not proven unworkable in practice."
In the gush of rhetoric that followed the decision, few people
noticed that four justices Rehnquist, White, Scalia and Thomas voted to
overturn Roe outright.
Although many pro-lifers did not notice immediately, the Supreme
Court gave them the best possible decision from a strategic standpoint.
Most of the Pennsylvania law was upheld, but Roe v. Wade was not
overturned directly, thus denying pro-abortionists badly-needed
ammunition in the fight to elect a pro-abortion president in November of
1992 ammunition, as it turned out, they didn't need in the first place.
References: The Supreme Court and Abortion.
The experience of other countries] throws into high relief the
extremism of America's judge-made abortion law. In Western nations
where abortion policy has been left up to the people and their elected
representatives, all the compromises that have emerged have been more
protective of unborn life than Roe v. Wade.
Mary Ann Glendon, The Wall Street Journal.
 Lucinda Finley, lawyer for the Pro-Choice Network of New York.
Quoted in Paul Likoudis. "Jaws of Hell Open Wide in Buffalo." The
Wanderer, May 7, 1992, page 1.
 Alasdair MacIntyre. Whose Justice? Whose Rationality?
Quoted in Thomas J. Bieter's letter entitled "Guilty Clients"
in Fidelity Magazine, April 1989, page 4.
 National Federation for Decency Journal, February 1987.
 National Federation for Decency Journal, September 1987,
pages 7 and 8.
 Patrick Trueman. "Respect for Life: Essential for Judicial
Appointments." National Right to Life News, November 24,
1979, page 2.
 Quotes are from Jonathon Green. The Cynic's Lexicon. New
York: St. Martin's Press. 1984, 220 pages.
 Legal Times, March 4, 1985, page A35.
 Marian Faux. Roe v. Wade: The Untold Story of the Landmark
Supreme Court Decision That Made Abortion Legal. MacMillan, 370
 See also Senate Documents No. 99-16 (1982) and No. 100-9 (1986).
 Douglas Johnson. "81 Congressmen File Brief Urging Court to
Retain Roe." National Right to Life News, September
26, 1985, page 7.
 Todd Ackerman, "Woman Claims She Lied in Landmark Abortion
Ruling." National Catholic Register, January 8, 1989, page
 Sue Reilly. "Norma McCorvey Tells Story Behind Roe v.
Wade." Los Angeles Daily News, April 23, 1989.
 Joan Moseley. "I Am Mary Doe." Renaissance
Magazine, Summer 1989, pages 20 to 21 and 27 to 28.
 Paulette Likoudis. "Community Passes Pro-Life
Resolution." The Wanderer, May 11, 1989, pages 1 and 9.
 Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis. "The Right to
Privacy." Harvard Law Review, December 1890.
 Marie Shelton. "Abortion Often Causes Guilt, Regret, Poll
Finds." Sacramento Bee, March 19, 1989, page A7.
 In re Unborn Baby H., No. 84C01 8804JP185, slip opinion
at 1-2 (Vigo County, Indiana Circuit Court, April 8, 1988).
 Dr. Bernard M. Dickens, writing in the Canadian Medical
Association Journal. Quoted in Donald DeMarco. In My Mother's
Womb: The Catholic Church's Defense of Natural Life. Manassas,
Virginia: Trinity Communications. 1987, pages 59 and 62.
 NOW resolution of July 1991 entitled "Impeach the Rehnquist
 Mary Ann Glendon. "U.S. Abortion Law." The Wall
Street Journal, July 1, 1992.
 Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, in his speech delivered
after accepting an award from the Individual Rights Section of the
American Bar Association. Quoted in Julianne Malveaux. "'Big Tent'
Appearances Within GOP Deceiving." The Oregonian, August 26,
1992, page B5.
Further Reading: The Courts and Abortion.
Do the right thing and let the law catch up with you.
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
American Civil Liberties Union. Defending the Right to Choose.
This 65-page booklet, published by the fanatically pro-abortion
ACLU, is essential for any pro-life organizer's library. It describes in
detail the tactics that pro-aborts and clinics may use to defend against
picketing and rescue missions, and also describes the limits of the
rights of protesters. It is, in fact, a blueprint for pro-abortion
defensive strategy. If you obtain only one book on street activism, this
must be the one, because by knowing your enemy's tactics and strategy,
you can avoid being taken by surprise, and you can better plan your own
activities. You can pick up a copy from your local ACLU office.
Dave Andrusko (editor). A Passion for Justice.
National Right to Life Committee, 419 7th Street NW, Suite 500,
Washington, DC 20004. 1988, 160 pages. This is one of an excellent
continuing series of National Right to Life Committee books that
summarize the preceding year in the courts and legislatures, and looks
ahead to future years.
Judge Robert H. Bork. The Tempting of America: The Political
Seduction of the Law.
Free Press, 448 pages, 1989. Reviewed by United States Senator Orrin
G. Hatch on pages 39 and 40 of the December 22, 1989 issue of National
Review. Judge Bork touches briefly on his bitter United States
Supreme Court confirmation fight and then goes on to cogently examine
the basic problems involving law at the highest level in our land today.
The problem he deals with most is the tendency of the Supreme Court to
make law, not interpret it, depending upon prevailing social mores or
the justices' desire to create these mores.
Marian Faux. Roe v. Wade: The Untold Story of the Landmark
Supreme Court Decision That Made Abortion Legal.
New York: Macmillan, 1988. 330 pages. Reviewed by Maggie Gallagher
on page 45 of the July 22, 1988 issue of National Review. This
book is interesting primarily because it is so profoundly trivial in
nature when compared to those written on the same subject by Judge
Noonan, Dr. Nathanson, Judge Hekman, and many others. The author
purports to 'examine' the infamous Roe v. Wade decision from the pro-abort's
viewpoint. However, since the decision and the pro-abort view are both
insupportable, most of the book addresses not the decision or its
underpinnings, but instead parrots tired slogans 'justifying' abortion
and trivia about the day-to-day life of the plaintiffs (i.e., one of the
pro-abort lawyers was very vain about her hair). It also repeats all of
the old slander about pro-lifers and adds some new pro-abort slogans
(example: pregnancy is an 'injury' to all women). Interestingly, the
author's name is French for "false."
Stephen Freind. God's Children.
New York: Morrow, 1987. 538 pages. A fictional story of Kevin
Murray, a Pennsylvania legislator who is the statewide leader of the
Judge Randall J. Hekman. Justice for the Unborn.
Servant Books: Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1984. This is the personal story
of a rare judge who stood up to the system by denying a 13-year old girl
an abortion petition, and by doing so, stirred up a firestorm of protest
from radical far-left groups and the press. Judge Hekman also reviews
the inherent illegality of so-called 'legal' abortion, and examines its
consequences for society.
Dennis J. Horan, Edward R. Grant, and Paige C. Cunningham. Abortion
and the Constitution: Reversing Roe v. Wade Through the Courts.
Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1987, 374 pages.
Reviewed by Lynn Wardle, Professor of Law, Brigham Young University, on
pages 5 and 6 of the November 19, 1987 issue of National Right to
Life News. This collection of papers on the background and history
of abortion, Roe v. Wade, and strategies for attacking the Abortion
Decisions, is often used by pro-life attorneys and makes relatively
easy reading for the lay activist. This is the book to read for an
understanding of the judicial underpinnings of abortion in our country.
H. Wayne House (editor). Restoring the Constitution: Essays in
Celebration of the Bicentennial.
Dallas: Probe Books. 1987, 350 pages. A superb anthology of nine
detailed Constitutional essays by conservative luminaries. These essays
address primarily the concepts of judicial constraint and the
interpretation of the Constitution and entail discussions of abortion,
homosexuality, contraception, euthanasia, and many other life issues
from the legal point of view.
Issues in Law and Medicine.
Edited by James Bopp, Jr. Available as six bimonthly issues, through
a two-year subscription. Information and updates on the legal and
medical issues pertaining to medical treatment for handicapped and
disabled persons of all ages. Order from the National Legal Center for
the Medically Dependent and Disabled, Post Office Box 1586, Terre Haute,
Robert G. Marshall. The Collapse of American Justice (And How
to Reverse It).
American Life Education and Research Trust (ALERT). 44 pages, 1985.
Excellent summaries of all of the important Supreme Court and Circuit
Court abortion decisions. Order from American Life League, Post Office
Box 1350, Stafford, Virginia 22555.
P. McGuigan and R. Rader (editors). A Blueprint for Judicial
Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, 1981. Reviewed by
Lynn D. Wardle, Esq., on page 5 of the May 20, 1982 issue of National
Right to Life News.
Father Edwin J. Melvin. A Nation Built On God.
Our Sunday Visitor, Noll Plaza, Huntington, Indiana 46750. 1975, 223
pages. An analysis of the role of the United States Supreme Court in
turning our country's path away from our Founding Father's theistic
principles. A very readable and enjoyable analysis of a critically
Barbara Milbauer and Bert O. Obretz. The Law Giveth.
Athenaeum Press, 1983. 307 pages. Reviewed by Patrick B. McGuigan
and Teresa L. Donovan on pages 7 and 9 of the November 24, 1983 issue of
National Right to Life News. This book is similar to an extensive
law review article on the series of Supreme Court decisions dealing with
abortion until the year 1982. Unfortunately, the author's obvious
pro-abortion bias causes her to sink into slogans frequently, and causes
her to have a skewed theory of the law.
National Right to Life News.
This is the National Right to Life Committee's biweekly publication.
It deals primarily with the legislative pro-life scene from a national
viewpoint, and is concerned not only with abortion but also with the
rapidly-expanding euthanasia threat. It is probably the best overall
source of information on ongoing state and federal involvement in all
three branches in both abortion and euthanasia. Most local Right to Life
affiliate groups file back issues of this magazine. If you want to know
what's going on with the Supreme Court, congressional bills, or the
attitudes and voting records of individual congressmen, this paper can't
be beat. Write to 419-7th Street NW, Fifth Floor, Washington, D.C.,
20004, or call (202) 626-8800.
Richard Neely. How Courts Govern America.
Yale University Press, 1981. 226 pages. Reviewed by Rita Radich,
Esq., on page 5 of the May 20, 1982 issue of National Right to Life
Bernard H. Siegan. The Supreme Court's Constitution: An Inquiry
into Judicial Review and Its Impact On Society.
Transaction Books, Rutgers State University, New Brunswick, New
Jersey 08903. 1987, 216 pages. This book consists of a series of
compartmentalized essays on the various specific aspects of Supreme
Court activism that have impacted the life issues, including abortion,
the Establishment of Religion Clause, racial quotas, gender, and the
Laurence H. Tribe. Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes.
W.W. Norton & Company Publishers, 270 pages, 1990. Reviewed by
Brian Robertson on page 48 of the July 9, 1990 issue of National
Review. The nutcase who asserts that women "speak with their
bodies" when they abort here attempts to shore up the crumbling
foundation of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. If you are
a Neoliberal abortophile, he will appear to have done a fine job. If you
are any kind of Constitutional scholar, you will be fascinated at the
depth of self-deception that even lawyers (especially lawyers) are
capable of. This book provides fine insight into the typical 'logic' of
the fevered Neoliberal mind.
Lynn Wardle. The Abortion Privacy Doctrine.
Buffalo, New York: William S. Hein and Company, 1981. 311 pages.
Reviewed by Rita Radich on page 7 of the January 11, 1982 issue of National
Right to Life News. The definitive study of abortion case law.
Lynn D. Wardle and Mary Anne Wood. A Lawyer Looks At Abortion.
Brigham Young University Press, 1981. 209 pages. Reviewed by Gorver
Rees III on pages 9 and 11 of the June 10, 1982 issue of National
Right to Life News. All aspects of the abortion controversy
thoroughly and lucidly explained.
Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong. The Brethren: Inside the
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979. A gold mine of information on
the inner workings of the Supreme Court, including much revealing
background on the Abortion Decisions.
© American Life League BBS 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activists Encyclopedia published
by American Life League.