By Jan Schultz, The Imperial Republican News Editor
Here we are again, the 42nd anniversary of a Jan. 22, 1973 legal decision that took away states’ rights, something that’s continued to be a common thread in Washington D.C.
It’s a case I remember as a senior in high school, when the Roe vs. Wade decision eliminated anti-abortion laws in all 50 states. I probably didn’t take it much to heart then; after all, I was graduating from high school in a few months, headed off to college.
But, I do remember my mother being very concerned and getting into political activity right away. I remember her tears.
Most of us likely know the history of the case, said to be one of this country’s landmark decisions. However, some of the history surrounding the woman at the heart of it bears repeating.
Norma McCorvey is the real “Jane Roe” in the Roe vs. Wade decision. Henry Wade was the District Attorney for Dallas (Texas) County, who was enforcing the law that banned abortion in that state, except in cases of saving the mother’s life.
At the time, in 1969, McCorvey was just 22 years old, pregnant for the third time and divorced. She had given her two previous children up for adoption. This third time, the adoption agency with whom she was working hooked her up with some young attorneys. They just needed a plaintiff to challenge the state’s abortion law and they found one in McCorvey.
To make it a bit more sensational, it seems, McCorvey told the lawyers she had been raped, which wasn’t the case at all. By the time the U.S. Supreme Court decision came down in 1973, the baby she had sought to abort was born and placed for adoption.
There are a lot of questions whether McCorvey truly understood at the time what abortion was, as with most of us four decades ago. With today’s advances in science, however, there is little question that life exists after conception. Now, we argue whether that life is “viable.”
What should be most telling is that McCorvey, the real “Jane Roe” in the case, petitioned the Supreme Court 10 years ago to overturn the 1973 decision since she was one of the original litigants. The courts denied her petition.
Leading up to her petitioning of the court, she worked at an abortion clinic, where she met members of Operation Rescue. That changed her life. Norma McCorvey now is a committed pro-life advocate, often speaking about her experiences in this landmark case.
She has changed, hopefully so will the law someday. But first, our country’s disrespect of life, at all stages, must change.