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“Jane Roe” wants Roe v. Wade overturned

“Jane Roe” wants Roe v. Wade overturned.

Reader comments

megnutJun 17, 2003 at 2:57PM

Interesting, some of the evidence they presented includes, "1,000 affidavits from women who say they regret their abortions." I wonder if pro-chioce advocates will counter with affidavits from 1,000 women who regret having children? Some days I regret buying my iPod, can I have the court change Apple's return policy so I can get my money back?

your conscienceJun 17, 2003 at 3:49PM

do you mean "pro-death"?

MichelleJun 17, 2003 at 4:19PM

That's not my conscience and I doubt it's Meg's either

PaulJun 17, 2003 at 4:31PM

So because some women regret their decisions, all women should surrender the right to have a decision? Sounds Bush to me.

megnutJun 17, 2003 at 4:33PM

Good point, conscience, let's get our labels straight! We already know "pro-life" means shooting people in their kitchens with scope-equipped assault rifles in front of their families, setting bombs which kill off-duty police officers, and murdering women in health clinics.

RaphyJun 17, 2003 at 4:56PM

"...affidavits from 1,000 women who regret having children?"

It's very, very hard for me to imagine any mother who regrets having her children, but I suppose they exist. Should such a mother be allowed to keep the children she so regrets? I fear for heath and safety of those kids.

I'm pro-choice, but I think Meg's suggestion is an awful idea and would probably only hurt the pro-choice movemnt.

Ry R.Jun 17, 2003 at 5:26PM

Wouldn't it make more sense to get testimoney (or something, just a signature perhaps) of people who think that having an abortion was their only choice.

I don't know how many people would come forward since the conditions that made them choose to get an abortion might be the same as those that would keep them from saying they had one.

On the other hand, it would put a face on a choice that, while certainly black-and-white (abort or don't), is made out of ambivalance (social, economic and emotion) not malice.

Steve RhodesJun 17, 2003 at 5:44PM

Yeah, all that is needed are affidavits from millions of women who have had safe, legal abortions since 1973.

Just because Norma has had a religious conversion doesn't mean she needs to impose it on the rest of the country.

dowingbaJun 17, 2003 at 5:57PM

Meg's first comment is exactly right though. 1,000 affidavits from women who say they regret their abortions is not evidence, it just means 1,000 women regret their abortions. They should outlaw barbers too, because I bet you could easily get 1,000 avidavits from people who regret their haircuts. Tattoo parlors too should be outlawed. And bars. And marriage.

Phillip WinnJun 17, 2003 at 6:23PM

Overturning Roe v Wade might actually be a good idea even for pro-abortion advocates simply from a practical perspective. As long as it stands, it is a target of anti-abortion advocates as well as anti-federalist advocates. Overturning it reverts the issue of abortion to individual states, and many states already have laws protecting abortion as a valid medical procedure. Of course, some states don't, and those become a battleground, but I suspect that there are deeper pockets on the pro-abortion side of things than the anti-abortion side. I remember reading somewhere a description of a similarly hotly-contested issue that was eventually decided at the state level, and the general idea was that the issue became moot over time precisely because there was no single legal decision to try to overturn, but instead an aggregate pile of 50 of them, and who can argue with the will of the people when it is so clearly expressed?

I mention all of this with no stated judgement on the actual issue at hand. My opinions are my own.

souloniceJun 17, 2003 at 7:46PM

What person should have the right to kill? Abortion is never the answer. There is always a better way.

What ever happened to the value of human life?

BenJun 17, 2003 at 10:27PM

Is this a continuation/follow-up of the previous remaindered link, or is that just a coincidence?

Jon BellJun 17, 2003 at 10:49PM

Always a better way. Hm. So if a woman is raped by her father and will die if she has the baby, a first trimester abortion is the worst option?


BradJun 18, 2003 at 6:40AM

This issue will never be resolved. The two sides simply aren't speaking the same language. One side believes that a fetus is not a baby, it's a lump of tissue. The other sides says that it is a human being. If we could agree that a fetus is only a lump of tissue, there would be no problems removing it, much like a tumor. If we could agree that a it is a human being in development, then we would see that abortion is murder. I wish that both parties involved would act more civil and hold meaningful discussions instead of name calling and in some cases violence. Until we address the issue at the most basic level, we will never have a solution.

souloniceJun 18, 2003 at 8:04AM

Jon, I speak only in terms of abortion as a means for birth control. And let's make sure we be real. The overwhelming majority of abortions are performed not because a woman got raped by her father and will for whatever reason die but because a woman chose to kill her child. The image of the helpless, victimized woman as the face of abortion is both insulting to either side of the debate and to all women in general.

When you strip it down to it's barest, to it's most fundamental, it's one human life ending another and that's what I oppose.

Steve RhodesJun 18, 2003 at 4:29PM

The best way is really good early sex education and access to contraceptives.

There still will be unwanted pregnancies (and if you ever are involved with one, you can decide to have a baby - let other people make their own decision).

Abortion is a complex issue. Read Carol Gilligan's A Different Voice for one view of those complexities.

alstkiJun 19, 2003 at 5:31AM

I totally agree with soulonice.... and I have never been able to conceive how people could see it any other way. Quite clearly, they can view that lump of flesh as just that and nothing more. How they do not see their child in that place has always been a mystery to me.

Ray GrieselhuberJun 19, 2003 at 1:08PM

Brad's got it right. The issue is really no more complicated than that. If we're not talking about human life, then no justification is necessary, if we are talking about taking human life, then no justification is sufficient.
So it's time to take an honest look at the definition of human life. I personally would prefer to err on the side of caution.

PaulJun 19, 2003 at 4:52PM

Abortion doesn’t need to be (and isn’t) a complex issue. The “pro choice” argument often seems to be, “It’s my body. I have the right to choose what I do with my body.” My questions to anyone pro choice is: If you are carrying a male baby, is it not really a male because it is a part of your body? Whose penis is that? What about the baby’s “right to choose?”

There are other things in nature that suggest to us when life truly begins. A tree doesn’t begin to grow until it has been put in the ground and given water. It has become dependant upon something else: The earth and a caretaker (gardener, farmer, God/nature, etc). The remove any of the dependencies and it will die. A baby becomes a life when a fertilized egg is attached to the wall of the uterus and has become dependant upon its mother. Abortion becomes murder because the baby has been removed from what it depends upon to live. Before the fertilized egg was attached to the uterine wall it was not alive because there was no dependency. If someone kills you, you die because your murderer removed your ability to get what you depend upon to live: Air, water, food, etc.

So what does this make the “Pro Choice” movement? Selfish. Selfish because the mother doesn’t want to be inconvenienced by the life of a son or daughter.

typo? TYPO!Jun 19, 2003 at 10:44PM

in case anyone is interested in reading the original opinion. i get the impression no one here has.

dowingbaJun 20, 2003 at 12:24AM

You aren't looking at the whole picture. I don't pretend to take a stand on the issue and I never will. Both pro-choice and anti-abortion people alike are only looking at the facts they choose to acknowledge. If you look at all the facts, can you be so black-and-white in your decision?

This debate should be about whether or not "Roe V. Wade" should be overturned. Whether or not I'm for abortion, it is my opinion that the case should not be overturned. The fact is, since it's impossible to come up with an answer, everyone should be able to make a choice. If you're anti-abortion, then don't have one, case closed. If you're pro-abortion, then have one, case closed. Making it illegal when clearly there is no "right" or "wrong" is just stupid.

Ray GrieselhuberJun 20, 2003 at 1:28AM

Very courageous dowingba. By the way, you've made it quite clear what your opinion is. I don't mean to be rude, but saying "if you're anti-abortion, then don't have one" is just not an intelligent argument. I think someone said it best when they likened this argument to saying "if you're against rape, then don't do it". As I said before, there is only one issue here -- we are talking about taking human life or we're not. I think it's pretty easy to decide right and wrong if we will just be honest about this one issue.

typo? TYPO!Jun 20, 2003 at 2:48AM

in the roe v wade opinion the justices clearly indicated that no one can be put to death without due process. if you read the opinion it clearly indicates that considering the facts they interpreted the constitution to say that the fetus at a certain point has rights, and that the mother has rights. i don't think the 'pro-choice' movement acknowledges the fact that the fetus (at any point) has rights. and the 'pro-life' movement rarely acknowledges that in certain situations (with respect to this decision) the us constitution grants rights which outweight the fetus's.

i'd have to agree with megnut's assertion that there is no standing to sue for wanting something back when you exercised your constitutional rights to get there. overall, the biggest disappointment of this conversation is seeing how invaluable children are generally regarded. this is what i think those women with their affidavits are trying to reverse (pretty much any way they can think of).

Steve RhodesJun 20, 2003 at 2:18PM

A federal court has rejected Norma's filing saying it was way too late.

paulJun 20, 2003 at 4:11PM

the definitions between wrong and right are notoriously difficult to define as they are different for each individual. most people have a hard time with this notion. they are to selfish (to use another posters term) in their view of the world to acknowledge that it would be possible, and even probable, that others might see things completely differently. personally, i dont think any life-altering decisions we make (such as having or not having an abortion, treating or not treating a 'terminal illness,' etc) can ever be brought down to a simple 'right' or 'wrong.' as most of us are aware life is far more nuanced and paradoxical than any two terms alone could define. whats wrong, in my opinion, is legislating morality. and if you think overturning roe would be 'practical' you should consider that the bush administration and the supreme court have shown that they little or no interest in preserving the autonomy of states' rights when what's at stake is an issue such as abortion, legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, or the protest and self-exile of state legistlators in texas.

dowingbaJun 20, 2003 at 5:18PM

It might seem like I'm "pro choice", but the fact is, if I were a woman and was pregnant and for whatever reason had a reason to want to get rid of the baby, I couldn't possibly tell you what I'd do. But I'd sure want the choice.

At what point is a human and human? Why don't they make it illegal to kill sperm or eggs? On what basis does the opinion that a fertilized egg is a person come from? There's exactly as much logic in saying that it's not a person until it's born. Or until it's 18.

I said it earlier and I'll say it again: the argument they are using to try overturn this case would logically set a precedent for making haircuts illegal and marriages.

Michelle Kinsey-ClintonJun 20, 2003 at 7:43PM

Pro-choicers are selfish, are they. Well, it's an easy insult to fling.

What's the insult to fling at people who really think they're doing some good by mandating that pregnant women become mothers? Who think that a child born to a mother who saw that child as a lump of flesh is going to receive any kind of healthy parenting? Why would you want a law to say people like that, who are for whatever surely unintended reason pregnant, have to have kids?

Are you going to criminalize drug use by pregnant women? Oh, there's a precedent? Well then... drinking by pregnant women? Smoking? Use of asthma medication or antacids? Bad eating habits? Vigorous exercise in the third trimester?

And then will you criminalize bad parenting? Will you criminalize poverty, or working three jobs to take care of the kid you can't afford, or maybe both? Will you make it illegal to throw the kid at its grandparents or the lady around the corner running an unlicensed daycare for the sake of a little bit of god-I-wish-I-wasn't-a-mother time? To not help with the kid's schoolwork? To not talk to the kid about the birds and the bees so she doesn't end up a mother by government mandate too?

Parents should be a self-selecting group, made of up entirely of people who *want* to be parents. Pro-life ought more properly to be called pro-birth, because you people sure as hell aren't thinking about what happens to the unwanted children of unwilling parents *after* they are born.

You say "selfish." I say "short-sighted." Your turn!

typo? TYPO!Jun 20, 2003 at 7:49PM

no no, lets stop there and read an excerpt from roe v wade:

The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution....

This right of broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. ....factors the woman and her responsible physician necessarily will consider in consultation.

On the basis of elements such as these, appellant and some amici argue that the woman's right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree.... Court's decisions recognizing a right of privacy also acknowledge that some state regulation in areas protected by that right is appropriate. As noted above, a State may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life. At some point in pregnancy, these respective interests become sufficiently compelling to sustain regulation of the factors that govern the abortion decision. The privacy right involved, therefore, cannot be said to be absolute. In fact, it is not clear to us that the claim asserted by some amici that one has an unlimited right to do with one's body as one pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously articulated in the Court's decisions. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of this kind in the past. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) (vaccination); Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) (sterilization).

We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.


With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

Boie Pat Jan 20, 2004 at 9:57PM

There is no end to the adventures we can have if we seek them with our eyes wide open.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.