Yesterday’s “celebration” wasn’t.
The case originated in Texas in March 1970 at the behest of attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington. They filed suit on behalf of Norma L. McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) who claimed her pregnancy was the result of rape. McCorvey now says that her accusation was false.
A three-judge district court ruled in favor of “Jane Roe,” but refused to grant an injunction against the enforcement of the laws. The district court’s decision was based upon the Ninth Amendment, and relied upon a concurring opinion by Justice Arthur Goldberg in the 1965 Supreme Court case of Griswold v. Connecticut that had discovered a constitutional right to use contraceptives.
Many advocates of liberalizing abortion laws saw promise in this case, as abortion was widely proscribed by state laws at that time.
Both “Jane Roe” and defendant Wade arrived at the Supreme Court on appeal, where the case was argued by Weddington and Texas Assistant Attorney General Jay Floyd on December 13, 1971. The first argument of the case was unimpressive, however, and Justice Blackmun drafted a preliminary opinion that emphasized what he saw as the Texas law’s vagueness. Justices William Rehnquist and Lewis F. Powell, Jr. had just joined the Court and hadn’t heard the first argument. Chief Justice Burger proposed that the case be reargued, and the justices voted in favor. The case was reargued on October 11, 1972. Weddington continued to represent Roe, but Texas Assistant Attorney General Robert C. Flowers stepped in to replace Texas D.A. Wade.
Douglas threatened to write a dissent from the reargument order, but was coaxed out of the action by his colleagues; his dissent was merely mentioned in the order without further statement or opinion.
The court issued its decision on January 22, 1973, with a 7 to 2 majority voting to strike down Texas’ abortion laws. However, the concurring opinions of Chief Justice Burger and Justice Douglas, and the dissenting opinion of Justice White, were issued separately, in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton.
Revolutionary War – 4,435 deaths.
Civil War (both sides) – 498,332 deaths.
World War I – 116,708 deaths.
World War II – 407,316 deaths.
Hitler murdered 6,000,000 Jews.
Korea – 25,604 deaths.
Vietnam – 58,168 deaths.
Total estimated killed due to abortion since 1973 – 50,000,000 (50 MILLION) murders.