January 22, 1973: The U.S. Supreme Court Gave Birth to Twins; “Roe & Doe”

Today the annual March for Life will take place in Washington, D.C.  It is the 41st anniversary of Roe vs Wade.  Thousands upon thousands of Pro-Life advocates will  brave the freezing weather in defense of the unborn.  Millions more across the country will gather at state capitols, cities and small towns  lending their support to the most defenseless of the defenseless.  The hopes and prayers of all these folks are for the High Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade.  As for me, I am  a”pro-life person who had an “up close and personal” experience with the miracle of life and the pain of death all on the same day.  If I had harbored any doubt whatsoever about the “viability of a fetus” that doubt was vanquished  forever 35 years ago.

At the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy, our fourth child, a daughter, was stillborn.  She was our child and was a gift from God.  She was baptized and buried with my parents. We had  prepared for the arrival, but it came earlier than expected.  No matter, she was a real person who lived and died.  Her name is on a tombstone. It is Theresa Mary. Her birthday and date of death were Sept 6, 1978. She was not simply a “fetus”.  She was not “products of conception”. She was not an “annoyance”, an extra pair of shoes to worry about, or another “sleepless night”. She did not mean  less money in the bank.  No, Theresa Mary was worth far more than any of that multiplied a thousand times over.  Nothing can change the fact that she did exist, albeit for the briefest of moments. In God’s world there is no “time” as we know it. HE lives in the “Eternal Now”.  Theresa Mary now lives there with HIM.

I  think of the millions of little people like Theresa Mary who have been put to death  in a heinous fashion because they are unwanted, because they might cost money, or might interfere with a career.  How many have been eradicated simply because people take no responsibility for having sex, getting pregnant, and deciding that this “thing” has to go before it “ruins” their lives. You know, having sex is NOT the same thing as breathing, eating, and sleeping.  Those bodily functions are instinctive and necessary for us to live. We do NOT have to have sex to live. We won’t die if we say NO.  Many people actually choose to live a life of celibacy.  It is OKAY to do so. And make no mistake, none of them die from NOT doing “it”.

.January 22nd  will be the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling known as “Roe vs Wade”.  Simply put, the court, by a 7 to 2 majority, said that abortion is a citizen’s fundamental right under the United States Constitution.  You are all familiar with how that ruling  has torn our nation apart.  What many people do not seem to be aware of is the other ruling that took place on that very same day.  It provided the proverbial  ”double whammy” to the abortion issue. That  ruling is called “Doe Vs Bolton”.  Once again, it was a 7 to 2 majority vote affirming the ruling.  The US Supreme Court had given birth to the “Roe & Doe” twins. The ruling in the “Doe Vs Bolton” case is summed up here:

The Court’s opinion in Doe v. Bolton stated that a woman may obtain an abortion after viability, if necessary to protect her health. The Court defined “health” as follows:

Whether, in the words of the Georgia statute, “an abortion is necessary” is a professional judgment that the Georgia physician will be called upon to make routinely. We agree with the District Court, 319 F. Supp., at 1058, that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.

Amazing as it is,  if Roe vs Wade was ever overturned, Doe vs Bolton would take its place.  Doe vs Bolton allows for abortion “after viability” for almost any conceivable reason. Read the excerpt above closely. According to Doe vs Bolton,  an  abortion could be permitted at full term because a baby’s crying might cause too much stress for someone in the house who has a psychological problem. Far fetched?  Not really. Who needs Roe vs Wade when you have its twin, Doe vs Bolton?  Our fight for millions of  little, unseen and helpless John and Jane Does  will continue. God help us today and tomorrow.

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2 Responses to January 22, 1973: The U.S. Supreme Court Gave Birth to Twins; “Roe & Doe”

  1. A year before I was born, my parents had a daughter, Janet Kay Armstrong, born at seven months gestation. She lived less than a day. This was in 1957.

    In 2004, my father and I were sitting watching television together when a character on our soap opera lost a child shortly after birth, and my dad began talking about when Janet Kay was born. I couldn’t have been more shocked if he had put on one of my mom’s dresses and started tap-dancing— he did NOT normally talk about things like that.

    A few weeks later my dad died unexpectedly. I was impressed by the fact that even all those years later my dad had not forgotten his first daughter— who at seven months would have been abortable if my mother had claimed to be ‘depressed’.

    She wasn’t a ‘blob of tissue’, she was my sister.

  2. Like Dred Scott, Roe was handed down in the name of an individual right. Roger Taney’s decision in Dred Scott was based on the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Justice Blackmun based Roe on a vague right of privacy nowhere spelled out in the Constitution.