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Feminist News


June-26-03

Jane Roe's Motion to Overturn Abortion Ruling Denied

A motion filed by Norma McCorvey, the woman known as Jane Roe in the 1973 Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, who has since become an avid opponent to abortion rights, was dismissed by a federal district court. The motion asked the court to revisit the Roe v. Wade because "scientific and anecdotal evidence" collected over the past 30 years has shown the "negative effects" of abortion, according to the Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report. The court dismissed the motion saying that 30 years after the fact was too late for McCorvey to reconsider her case.

McCorvey and her attorneys included more than 5,400 pages of "evidence" - including 1,000 affidavits from women who regret their abortions - in their motion to the federal district court in Dallas. McCorvey has said that she will likely appeal the court's ruling. Her attorney Allan Parker said that she would ask the court to consider Roe v Wade in light of the so-called "Baby Moses" act, launched in Texas in 1999 and since adopted in 40 states, which allows the state to assume responsibility for unwanted children. Parker claims that the "burden on women raising unwanted children" was one of the key factors in the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v Wade.

While the case seems to lack legal validity especially in light of the 5-4 pro-choice majority that exists on the current high court, if possible impending vacancies are filled by what President Bush has promised to be anti-choice extremists, McCorvey could see her goal fulfilled. "They may win," noted CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. "Norma McCorvey may yet get her case overturned, but the way it's going to be done is the conventional way of new justices on the court, cases coming up through the system in the ordinary way. That's where she may win."

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Media Resources: CNN.com 6/19/03; Associated Press 6/21/03; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 6/23/03