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Feminist News


September-20-04

Challenge to Reopen Roe v Wade Fails

The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a bid last week to reopen the landmark case that legalized abortion in 1973. Allen Parker represented Norma McCorvey, the woman formerly known as "Jane Roe," in a challenge to the US Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v Wade, citing new evidence that abortions cause emotional and mental harm, according to CNN.com. The 5th Circuit, based in New Orleans, ruled that the motion was moot because Texas has not had a state abortion law for over 30 years, the Washington Post reports. Though the bid failed, Parker told the Houston Chronicle that they will likely petition the Supreme Court to hear the case.

Judge Edith Jones wrote the opinion of the court for the three-judge panel, as well as a four-page concurring opinion, stating that if a present-day court were to take on the original Roe v Wade case, "They might conclude that the woman's 'choice' is far more risky and less beneficial, and the child's sentience far more advanced, than the Roe Court knew."

Sarah Wheat, spokesperson for the Texas Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, told the Houston Chronicle, "The fact that they even agreed to hear the case and that Judge Jones would issue such a powerfully worded attack on choice shows how the future of reproductive choice is hanging in the balance."

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Media Resources: Houston Chronicle 9/15/04; Washington Post 9/15/04; CNN.com 9/14/04