How Abortion Became Legal
Laws Banning Abortions
We must go back almost 200 years to understand how abortion became legal. It was in 1827 that the discovery of “conception” revealed when human life began. As a result, the American Medical Association (AMA) urged state legislators to pass laws protecting the unborn human “from conception” and prohibiting abortion. During the 1800’s all states passed laws making abortion a serious crime.
Then over 100 years later in the 1960s and 1970s, some states began passing laws to allow abortion in very limited circumstances; i.e., to save the life of the mother, etc. Most states were comfortable with these very limited allowances.
However, on January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered all laws protecting the unborn child to be null and void in their infamous Roe v. Wade decision. The Court’s rulings legalized abortion in all 50 states for the full nine months of pregnancy. This was because the Court had determined in Roe v. Wade that “legal personhood does not exist prenatally.”
There was only one other time in history when the U.S. Supreme Court made such a sweeping decision on personhood. That was in 1857 with the Dred Scott decision when they ruled that black people were not “legal persons” according to the U.S. Constitution. It took a bloody civil war and the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution to finally grant freedom, civil rights, and voting rights to African Americans in 1865, 1868, and 1870; but it took another 100 years before all their rights were finally recognized by society.
It’s been over 40 years since Roe V. Wade, but the American public remains severely divided over the legality and morality of abortion. As sonograms, ultrasounds, and technology advance, more and more questions arise over giving legal personhood to unborn children.
Pro-choice people argue for the woman’s “right to her own body,” and pro-life people call for the “right to life of the unborn.” How abortion became legal.
Knowledge of Roe v. Wade
On July 6, 2018, Democratic pollster and President of Lake Research, Celinda Lake, dropped a bombshell when she spoke on What America is Thinking, a show on Hill.TV about polls and public opinion.
According to her research, Millennials think the Roe v. Wade decision happened right after the Revolutionary War, some 200 years ago. Also, according to Lake, they have no idea there was ever a time when abortion was illegal. They are not aware of how abortion became legal.
What is the History of Roe v. Wade? How did abortion become legal?
Roe v. Wade is not a law passed by Congress. It was a vote by 7 Supreme Court Justices that eliminated the laws on abortion in all 50 states.
The Roe v. Wade decision came about in 1973 as a result of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These decisions nullified all state laws on abortion, which had been in effect up until that time.
Nearly 150 years prior to that the American Medical Association urged all state legislatures to pass laws protecting unborn children and prohibiting abortion because of their scientific discovery of conception and their conclusion that life begins at conception. All 50 states passed laws giving protection to unborn children over the next several decades.
These remained in effect until 1960 when some states began allowing abortion in limited circumstances; i.e., to save the life of the mother. Then on January 22, 1973, when the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases reached the Supreme Court, they struck down all state laws because they determined that legal personhood does not exist prenatally.
The Roe v. Wade decision broke pregnancy down into three-month periods; i.e., the three trimesters. In the first six months the states could not regulate abortion, but in the final three months the states could regulate or prohibit abortion, except when necessary to save the life or health of the mother.
The Doe v. Bolton decision was necessary to define the term health as it was used in Roe v. Wade. The Doe case determined the term health to include the complete emotional and social well-being of the mother.
Who Was Roe and What Was Her Claim?
Jane Roe was actually Norma McCorvey, and she became the plaintiff in the case, assuming the pseudonym of Jane Roe to protect her anonymity. According to the case put together by her attorneys, Norma claimed she was pregnant as a result of gang rape and needed an abortion, which she was unable to get in the state of Texas. However, she simply signed the papers set before her, never went to court, and never testified. For several years she remained anonymous, and then in 1980 she started making public appearances in support of abortion.
Several years later, however, she began to regret her involvement in the role that she played in making abortion legal. She continued by expressing that her lawyer informed her the pregnancy was merely a mass of tissue and that she had been deceived. Instead of undergoing an abortion, she chose to give her baby up for adoption. Additionally, she confessed that she had not experienced a gang rape, but the legal team believed portraying such a scenario would garner more sympathy.
By the mid 1990s, she completely reversed her position on abortion and began to speak out against it. She even started her own organization, Roe No More. In 2003 she went to court to try to overturn Roe v. Wade because it was based on lies, but the case was dismissed. She also testified before Congress about the underlying deceit of the Roe v. Wade decision. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/McCorvey%20Testimony%20062305.pdf Norma McCorvey died in 2017 at the age of 69.
Who Was Bolton & What Was Her Claim?
The Mary Doe in Doe v. Bolton was Sandra Cano. At 22 she was the mother of three who had been taken away from her and placed in foster care, and she was pregnant with her fourth. There are conflicting statements in the Doe affidavit that claimed she applied for an abortion and was denied in Georgia.
However, Cano has since testified in court and before Congress that she never wanted an abortion and sought legal help to divorce her husband and get her children back. She asserted that either her lawyer forged her signature or the Doe papers were sneakily included among others for her to sign. She admitted to being naive and easily manipulated by her attorney. To evade the abortion, she fled to Oklahoma.
Cano has since testified before Congress that Doe was built on a lie and deceit and needs to be overturned. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Cano%20Testimony%2062305.pdf In 2003 she even went to court herself in an attempt to reverse Doe, arguing that new scientific evidence supports reversal; but the court denied her case. Sandra Cano died in 2014 at the age of 66.
Will Roe v. Wade Be Reversed?
When the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was handed down, there were no ultrasound machines so parents and doctors could watch the development of their babies. There were also no operations performed while babies were still in the womb.
There was very little knowledge of DNA and genetics. We know now that a heartbeat can be detected just 18 days after conception (that’s in the first month of pregnancy) and that brain waves can be measured at 40 days (that’s in the second month of pregnancy). We also know that by 8 weeks all body systems are present.
By the 9th and 10th weeks, a baby’s body is sensitive to touch and pain. By the end of the 12th week, a baby has the facial features of his/her parents and fingerprints that will be his identity throughout his/her lifetime. From this time on the only change will be an increase in size.
This is not a theory or religious belief. This is a scientific fact and can even be seen through ultrasound technology. At the same time, we now have abortion legal through birth in several states and babies that happen to survive abortion are purposely left to die.
We now know that an unborn child is not just a blob of cells or pieces of tissue or not really alive. This is rhetoric only, not scientific fact, which is used to rationalize that what is being aborted is not a living baby. This rhetoric is used to dehumanize an unborn child.
This dehumanization method was used on African Americans in 1857 with the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision when they were defined as not “legal persons.” It was also used in Germany by the Nazis to exterminate Jews as not legal persons.
At some point, science and technology will clash with this false rhetoric and we will have to decide whether it is right to decide that unborn children are not legal persons and as such should have no legal protection whatsoever.