an After abortion

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Tuesday, June 17, 2003

'Roe' sues to overturn Roe v. Wade decision, an article by Art Moore at WorldNetDaily.

Norma McCorvey is filing today what is known as a Rule 60 motion to overturn Roe v Wade. She has unique standing to do that, as the plaintiff in Roe.

The motion asks for a reversal of the judgment that was first entered exactly 33 years ago today by the Dallas Federal Court. McCorvey is asking that the judgment in the original Roe case be set aside.

Her attorney is Allan Parker of the Texas-based Justice Foundation which sponsors Operation Outcry.

In order to file a Rule 60 motion, you have to assert that something has changed since the court originally found in favor of the plaintiff.

One of three changes pointed to by Parker in this Rule 60 motion that is of particular interest to the main topic on this blog is what Parker says we now know about the impact abortion has on women.

According to Moore's article:

"The Roe v. Wade decision deprived women of protection from dangerous abortions and exposed them to a much greater risk of being pressured into unwanted abortions. Studies, he says, indicate between 30 and 60 percent of abortions result from the pregnant woman submitting to pressure from her male partner, parents, physicians or others. Parker will present affidavits from more than 1,000 women who testify having an abortion has had devastating emotional, physical and psychological effects. This is 1,000 times more evidence than presented in the original case, he says. Also, new scientific evidence indicates abortion is associated with more physical and psychological complications for women than were known about in 1973. In contrast, there have been no scientific studies measuring any significant benefits abortion has produced in women's lives."

The U.S. Supreme Court has in the past overturned its own precedents using Rule 60(b)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 60), most recently in the 1997 decision of Agostini v. Felton. In that case, one of the original plaintiffs (who won) returned to the court and asked that the ruling in her favor be overturned.

The Supreme Court complied, citing Rule 60, which says in part "upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party . . . from a final judgment . . . [when] it is no longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective application", but requiring the plaintiff to demonstrate that "a significant change either in factual conditions or in law" has occurred since judgment was originally rendered.

You can read more about Rule 60 here. Follow the link to "Notes" in the upper right for an extensive elaboration of what Rule 60 is all about.

Update A: I asked The Catholic Lawyer about this suit, snowballwise, and he writes:

"It's probably not going to fly, mostly because of the amount of time that has lapsed since Roe was decided."

What do I know, but that sounds right to me. Yet this Rule 60 motion is a great way to get the news out, via the affiliated one thousand affadavits from women hurt by abortion, that while it might be legal, abortion is not psychologically or physically safe for many women.

Update B: Some legal strategy blog comments here.

Update C: Theresa Bonapartis of The Lumina Network participated in an event in Connecticut timed to coincide with Norma McCorvey's announcement. She sent out this report (edited for length):

"I decided to support and join forces with Annie Banno, the CT state leader of Operation Outcry/ Silent No More, and Charnette Messe, a women with breast cancer who is also post-abortive.

When I woke up this morning I was very resistant to taking the hike to Bridgeport to stand with these women. Who wants to go public (especially politically) about their abortion experience? Although I witness all the time, this was much different than being asked to speak at a college, or church, this for me was everything I do not want to do, and so I was looking for any excuse not to go.

As I bargained with God and asked if it really was His will...arguments were flying through my head..."I don't need to go, they have Annie and Charnette" and then there was the other side" "If you are not even willing to speak out who will, there are so few free to or willing to", "I need to be a voice for the hundreds of women I have seen over the years", "I owe it to those I work with to be a voice for them and their children" etc etc...the battle raged, one side and then the other.

In the midst of it I managed to get myself into the car telling myself a sign would come on my way to exit 27 in Bridgeport where the event was taking place off of 95 North, and so I started out. I began a rosary and started to feel calmer, then another, when somewhere between exit 20 and 21 I saw it. The burning bush. A huge sign on the side of the highway that read "In God we Trust. United We Stand." I knew this was my sign as I thought of the post abortive people in Dallas heading to the court and the rest of us throughout the country gathering together to give testimony to the press, not only about the Motion, but more importantly, about their own abortions and the damage it had done to them. First and foremost it was our hope to reach those suffering in silence and let them know they are not crazy or alone. In that moment, a tremendous peace came over me.

I met Annie in front of the Federal building Bridgeprt. As 12pm approached we prayed and then picked up our signs "I Regret My Abortion". About 30 people were present, including three different press resources. although I do not know who they all were. I do know channel 12 in Conneticut is airing it at 5pm tonight. Annie gave a general statement about the damage done to women and the silence and shame they live in and then one by one we gave a brief testimony to the harm our abortions had done in our lives. The press conference ended with information on the Motion after which we answered questions and were interviewed buy the various press.

Annie did a phenomenal job in organizing the hwole thing and being the major spokesperson. I was so happy to finally meet her. For me, that is the greatest thing . Meeting other women and men from across the country and forming an army to dispel the lies of abortion. It is a privilege to stand along side them to proclaim the truth and reach out to our brothers and sisters still suffering alone. The army will grow, of this I am sure...the truth will prevail and we will be "Silent No More".

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